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What you must know (if you didn't already) if you organise an event

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  • What you must know (if you didn't already) if you organise an event

    You may already be aware of the legislation surrounding the running of events on the Public Highways. I wasn't and as a result of doing a bit of research it is quite apparent that I will never organise a Treasure Hunt again that has more than 12 entrants. The following documents (or extracts) are what I found out.

    Firstly, The Competition Authorisation Office (CAO) of the Royal Automobile Club is the Authorising body for all motoring events held on the Public Highway in England and Wales, and operates the Motor Vehicles (Competitions and Trials) Regulations 1969 on behalf of the Department of Transport. A guide to this legislation is set out on sheet MVCTR and copies of the legislation are obtainable from the CAO Dept. (01753 765075).

    Having established that there was legislation but a get out for me in running the annual Chiltern Challenge Treasure Hunt is to restrict the event to the first 12 takers. It set me to thinking as how we stood in relation to the "runs" we put on on the various weekends throughout the year

    lI sent the Competition Authorisation Office (CAO) an email and it, along with the response, follows :


    -----Original Message-----
    From: Keith Howell [mailto:[email protected]]
    Sent: 22 March 2013 18:08
    To: CAO
    Subject: Car "rallies"

    Dear Sirs,

    Our car club holds regional and national camping weekends and more often than not, especially if the weather is nice, we will all go off following a leader who has planned a route around what is usually a scenic route that ends up back at camp.

    There is no competitive component to the run. It is simply anything from
    10 cars to 30 cars effectively in a convoy, sometimes broken into groups so that other road users can get by if they wish to.

    Is there any legislation that we should be following concerning such weekend runs?

    Best regards

    Keith Howell


    Hello Keith,

    As your event has absolutely no competition and is more of a Touring Assembly, you do not require Route Authorisation. All we would suggest is that the organisers and participants check their insurance policies to ensure that they are adequately covered.

    Kind Regards

    David Powell
    Competition Authorisation Office
    For and on behalf of The Royal Automobile Club Motor Sports Association Limited
    DDI 01753 765075

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    Public Highway Events

    All motoring competitions held on the public highway, including motorcycle events, are governed by the Motor Vehicles (Competitions and Trials) Regulations 1969. Under this legislation the Competitions Authorisation Office of the Royal Automobile Club, as the central agency for England and Wales acts for and on behalf of the Minister responsible for Transport. Scotland is handled in a similar fashion, albeit with a different system of processing, by the Royal Scottish Automobile Club.

    Although certain events are automatically authorised under the legislation, in particular events involving no more than twelve competing vehicles, or those with no set route or timing on the public highway, all organisers should ensure that they are acquainted with the terms of the legislation prior to running any event for cars or motorcycles on the public highway. Copies are available from the MSA. The official title of the document for England and Wales is Statutory Instruments 1969 No. 414 Road Traffic (price £10.00).

    The organiser of any event which requires Authorisation under the legislation must make an application to the relevant office between two and six months before the planned date of the event, on an official application form (Form E404) which must be accompanied by duplicate tracings, taken from the current 1:50,000 scale O.S. maps in the case of England and Wales, showing the public highway route and detailing the control points and time schedule planned for the event. The minimum period of two months has to be rigorously enforced .

    On receipt, applications are checked for compliance with the legislation and also with a rationing system which is designed to limit the number of events using a particular section of road in a given period. A certain level of public relations work is required as a condition of the Authorisation being issued, this being designed to limit the impact of events on local residents.

    The controlling agency send the details of acceptable events to the Police Forces and National Parks involved with the route and will require action to be taken by organisers in response to any observations they may make about the event.

    Organisers are also required to contact local representatives, the Route Liaison Officers, and gain their approval for the planned event. Before the granting of the actual Authorisation (Form E406) a fee will be required, as the departments are designed to be self-financing rather than a drain on central Government finances. Events are Authorised for a fixed maximum number of starters, using a quoted mileage of previously advised route on the public highway.

    When the Royal Automobile Club was appointed as the Central Controlling Agency for the system of statutory control, it was understood that they would be acting for this purpose as the Minister’s agents and would necessarily be required to deal on a non-discriminatory basis with applications, whether from recognised clubs, clubs not recognised or individuals. Any additional controls which for their own purposes they might wish to exercise in regard to their clubs would evidently have to be kept separate from the statutory control system operated on the Minister’s behalf.

    The General Regulations of the MSA are not taken into account by the CAO, therefore the fact that CAO Authorisation has been issued for an event does not necessarily mean that the event complies with MSA General Regulations.

