Special Stage Forums banner

1 - 19 of 19 Posts

·
your other left, you idiot
Joined
·
3,909 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
FIA raises safety concerns
November 11, 2003
The FIA has issued a response to the wave of speeding fines and bans issued by Neath magistrates yesterday as a result of the 2002 Rally of Great Britain.

A total of 19 drivers were punished for speeding offences, most of them incurred passing a camera set up near the shakedown, before the rally had started.

?Road safety is a matter of the utmost importance to the FIA,? a spokesman said. ?The actions of the police and magistrates seem to indicate that this is an exceptionally dangerous location for a Rally. The FIA has therefore asked its safety delegate for a report on the suitability of the local public roads for a World Championship event.?

South Wales Police have stepped up speeding camera surveillance in recent years, siting cameras on or close to the rally route on a temporary basis. Cameras have been trained temporarily on 30 mph (50 km/h) dual carriageway bridges, without pedestrian access. The FIA enquiry will raise questions over the suitability of south Wales as a location for a major rally.

press on,
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
555 Posts
I dont get it. The law is the law. I don't care if you are Colin Mcrae or Marcus Gronholm, you must obey the law. You cannot speed around town like you own the place just because you are a famous driver! Am I missing something here?
 

·
don't cut
Joined
·
4,075 Posts
Yes you are missing something. The purpose of the speed law is to raise revenue, not enforce safety. FIA is saying that if photo cameras are to enforce safety and so much safety is required, then Wales must be so dangerous that the risks are greater than FIA will accept. Therefore, the FIA will go to some place safer and by the way, all the revenue you get from the hotels and restaurants will go some place else also. It is economics on both sides. Real safety does not enter into the equation anywhere. And yes, I am saying that speeding can be safe. Speed limits are very seldom set for safety. Speed limits are exactly like parking meters.
Richard Miller
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
483 Posts
... trying to remember the last time someone was killed by a parking meeter...

seriously, you really think that doing 75Mph in a school zone is not a safety issue? you think the report that "Cameras have been trained temporarily on 30 mph (50 km/h) dual carriageway bridges, without pedestrian access" is not due to a safety issue? Speeding in service areas is not a safety issue?

I agree that the law is the law. If you dont like it, campaign to change it- but you had better obey it until it is changed.
 

·
Dramamine is for DramaQueens
Joined
·
4,813 Posts
Actually, one of the other issues at hand is that the drivers are not completely in control of how fast they have to drive. Remember that the transit TIMES are set by the organisers, and at some rallies the rally cars MUST bend the laws a bit to make their transit times ... In many countries the police controlled the other traffic, and waved rally cars through lights. On a two lane road in Sweden, competitors had 60km of transit a they HAD to drive in the oncomming lane due to spectator traffic. If you followed the speed limits in Argentina you'd get rear ended by local traffic ...

The ultimate thing here is that the police at other events (from what I have seen this year) cooperate with teh event and even cut a bit of slack for the competitors, where in Wales they appear to have targeted the competitors by placing a temporary camera on a low speed bridge along a route they KNOW the cars are travelling.

Basically, what the FIA is saying is if you don't 'play' well with us, we'll take our economic impact elsewhere ...

Out of curiosity, does anyone know of an example of an accident involving a rally car on a transit?
 

·
I am not here anymore
Joined
·
2,798 Posts
>... trying to remember the last time someone was killed by a
>parking meeter...

Cool Hand Luke

>seriously, you really think that doing 75Mph in a school
>zone is not a safety issue? you think the report that
>"Cameras have been trained temporarily on 30 mph (50 km/h)
>dual carriageway bridges, without pedestrian access" is not
>due to a safety issue? Speeding in service areas is not a
>safety issue?

Richard's remarks were a little too general, but in many cases speed limits are set up as a revenue enhancing technique. As far as the incidents in Wales, 30 mph on a dual carriageway (a divided highway in American) with no pedestrian access sounds a little low to me.

>I agree that the law is the law. If you dont like it,
>campaign to change it- but you had better obey it until it
>is changed.

I think that is exactly what the FIA is doing. They are calling Wales' bluff. If that divided highway is really so unsafe that traffic has to be slowed to 30mph, maybe it is too unsafe to host a rally in the area.

alan
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,383 Posts
It seems pretty common that they speed on transits in Europe, I recall a bit of an issue with certain British Drivers here in the states. If they really want to discourage it, they should disqualify teams if they get caught speeding or allow more time for the transit.
Regardless of driver skill, a road accident is possible, speeding should be discouraged
 

·
straight at T
Joined
·
2,472 Posts
>Out of curiosity, does anyone know of an example of an
>accident involving a rally car on a transit?

There have been a number - one high profile one was Henri Toivonen at Monte Carlo in 1986 (I think those are the details). Head-on with a local or spectator car, fortunately at lowish speed.

My guess is that the FIA doesn't like the image presented when its stars get caught speeding (since one part of it has a focus on road safety), and is trying to push the British police into being more lenient (rather than slapping the drivers on the wrist for breaking the law). For the conspiracy theorists, they may be starting a push to dump Rally GB since the cars get too dirty for the sponsor logos to be seen ;-). My guess is that it has nothing to do with the safety (or perceived safety) of the speed limits and everything to do with posturing for a better deal somewhere.

