Scottish rally inquiry

Report on spectator deaths recommends changes

UK rallying has given a generally favourable response to the official investigation into the spectator deaths on 2013 Snowman and 2014 Jim Clark Rallies. One spectator died on the Snowman, while two signed-on media and one spectator died on the Jim Clark.

Sheriff Maciver QC’s Determination regarding the Fatal Accident Inquiry (FAI) has been widely regarded as a comprehensive and balanced review of both incidents. It was clear that the Sheriff had gained a good understanding of the sport. His report made a series of detail recommendations, such as changes to stage set-up plans, notably for spectator locations, that a record be kept of incident locations, that the in-stage yellow flag system be reviewed, that the MSA pursues a yellow light in-car system and detail changes be made to the operation of safety cars. He praised the work already done by the MSA.

Rob Jones, MSA Chief Executive, said: “We welcome the publication of Sheriff Maciver’s Determination. In particular, we acknowledge his thoroughness during the FAI and we are grateful that he delivered his report within two months.”

The Sheriff concluded that the Jim Clark accident was a ‘perfect storm’ of interconnecting circumstances and an array of coinciding events. However, the report identified that the actions of one of those killed contributed to the incident. “Mr Iain Provan was wilful in his refusal to accept advice and he persisted in standing outside the red tape and near the roadside although he had been told personally on at least two occasions not to do that and had been specifically instructed on one occasion to move.”

The Sheriff considered the death of a spectator at the Snowman Rally to be an accident, which was probably entirely unpredictable and unforeseeable.