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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
As some of you may have heard or have seen pics of what has happened to us and our car this past weekend at Black River Stages we decided to point out our concerns that led up to the incident. On SS6 on day 1 Friday night we ended up in the back of another competitors vehicle. They were blocking approximately half way off the road on the outside of the turn, there were no lights and no triangles displayed. We came around the corner and my initial comment was (OH SHIT!) Since it was right after a left turn (L4?) at the end of the downhill we were slightly sideways and my first instinct was not to hit them sideways and tried to go around them. We ended up center punching them in the back. Thankfully noone was hurt and we avoided a potentially serious incident with only car damage.
I started this topic to improve possible future situations and have absolutely no intent to turn it into NASA vs RA arguement. So, if that is what you are going to discuss please start your own topic. The issue is not the sanctioning body as both do require Novice Competitor Orientation. This was my third rally driving, my codrivers 2nd (We have worked and crewed several)and we have successfully completed our requirements. We are very aware of the rules, are not afraid to ask what we dont know or cant interpret. Every rally we were a competitor in we experienced something new. The other competitors we ran into it supposedly have had some experience 20-30 years ago but were new to the US scene.
What we would like to know is:
Are topics covered in NCO classes enough? Should there be more strict guidelines and possible certifications? (possible testing?) How can we make sure competitors follow safety protocol? What is done when they clearly dont? Has seeded entry list failed? Should they be liable for their behaviour?
After all, we are weekend racers that return to our families and daily jobs Monday morning. Now that I am recent a father, this event did kind of shake me up. It will not be an end to our racing eventhough we had intentions of competing at RNY and looks like the funds will be diverted to repair the car. I also do not want to turn this into a personal attack to the team we hit. I reserve my opinions about them.

Ozgur Simsek
Driver
Car #18 BRS 2008
 

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Ibumpedmyknee,icannotcont inue
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I didn't hear about this and I don't know who was involved but:

What was their side?
-Kept trying to get out
-You where kicking ass and cought them before they could digest what was going on?
-They didn't have triangles in the 70-80s?
-They didn't know better?
-it was cold outside?
-They didn't know the rules?


Not sure who it was but you said this was their first event in like 20 years? Did the organizers decide to skip orientation based on old experience? If thats the cause; then there should be a mandatory refesher of vets who hadn't competed in 5 years or more. After all; SCCA was running the show 5 years ago.
 

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L4 into trees
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Good topic Ozgur. And probably the appropriate way to handle the situation. Let's not make it into an attack or an argument but let's figure out what's in place to prevent safety issues, and what's in place to correct them if they are noticed. Not as a punitive thing, but just to make sure everyone is on the same page and correct situations before they get serious.
 

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My experience with RA events has been that triangles are emphasized as a MUST. My sole experience with NRS seemed about the same- I am sure I heard their use mentioned multiple times.

You can put information on procedures in front of anyone, but you'll never be sure they'll do it when they need to.

So, I don't see any pre-event action that would have helped, at this point, they should be penalized to the extent the rules allow for not using the specified procedure, and thats about it.

You also bring up an interesting point about seed- should they have been in front of you?
 

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codriveur
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Are topics covered in NCO classes enough?
Question is what is enough, and what time was allowed, Anders has put a lot of effort from what I understand into this and I would expect his NCO class is rather complete for what can be reviewed outside of the car.

Should there be more strict guidelines and possible certifications? (possible testing?)
For who? For what?


How can we make sure competitors follow safety protocol?
Rules and sanctions are made known to all and then what can you do? Maybe add a fine structure that must be satisfied before the next series event, but the stakes in our sport are so low and options are available that it would render fines useless.

What is done when they clearly dont?
Impose the rules and sanctions if applicable and don't back down. But also what is the other side of the story, how long where they there, could they get out...that needs to be known from their side.

Has seeded entry list failed?
I've bitched about so many start lists that I can't answer this question and be taken seriously.

Should they be liable for their behaviour?
No. Generally we accept our own liability, I am sure they did not maliciously wait to catch you in their trunk. That's rally. As the facts you have presented stand I'd still say no.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I would like to get a couple of things straight before we go ahead more;

These competitors also competed at RWV and were somewhat of a safety concern. They did not display triangles or OK signs earlier in the day when they were off 0.18miles into stage at right 4 ! narrow bridge
NCO class does cover a lot of topics but emphasizing more on safety (Not sure if you can even emphasize that more) on triangle situations and its seriousness, maybe? Or is the class not enough were you need to actually have formal exercises prior to event? (I am brainstorming here)
Should there more restrictions for new competitors or competitors like us who have limited experience? (running 2wd is not gonna make a difference when you rear end someone)
When i mentioned liability I really didnt mean my damage costs. I was more interested in the competitors rally future, possibility of not competing until something is done.

Again, I do not know what their situation was, and whether or not we were flying and caught them but my previous experience with them justify my reasoning. Since they didnt display triangles earlier and were more concerned about pushing the car out of the ditch I would say it is safe to say that they had no intention to come out and display triangles again.
 

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Dirt surfer
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Here we go again on a sore subject. Thank you for putting out ground rules to keep the thread on topic. Kudos to OP for not focusing on blame but trying to extract the best out of a bad situation.

My biggest question in this case would be, "how long was the crew in question parked sideways before you guys came on scene." There are a couple scenarios possible, and many more I'm sure.

Scenario #1--you were catching them on stage, so they'd just gone off when you arrived and weren't able to get warnings out yet. Not much to be done about this, given that you'd been restarted down the order behind a much slower car--except you could have requested to start ahead of them if you'd made up time on earlier stages. This is admittedly "coulda woulda shoulda" and I guess it's part of the learning curve.

