Friday, 6 May 2011

Real Road Racing Safety and Responsibility - Who is Responsible?

Real Road Racing Motorcycle Blog by Barbiegirl Northern Ireland
Safety is apparently the state of being safe - freedom from the occurrence or risk of injury, danger, or loss - while responsibility places a particular burden of obligation upon one who is responsible - the responsibilities of authority. So who was responsible for the safety of competitors and spectators at the May 2008 Tandragee 100 motorcycle real road races when Martin Finnegan was tragically killed and three spectators were injured?

Senior Coroner John Leckey has heard Martin Finnegan would have had a real chance of surviving his Tandragee 100 crash if the organisers had put a run-off area or slip-road on a dangerous corner, instead he died of multiple injuries after the May 2008 Supersport 600 race. Not only did this particular dangerous corner not have a run-off area it was also the only corner which allegedly didn’t have air cushioning either, and those omissions were allegedly said to be directly responsible for his death.

Martin Finnegan had been an experienced rider according to the Senior Coroner, who was used to making split-second decisions, but it would have been impossible he'd continued, for organisers to line the track with hay bales or construct slip-roads in nearby fields, but this the court then heard - did not relieve the organisers of the responsibility to make the course as safe as possible.

The final point made by Senior Coroner John Leckey was allegedly that a country road circuit is a very different creature to an F1 circuit or a short circuit - and if it cannot be made safe to a requisite standard, then the question has to be asked - should the racing take place at all?

More to the point, due to the lack of the already mentioned non-existent safety features, should racing have taken place at the Tandragee 100 in May 2008? Many might probably claim the cost of providing run-off areas for particularly dangerous corners on a circuit which is only used once a year is financially unrealistic, but what price then do those same people put on a human life - the life of Martin Finnegan - and the injuries sustained by the three spectators?

It might be said the organising Club should be held responsible for proceeding with the race meeting, but is it not the Motorcycle Union of Ireland (Ulster Centre) Limited that is ultimately responsible for declaring a course to be safe? It was only the previous year that the same course claimed the life of John Donnan at whose inquest, claims were heard that one of the Motorcycle Union of Ireland - Ulster Centre officials in charge of safety at the Tandragee 100 event had allegedly ignored warnings that a chicane, constructed of straw bales and sand bags, was unsafe and that more barriers might have saved his life. Richard Nesbitt, the then alleged convenor of the road inspection committee for looking after competitors' and spectators' safety for the Motorcycle Union of Ireland (Ulster Centre) Limited, said he could not remember receiving any such warning. "I can't remember the man saying anything sensible other than nattering away in my ear. If someone is constantly coming at you it is easier just to ignore them," he'd said, then allegedly claimed there was nothing more stable than straw bales available in 2007 - which was anything but truthful, an absurd statement from the man allegedly purporting to be the convenor of the road inspection committee for looking after competitors' and spectators' safety for the MCUI-UC.

Who then in May 2008 was the Motorcycle Union of Ireland (Ulster Centre) Limited convenor of the road inspection committee for looking after competitors' and spectators' safety, and why did that person declare the Tandragee 100 public roads circuit to be safe for the purpose of high speed motorcycle real road racing? Had he been warned about the lack of safety measures, and had he simply ignored the warnings, as allegedly occurred in 2007 when another human life was lost? Was it the case that the Motorcycle Union of Ireland (Ulster Centre) Limited considered the alternative to straw bales in 2007 an expense to far, that perhaps a human life did not warrant such an expense.

Perhaps the Motorcycle Union of Ireland (Ulster Centre) Limited should now tell us what price they put on a human life - each and every life that has been lost on a real road racing public roads circuit in Northern Ireland.

Save Our Sport From Evil

©2010 Motorcycle RealRoadRacing Blog by Barbiegirl Northern Ireland


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