Matters of moment, January 1986

Browse pages
Current page

1

Current page

2

Current page

3

Current page

4

Current page

5

Current page

6

Current page

7

Current page

8

Current page

9

Current page

10

Current page

11

Current page

12

Current page

13

Current page

14

Current page

15

Current page

16

Current page

17

Current page

18

Current page

19

Current page

20

Current page

21

Current page

22

Current page

23

Current page

24

Current page

25

Current page

26

Current page

27

Current page

28

Current page

29

Current page

30

Current page

31

Current page

32

Current page

33

Current page

34

Current page

35

Current page

36

Current page

37

Current page

38

Current page

39

Current page

40

Current page

41

Current page

42

Current page

43

Current page

44

Current page

45

Current page

46

Current page

47

Current page

48

Current page

49

Current page

50

Current page

51

Current page

52

Current page

53

Current page

54

Current page

55

Current page

56

Current page

57

Current page

58

Current page

59

Current page

60

Current page

61

Current page

62

Current page

63

Current page

64

Current page

65

Current page

66

Current page

67

Current page

68

Current page

69

Current page

70

Current page

71

Current page

72

Current page

73

Current page

74

Current page

75

Current page

76

Current page

77

Current page

78

Current page

79

Current page

80

Current page

81

Current page

82

Current page

83

Current page

84

Current page

85

Current page

86

Current page

87

Current page

88

Current page

89

Current page

90

Current page

91

Current page

92

Current page

93

Current page

94

Current page

95

Current page

96

Current page

97

Current page

98

Current page

99

Current page

100

Current page

101

Current page

102

Current page

103

Current page

104

Current page

105

Current page

106

Current page

107

Current page

108

Current page

109

Current page

110

Current page

111

Current page

112

Current page

113

Current page

114

Current page

115

Current page

116

Current page

117

Current page

118

Current page

119

Current page

120

Current page

121

Current page

122

Current page

123

Current page

124

The Safety of Rally Spectators

Another very exciting and interesting RAC Rally has, with luck, safely concluded, watched by astonishingly large numbers of spectators — we sometimes wonder which attracts the greater number, the Veteran Car Run or the RAC Rally, but we know who are the more knowledgeable onlookers! It would be a National tragedy if this great event, giving so much enjoyment to so many people, had ever to be stopped.

Yet the danger is very apparent, with spectators separated from rally cars that now develop over 400 bhp and exceed 100 mph over the most slippery of surfaces by mere ropes, and warned of approaching cars only by the marshals’ whistles. Those who attend in their hundreds of thousands are out for a good time, at some considerable expense, probably having taken time off work to watch their favourite sport. It would be a million pities if any of them were roger injured or killed. Yet the writing seems to be writ large on the safety-first wall. Le Mans survived the unexpected horrific accident of 1955 only because a closed race-circuit can be given Armco and catch-fencing to keep the cars away from the public, and danger’ areas can be reconstituted. Not so with open-road events A car going into the crowd stopped the Ulster TT after 1936, and the Mille Miglia was abandoned after 1957, for the same reason. Long before that public-road speed events in this country had been banned by the RAC because crowds could not be controlled on what was public land, even by uniformed policemen, the trouble coming to a head after a non-fatal accident to a spectator at Kop Hill in 1925.

We do not know how Forestry Commission areas are regarded in Law, when rallies are passing through them, and spectators have access, especially at stages where people are allowed in free and few warnings are displayed. But a fatal accident might well kill rallies as they have done road-racing. We feel for the Stage Commander who had to close one stage of the RAC Rally because the spectators could not be controlled. What a responsibility! But how right he was… We know from personal experience that marshals have little or no real authority over spectators who fail to see they are in dangerous places. Requesting them to move can result in verbal abuse or worse, and officials may find themselves tempted to respond in like fashion. None of which is good for the Sport, or can provide a solution. We do not know what the remedy may be. But we do see that the present situation is potentially a very alarming one, that needs solving. NOW.

We wish a Happy and Prosperous New Year to All our Readers

Related articles

Related products