On the other hand this scenario can happen even with highly experienced crews: I saw a video clip from Targa Nefoundland where a car spun off, was getting turned around and was almost immediately nearly creamed by one of the most seasoned drivers in North America who'd caught them up. So call it "that's rally" and be aware that as a driver you just have to be ready to dodge bad stuff at any time as best you can (and as best you did).

Scenario #2--they had been off for a while, and just hadn't put out triangles yet, or hadn't decided what to do, or who knows what they were thinking. Your only defense here is to remind yourself as a faster driver running at the back that this can (and likely will) happen, and keep an extra margin in hand for just such occurrences.

Scenario #3--If the crew in question has caused similar problems before, and there's no progress, only peer pressure from other crews (and a heart-to-heart talk with the orgs) can make a difference.

More rules regs and lectures arent' much help when a newbie crew stuffs it in front of you and they just can't/don't remember what to do. Maybe at novice seminars the teacher should whack each driver and codriver over the head with a triangle 3 times to be certain they get the message. ;)
 

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I am not here anymore
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Triangle procedure has often been mentioned at driver's meetings of events that I have run in. I think that this is something that everyone, not just new competitors, should be reminded of before the start of every event.

In general, I like NASA's emergency procedure rules better than the RA rules, however there are two specific areas that I think the RA rules are better. 1) The RA rule says that the first triangle should be in place within 30 seconds of when the car stops; there is no time frame suggested in the NRS rules. 2) In RA, there is a stated penalty for violating the emergency procedure rules ($100 fine). In NRS, there is no stated penalty, though I am sure that one of the listed penalties could apply.

Without hearing the other team's version of things, it sounds like the officials need to have a serious talk with the other team.

alan
 

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Cheddarwagen Pilot
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Since we're talking triangles, why do the rules let you remove the weight from the base?

Sure it may save a pound or two, but I've seen (and missed) more overturned triangles than I'd care to count. A triangle doesn't do much good if it's been thrown into the ditch by gravel spray.
 

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Sand in the base doesn't prevent them from being driven over.

Since we're required to have one nearby, I'd rather have it be one that weighs less if it goes projectile for some reason.


the most important thing that needs to happen in your case Oscar is that the organizers need to speak with this team, especially if there is some prior similar issue, or concerns thereof.

As a community, non-use of signaling devices is clearly not acceptable. The problem is relaying that information to those on the fringes and are "just participants".
 

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While on the topic of triangles. I was working a corner once and a car went off up the road, put out triangles, and we went to push the car out. Another car came along, went off the road, wiped out the triangles, got back on the road and kept going. The next cars to come around the corner were going way too fast because there were no triangles. Maybe there should be an addition to the rules that states if you destroy another competitor's triangles you have to stop and replace them? Of course sometimes people put triangles in places where they are likely to get hit....
 

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Faster Mabricator
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Canada does it better

Time penalties for a team who already DNFed are not enough!
Relying on fellow competitor peer pressure to abide by the safety procedures is not enough!

There need to be regional licensing stewards who mentor and discipline novice teams and revoke rally licenses when deemed necessary until a given # of events are completed w/o incident. Veteran competitors who goof could then be placed on probation as if they were novices w/ threat of loss of license. $ fines and reimbursing damages for not following safety procedures should be enforced on case by case basis.
 

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While on the topic of triangles. I was working a corner once and a car went off up the road, put out triangles, and we went to push the car out. Another car came along, went off the road, wiped out the triangles, got back on the road and kept going. The next cars to come around the corner were going way too fast because there were no triangles. Maybe there should be an addition to the rules that states if you destroy another competitor's triangles you have to stop and replace them? Of course sometimes people put triangles in places where they are likely to get hit....
One problem with this proposal is that a competitor may not know he took out the triangles.

At Rim '05, our rolled car (and the driver and I) were left in place on a turnaround stage. We set up all three triangles and sat back to watch the field come back through. The first car on the road was Pat Richard and he took out all three triangles. I collected the pieces and later took them to Pat's service area. He said that he never say the triangles (but he did see our car).

At Shitepoke '02, near the end of a 30 mile stage, after our second puncture ripped a hole in the bodywork and the car was filling with dust and the intercom had failed, we came around a blind 90 Left to see an upside-down car blocking much of the road. We took evasive action, avoiding hitting anything as we went through the shrubbery. However, in the process, we hit the triangles. Had no clue until we spoke with the crew of the upside-down car later.

alan
 

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Dirt surfer
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It's the stopped car's responsibility to put out triangles WHERE THEY CAN BE SEEN and in position on the road that tells oncoming cars where the stopped car is.

alan's story about "coming around a blind bend to find a car blocking the road" means the triangles weren't far enough up the road.

if car is on its roof in middle of the road behind a blind crest, for cripesakes put triangles far enough up the road to get ppl slowed down. put out 2 or 3 in middle of the road. wave. jump up and down. moon oncoming cars, whatever it takes to get their attention.

Put triangles out so they're a warning, not a surprise.
 

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alan's story about "coming around a blind bend to find a car blocking the road" means the triangles weren't far enough up the road.
In this particular case, there may have been a triangle before the bend, but there was so much going on inside our car that we easily could have missed it. The rolled car was far enough down the road after the bend that there was room for two triangles (the rolled car hit a stump on the exit and that launched the car down the road; I think we just missed the stump when we avoided the car).
 
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