Martyn Raybould

Martyn Raybould

Safety at Classic & Performance car meets

We read an interesting posting today, relating to a car meet with some element of performance ‘Rally’ style driving and spectatorship. It seems on this occasion the driver of the small sports hatchback miss-read the road or overextended their driving capabilities and crashed into the crowd and badly injured one 30 year old spectator.

Our thanks to John Woods Motorcare an SVA trade member, for sending us this item.

Car event accident

This evening, Sunday 5th September 2021 we have been dealing with a serious collision which occurred at the ‘MFN’ Car Meet which is near to Eastwood. The site and access roads sit on the border of Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire. Tonight’s crash occurred in the Derbyshire area. It’s actually the 5th serious crash (including 1 fatal) we’ve attended across Derbyshire in the last 24 hours.

Initial investigations, helped significantly by videos circulating on social media show that a red Toyota Yaris GR has left the carriageway and went towards spectators who were on a grassed area next to the road. In doing so it has then come in to conflict with the crowd (numbering many hundreds if not thousands) and one unfortunate pedestrian, a male in his early 30s has suffered serious injuries as he was crushed by the Yaris. He is in hospital and will survive. The driver has been located and is being dealt with.

What’s become clear this summer, is that car meets are regaining some considerable popularity. When managed properly and attended by genuine car enthusiasts, these events are fun, interesting and somewhere you may wish to spend a late afternoon and evening.

However, a small percentage of those attending these meets have no real interest in expanding their knowledge of motors or networking with other owners, instead choosing the “Send It” mentality. This entails obtaining a high performance vehicle and then conducting reckless dangerous driving performances in an effort to impress strangers standing nearby. These drivers are invariably unskilled, lacking any actual driving prowess, with a complete over reliance on the cars stability systems to compensate for their lack of ability. Unfortunately even with all the tech in their brand new on-finance hot hatch, they simply cannot defy the law of physics.

It’s disappointing to see and something we continue to develop plans to manage. Attending these events is not a free pass to drive dangerously. We intend to continue disrupting and prosecute those flouting road traffic laws.

The investigation in to this incident is ongoing but it may provide some food for thought as to whether these events are the right place for you, in particular your children or family – many were in attendance tonight.

And a reminder to the yobs who seek to put others in danger – it can and does go wrong. You risk your own safety and that of others. We are coming after you.

Anyone with video footage they took of this incident is invited to submit it to us by sending a DM to Derbyshire Constabulary. Incident number 896-050921 refers. We already have a copy of the video shown in the still image on this post.

SVA advice if you are attending a car event

Here are some tips if you are a driver, owner or enthusiast visiting a car related event:

  • Where possible Spectators & Familes should attend well organised events, such as Hagerty ‘Festival of the unexceptional’ or ‘British Car Show’, and other properly organised and advertised event. These will have event insurance in place, should the unthinkable happen.
  • Organisers should have in place a strict pre-event driver instruction meeting, advice sheet that all drivers within the event should be provided, read and sign to say they (The drivers) understand any restrictions and their ‘Duty of Care’ to other drivers and the public
  • Organisers shoud undertake a full ‘Risk Assessment’ to the event and make available to enthusiasts and other spectators, advice on where to view safely and risks to certain areas of any track. Where any such risk
  • Drivers should be aware of the limitations to the location, roads, track or other aspects they may encounter. Drivers taking part should also be assessed by the Organisers, for their skill level, driving experience and attitude. As an example, if a 19 year old, newly licenced driver attends such an event in a performance car, and registered to drive should they be? We would say NOT, or at the least, be impressed upon the cost of getting things wrong. Its not just the car and their own life they risk!
  • Spectators, especially families who may be attending an event, but not be ‘motorsport aware’ so to speak should be provided or be able to see advice on where to stand and view safely.. The hardest corner following the fastest straight is absolutely NOT a place for unfamiliar spectators to stand..

So, our advice to those attending car shows and events from whatever group they form part of, beware! Even the most organised F1 and Motorsport events can go wrong, make sure you are not in the line of fire because you didn’t think about your own ‘RISK ASSESSMENT’!

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