Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Spectator RRR Safety - An MCUI-UC Fictional Production

Irish Real Road Racing Motorcycle Blog by Barbiegirl Northern Ireland

Heard the great Irish joke about the release of a number of 'important Safety documents' in draft form relating to Codes of Practice for Road Races for which your comments were requested - to be allegedly disregarded into the nearest trash can by the alleged authors, the MCUI, one imagines. As a work of fiction the aforementioned documents aren't likely to bother Fifty Shades Of Grey author E. L. James although the fictitious novel The Codfather by the alleged fantasist Austin Tweed might be given a serious run for it's money.

For now, moi intends to deal with only two of the six documents, and we'll begin with 'Spectator Accommodation', before moving swiftly on to 'Rider Safety' - not that these aforementioned two documents contain anything less nothingness than the others, rather that they refer to riders and spectators – those still with us.

Apart from approximately two paragraphs, all six documents overfloweth with pretentious boring regurgitated drivel - all quite obviously aimed at the toothless, almost motionless DCAL, and the DRD who have also already admitted they have no in-house expertise to advise what reasonable measures of safety are required for such a dangerous extreme sport.

It's perhaps understandable for moi to assume the six 'important Safety documents' appear to have emanated from a nonentity with an infertile imagination, or worse - nonenties once again allegedly displaying their alleged contempt and wanton disregard for the lives or safety of motorcycle real road racing riders and fans alike.

The real problems associated with safety at motorcycle real road racing events on the public roads of Northern Ireland are neither addressed or even mentioned - the unfit for purpose public roads for instance. A particularly contentious issue rather eloquently addressed by Senior Coroner John Leckey when he acknowledged - that motorcycle road races did not have the same safety measures in place as other motor sport venues here in Northern Ireland and allegedly then said - 'if it cannot be made safe to a requisite standard, then the question has to be asked - should motorcycle racing on public roads take place at all?' He was of course referring to the infamous Tandragee 100 circuit and the issue of run off areas or more to the point - the absence of run off areas.

Read these proposals and one thing becomes clear though, the days of a free day out at a Northern Ireland motorcycle real road racing event are about to end. The MCUI-UC are hoping new legislation - similar to that already in use for the Ulster Grand Prix - will be passed by 2015, which obviously equates into admission fees - a cash injection they believe will pay for, amongst other things – huge hikes in insurance premiums.

And who will also be expected to cough up their hard earned cash for the proposed grandstand seating - 'spectator accommodation' etc? Hardly the promoting Clubs/Limited Companies, leastways not those that are for all intents and purposes, allegedly technically insolvent. Ultimately, it’s the fans who will be expected to bail out the allegedly ineptly incompetent Dinosaurs – those who have brought motorcycle real road racing to it’s knees - but if the hordes of freeloader 'fans' refuse and go elsewhere for their free entertainment - are there truly enough die-hard Irish real road racing fans out there with the necessary very deep pockets that will enable motorcycle racing on our public roads to continue? Very doubtful one suspects.

To begin, presumably for the slow learners in our midst, the MCUI-UC remind us that: 'Motorcycle road racing is recognised as a dangerous sport involving riders and their machines travelling at speed around roadways that are normally used by private and commercial vehicles. Although a number of safety measures are adopted for a race meeting there is always the potential for an accident to occur. Although an accident may involve a number of groups including spectators and officials, it is often the rider involved in an accident and his fellow competitors that are likely to sustain injury. It is a dangerous sport where motorcycles travel at various speeds along roads, generally open to the public. It is therefore important that careful planning and consideration is given to the location and types of spectator accommodation around the circuit, and that suitable means of protection are utilised to ensure that spectators are not placed at risk.'

Most interesting, as already mentioned, is the provision of modular seating - spectator accommodation: 'The location of these temporary demountable structures to accommodate spectators should be carefully considered. They should only be located at areas that are considered to be safe and not likely to obstruct the view of riders or officials. A risk assessment should be undertaken with attention to be given to the location, construction, access and egress arrangements for the structure. Seating accommodation should be erected on level, stable ground. Temporary demountable structures should be erected by a competent person, structurally sound and well maintained, and certified as safe for use in that location by a person with relevant qualifications and experience such as a structural engineer. The back, front and sides of the structure should be guarded by members of appropriate strength and dimension to prevent persons falling. The spectators accommodated in the structure should be monitored by marshals to ensure that suitable crowd management arrangements are in place. An assessment should also be undertaken to consider if barriers should be provided to the sides of the racing circuit so that all reasonable precautions are taken to ensure that motorcycles or riders involved in an incident do not stray off the circuit and onto a spectator area. Barriers should be of appropriate design and are properly located.'

One has to assume more thought for life and limb will go into the placement of the aforementioned mentioned barriers than for the infamous killer straw bales chicane as used at the Tandragee 100 The same applies to the 'Standing Area' proposals where even more barriers are being - proposed - don't these clowns know obstacles such as barriers can kill and maim motorcyclists? Obviously they don't!

'Having completed a risk assessment areas considered to provide suitable standing viewing accommodation should be identified. The assessment should also identify if protective barriers should be provided between the racing circuit and the viewing areas. Again any barriers used should be of appropriate design and be properly located. Consideration should be given to the access and egress arrangements of all standing viewing areas. The ground should be level, free from trip hazards, and in a stable condition. Private Land Some areas of private land may be adjacent to a road racing circuit. This has the potential to create problems as the Race Promoters do not have control over such areas. However Race Promoters should carry out a risk assessment of these areas to identify if it is safe for persons to view from these areas of private land. It is important that the race promoters meet with the owners of the private land and advise them of the findings of their risk assessment. They should seek agreement from the land owners to ensure that persons do not gain access to these areas. The race promoters will have a duty to monitor these areas and if persons do gain access they should have a system in place to inform the Clerk of Course to enable racing to be suspended until the persons are removed from the said areas. Alternative control measures could be implemented by erecting suitable barriers of appropriate strength and dimensions. Provisions for Disabled Persons Race Organisers must be aware of the provisions of the Disability Discrimination (Northern Ireland) Order 2005 and should ensure that suitable arrangements are put in place for persons with disability.'

The opinion of moi, and others, is that these proposals from the Dinosaurs are potentially extremely dangerous - if they are even remotely serious about protecting spectators at motorcycle real road racing events, which I do not believe they are - spectators have to be moved a safe distance away from high speed motorcycles which can kill. Placing barriers around the courses will only serve to increase the likelyhood of more riders being killed and seriously injured - these 'safety' proposals from the Dinosaurs - border on insanity!

Save Our Sport From Evil

©2013 Motorcycle RealRoadRacing Blog by Barbiegirl Northern Ireland

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