Spectator Safety at Rallies

7 October 2014, 15:05

Recommendations to improve the safety of spectators at motorsports events have been made in the wake of a series of fatal accidents.

Three people were killed and several were injured at the Jim Clark Rally near Coldstream in the Scottish Borders in May.

The accident followed the death of a woman at the Highland Car Club Snowman Rally in Glenurquhart Forest in February last year.

The Scottish Government commissioned a review to look at how safety could be improved after the most recent tragedy.

The group's initial proposals have been published in time for the Isle of Mull rally between October 10 and 12, with a final report expected by the end of the year.

The recommendations include appointing an independent safety delegate for each rally to be responsible for the safety of staff, volunteers and spectators, as well as a spectator safety officer and a safety car for multi-venue stage rallies.

Improvements should be made to safety messages given to the public and to the training of rally marshals while media attending events should be better protected, the group said.

Organisers of the Mull Rally are said to have implemented most of the recommendations.

Sport Secretary Shona Robison said: "The tragic events at the Jim Clark rally, and at the Highland Snowman rally in 2013 where a spectator was also killed, brought the safety of spectators at motorsport events into the spotlight.

"Safety is absolutely integral to staging successful and enjoyable sporting events, and all partners need to move forward together to keep people safe.

"Motorsport can never be completely safe. However, these initial findings set out clear improvements that can help to prevent tragic accidents.

"The Scottish Government sees these changes as essential to allow rallies to continue to take place safely in Scotland.''

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