Adrian
 

·
don't cut
Joined
·
2,252 Posts
While there is no excuse for speeding or breaking laws, local law enforcement can get a little over zealous at times. I had a cop in Atlanta follow my truck and trailer after snodrift for 5 MILES before he finally found something he could pull me over for (no license plate on the trailer). He then proceeded to write me a big ticket and threaten to impound the car/trailer. It was quite obvious he was out for revenue enhancement and to harass some of us "rich out of town rally guys". It seems the FIA is trying to nip stuff like this in the bud. 'Ok, you caught some guys doing naughty things, but any more of this witch hunt stuff and we'll take our ball and play somewhere else.'

I know that in at least one US rally town the local leaders have told the cops that as long as we stay out of trouble, that they are to leave us the heck alone. Our impact on the community is just to valuable. That being said, we have a responsibility on our part to not abuse this privilage and be good neighbors.

Dennis Martin
[email protected]
920-432-4845
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,383 Posts
We had our own version here, remember the Tow Job at Rim?


It should be noted that something like 2000 spectators were nabbed by the camera too, so they were quite possibly the real target of the "Tickets for safety"
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
113 Posts
When caught by a speed camera, you don't know until sometime afterwards that you have commited an offense. I got one recently in NZ and wasn't aware until 10 days later when a notice arrived in the post. It is therefore, what every New Zealander knows, a revenue gathering exercise. If, the authorities want to bring the speed down, you have cops with radar guns on the side of the road catching you and telling you on the spot you are speeding and letting you know there are more speed traps around. THAT stops drivers speeding.

The rally was over before most of these competitors were aware of offenses. If there had been an accident what was the authorities response going to be???? "Well, we had unmanned speed cameras around, we'll make thousands out of it which will be a great consolation to the poor sod they're burying today"!!!!!!

By the way, my speeding was a whopping 6mph over the limit!!!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
789 Posts
It would appear that a lot of this is cultural...or British Empire vs. the rest of the world.

Let's see...weren't there some speeding tix and fines in New Zealand this past year; Mr. Makinen being taken down?

Also, the Rally Australia, despite being well liked by competitors, is a bit over-officious at times.

Food for thought?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,275 Posts
Here's a thread from nasioc with a post by someone who was there, John Felstead.

http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=451860

Rally GB stages in Wales are generally off the M4, they direct the spectators up one arterial road and the rally cars in and out on another. That said, there can be some huge backups at the interchange at the motorway at either point.

Speed cameras are EVERYWHERE in the UK.

I think the organizers need to step up and set longer transit times (between the stages and service) to allow for traffic delays.

Glenn
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
113 Posts
On the NZ round the cops travel with rally liaison people and the fines are instant unless caught by non-rally involved cops as in Tommi's case although he was issued with a ticket during the event, it wasn't paid so went thru the court system.

Just saw a report in local papers today about a report the RAC has put out in the UK claiming how the decision to police with cameras and taking cops off the road is adding to the dangers on the roads. In 2002 there were half the number of tickets issued for traffic infringements by cops than in 1996 yet revenue was up. Consequently, there are more unsafe vehicles, drunk drivers, unsafe loads etc. on the roads
 

·
R6 300 FOC!
Joined
·
1,513 Posts
Perfect example of the Welsh police being anal and uncooperative with the rally... Gronholm being pulled over because his car was in a state of 'disrepair' and not being allowed to continue. If the cop wasn't so hell bent on following the letter of the law, and had the best interests of the public (ie. the community)...he would have turned his sirens on and escorted Gronholm back to service. Safe and win-win for everyone.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
151 Posts
>
>Speed cameras are EVERYWHERE in the UK.
>

Oh the irony of this story....

The speed cameras in the UK were developed by Maurice Gatsonides, a former rallyist.

Hence, the nickname for these cameras... "Gatso"

:eek: :p
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
366 Posts
My understanding from the press release I saw said the infractions took place during recce.

It has been a long time practice, since the 60's, to go after top competitors from other countries. There are case of factory drivers being detained and ticketed based on reports of such and such type car and color speeding-the report being of the car color the driver drove in the previuos year.

It has also been that in the past, people would stand and watch transits-the rally cars would go at top speed over-steering onto the connector ramps of the public roadways. Not much difference then the special stage.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
183 Posts
I just got back from Rally GB, and I have a few thoughts on this:

1. In the 5 years since I last drove in the UK, cameras have become RAMPANT.

2. People ARE driving slower over there.

3. On my radio scanner you could hear how teams were sharing information to let drivers know of upcoming speed traps.

4. The roads in general are rather good in that part of Wales and rarely seemed to necessitate extra enforcement.

5. Traffic between stages was actually quite good, and there seemed to be no reason for drivers to speed this year. However, last year's traffic flow was apparently much worse. Our biggest problem was being blocked in at Resolfen by idiotic parking, leaving us a scant 36 minutes to get to Rheola. Amazingly, without going silly speeds, we arrived on the stage about 30 seconds before Loeb went by.
 
1 - 19 of 19 Posts
Top