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Motor Vehicles (Competitions & Trials) Regulations PDF Print E-mail

Organised Events on the Highway

A collection of GLASS members comments

I took the following from

http://www.ukmotorsport.com/racmsa/manual/guideline16.html

It's part of the MSA Motor Club Manual. The key word involved below is "competitive"!

As I read it there are no problems with non-competitive laning, however for example if you stopped off at a quarry site and did some competitive bits in the middle you might have a problem.

Glen Peckett    January 2003
All events which traverse the Public Highways whether in whole or in part are governed by the Motor Vehicles (Competitions & Trials) Regulations 1969 , as amended, copies of which are available from the Competitions Authorisation Section (CAS).  The legislation is administered for and on behalf of the Minister of Transport by the CAS Department of the MSA.  In order to provide effective liaison CAS has a network of Route Liaison Officer (RLO's) for each Police Authority who are there to help you plan your route and liaise with the Police and the Public.  The addresses of the RLO's may be found in the Red Officials Yearbook.

   The legislation applies to any event which is competitive whether the competitive part of your event is on the Public Highway or not.  Therefore any event from a club Treasure Hunt to an International Stage Rally must comply with the requirements.

   The legislation makes various provisions for different types of event, some will require formal application for authorisation to be made to CAS, other types of events may be automatically authorised if complying with the necessary requirements.

   1..  The legislation applies to any event which is competitive whether the competitive part of your event is on the Public Highway or not.  Therefore any event from a club Treasure Hunt to an International Stage Rally must comply with the requirements.

   2..   The legislation makes various provisions for different types of event, some will require formal application for authorisation to be made to CAS, other types of events may be automatically authorised if complying with the necessary requirements.

   3..   The basic criteria are as follows:

   4..   Your event has a fixed route which competitors are required or are likely to traverse but has no more than 12 competing vehicles.  Such events are authorised automatically under Regulation 5(a) of the legislation.  The requirements being that neither you nor your club organise another event for 12 vehicles within 8 days of one another.  If organising an event which complies with Regulation 5(a) you should contact the Police with your route and you must contact the RLO's as applicable and apply for the necessary Permit from CAS.  Events which typically run to this regulation are the Treasure Hunts and Navigational Rallies organised for no more than 12 vehicles.  However even these events often have more than 12 competing vehicles in which case see (b).

   5..   Your event has a fixed route which competitors are required or are likely to traverse and in which the number of competitors entered will exceed 12 vehicles.  Route by definition means the route of the event and therefore you may not argue that you have a number of routes each with no more than 12 vehicles.  Such events may have no more than 180 vehicles in respect of daylight events and 120 vehicles in respect of night events. Such events require formal authorisation by CAS, the procedure for which is as follows: an application shall be made to CAS no less than 2 months before the event and no more than 6 months, the application shall include a completed form E.404 (Application for Authorisation) and two copies of the route on tracing paper to the scale of the Ordnance Survey 1:50,000 Landranger series of maps, the route tracings shall include the location of the start and finish and all controls or places where the competitors are required to stop or leave the Public Highway and the time of the first competitor.  You must also contact the respective RLO's as applicable at least 3 months before the event and he/she will advise you of any additional requirements applicable to the area for which he/she is responsible.

   6..   Your event has no route, and no merit or award for the lowest mileage, and in respect of that part of the event which uses the Public Highway, there are no performance tests, and competitors are not required to visit the same places, except that they may be required to finish at the same place by a specified time.  Events which typically comply are Navigational Scatters and such an event qualifies for automatic authorisation under regulation 5(b) of the legislation.

And some further comment from GLASS Rights of Way Practice Officer

You're right about the key word being "competitive" however I recall from my rallying days that the authorities seemed to have a much wider definition of "competitive" than the average man in the street

Provided that a days laning simply consists of a bunch of friends turning up at an agreed location and toddling off to drive whatever BOATs and UCRs they can find on the OS map, no problem (and I don't believe anybody has ever suggested that activities of this nature would fall foul of the 12 car rule anyway)

However, if, for example, a club organises a days laning with a start and a finish running over a pre-determined and supplied route then, even if there is no other element of competition, it is potentially going to be regarded as a navigational rally or trial by the authorities. There is, after all, no difference between this and a navigational rally as organised by many car clubs. The 12 car rule could be applied (whether rightly or wrongly - it would be up to the organisers to argue their case that it was a non-competitive event in court)

The key question is whether the authorities could find some grounds, however slight, to claim that there is an element of competition inherent in the event and it matters not whether any prizes or awards are made.

We used to go through all sorts of hoops over this business 20 odd years ago when I used to get involved in road rallying and it generally seemed to be the case that the authorities (police, LA etc.) equated "organised" with "competitive" and that it was always safest to seek authorisation for any event involving more than 12 vehicles whether or not there was any competition involved

BTW, despite the MSA manual, I'm still fairly sure that treasure hunts have some sort of exemption but I wouldn't want to bet my shirt on it!

The only time the 12 car rule could concern green laners is if a club is organising an outing comprising of several parties with a total of more than 12 vehicles. However, provided that no objectives are set (which means avoiding setting a finishing time for example), there shouldn't be a problem

Another area of possible problems would be where trials take place on two sites linked by public highways in which case the 12 car rule would definitely apply

Regards
Bruce Peckett    January 2003