I am sure John will jump in here too. Right now we are under the 2011 NEC and the 2014 will be out shortly. By the time our state reads the 2014 and adopts it might take a year or more. SO we too are always trying to play "catch up" with the newest code. If the code only change say every 5 years, I think that it would be a good thing. There was one code cycle where we were on the 1996 (I think) for more than 5-7 years and there was no problems that I heard of for being so late.
The code making system does seem to make a lot of money for many people. Code books, new manufacturing products, classes, etc. Granted we all just want to make people safer with electricity, but sometimes it seems like they change a section of the code over and over again. Like bonding of pools. Also we can't change human nature and we can't fix stupid. I still think a 5 year code cycle would be better than 3 year.
The world may run at a faster pace but governments still plod along. It is pure bureaucracy and the fact that IBC and NFPA are on different cycles that keep Florida at least 3 years behind the NEC code cycle. Even if the AHJ adopts the code right away, proposals close before you actually have a lot of experience with that version and it means the political arm is adopting a code into law before they actually have a chance to read and understand it. (as if they actually read laws before they pass them anyway)
I note that there is absolutely no provision for anyone to propose any changes to the code cycle.
Let's face the truth: the NEC is in the hands of a handful of paid folks, who are bound to do their employers; bidding. Who else can attend the conventions? Who else can even introduce such a change? Unless you're part of NFPA management, your opinion just has no bearing. period.
NFPA members sure don't have any say. I spent years as a member, and watched the NFPA take all manner of organizational positions- without even once consulting with the membership. Heck, I never even heard from the "committee" I was supposedly part of, and my letters went unanswered.
Market forces? Why do you think the NFPA has worked so hard to isolate themselves from any market accountability?
The only thing that threatens them is political action. Hence, the intensive lobbying every cycle for everyone to immediately accept the newest version, complete and unamended. Hence, the endless efforts to get other NFPA codes accepted as law - and their rabid opposition to public ownership of "their" laws.
Heck, we could roll the code back to 1960 with little ill effect. After all, what has changed? GFCI's? Ufer's? What else?
I'll bet we can do just fine without the recent (2005?) addition of a requirement that there be a phone jack in a house. One wonders how we got along for a century of home phones without there being that legal requirement?
They'll stop writing new codes when we stop using them.