    For application forms, details of fees and any further information the following offices should be contacted.
    For England and Wales The Royal Automobile Club , Motor Sports House, Colnbrook SL3 0HG, Tel: 01753 765000 Fax: 01753 682938
    For Scotland RSAC Motorsport Ltd, Competition Authorisation Office PO Box 3333, Glasgow G20 2AX, Tel: 0141 946 5045 Fax: 0141 946 5045


    The Royal Automobile Club Competition Authorisation Office
    The Competition Authorisation Office (CAO) of the Royal Automobile Club is the Authorising body for all motoring events held on the Public Highway in England and Wales, and operates the Motor Vehicles (Competitions and Trials) Regulations 1969 on behalf of the Department of Transport. A guide to this legislation is set out on sheet MVCTR and copies of the legislation are obtainable from the CAO Dept. (01753 765075).
    Treasure Hunts which have a set route on the Public Highway will need Authorisation through the CAO unless there are less than 13 competing vehicles. CAO Authorisation for a standard sized event in England will cost £2.75 per starter, and £2.00 per starter in Wales. Most events requiring Authorisation have between 30 and 35 miles. Cars competing on treasure hunts are generally required to average about 10 mph, so making the event about two hours in length.
    Running a "twelve-car" treasure hunt to avoid the need for formal Authorisation can often be just as much fun, with the added bonus for the organiser of not having so many sets of answers to make! However, be sure to check the legislation to ensure that you remain legal.
    Navigational Scatter Events are a form of event that are considered automatically authorised under Regulation 5(b) of the legislation, by virtue of the fact that they have no set route and there is no competition on the Public Highway. It is important that they are run to the following conditions;
    * Places to be visited must be detailed to the competitors in the form of points on (say a map reference) described in no fixed order (not the Standard Treasure Hunt format of one point leading to the next).
    * Competitors should be given a random choice of points to visit, and not be required to visit more than 75% of them. The point should be safely located and competitors be free to visit them in any order.
    * Competitors should be required to leave the car to reach the points (using maps for example). The car is only a form of transport to get close to the points.
    * No form of timing should be employed on the Public Highway sections, although a finish time may be specified providing it gives reasonably adequate time to visit the required number of points.
    These events are regularly run by local motor clubs, but may be of little interest to members of the general public running an event.
    The event could be thought of as orienteering without the strain. Advice should be sought from CAO before undertaking such a venture if you are unsure.
    The Royal Automobile Club Competition Authorisation Office, Motor Sports House, Riverside Park, Colnbrook, Slough, SL3 0HG Tel: 01753 765 000 Fax: 01753 682 938
    Points to remember when planning your event;
    * If you are applying for Authorisation through the CAO, you are required to sign a declaration to say that the event will comply with the standard conditions of the legislation with which you should be familiar before you start, (conditions 5,6,8,10,14,16 and 17 particularly concern just treasure-hunt organisers). (The rest of the document is recomendations as to how to run the event)

    Cameron, can you make this a Sticky please and also, perhaps repeat the whole thing in General Discussion. If we don't already have a copy can I suggest we obtain copies of the Motor Vehicles (Competitions and Trials) Regulations 1969 and the Statutory Instruments 1969 No. 414 Road Traffic (price £10.00) to be kept by the Club Secretary and loaned out to whoever has an interest ( and can I be first in the queue please). I know the Club holds third party insurance but does that insurance cover any member who is organising an event?

  • #2
    Re: What you must know (if you didn't already) if you organise an event

    I am not involved directly with the organisation of events on the road but road running has gone through a similar legal transition.

    Permits / licences are required and these are given out by governing bodies. On the day the referee is a powerful official with much responsibility upon his/her shoulders. Consequently referees have to be suitable qualified.

    I have, though, been instrumental in the staging of a large national event with 1000's of spectator cars. The legality and logistics surrounding the route planning was immense and involved the Police form the beginning. It is they, through their 'Event Planning Officer' who know which other events are planned in the area and the roads being used; also the timing of planned road works and where diversions may have to be set in the case of accidents not related to the event in question!

    Learning more about:
    June '73 Marina based Mk2 Roadster
    1800 TC; 4 speed gearbox; 4.55:1 differential with 4.5pcd (the rare one!)

    Another interest
    And another - 'Tractor Doctors' skittle team


    • #3
      Re: What you must know (if you didn't already) if you organise an event

      Following the response about the police's attitude to event taking place that use the public highway I organise a running race that never has more than 25 runners using any section of the road, although the majority of the route uses foot paths. This is the response I got from dorset police.

      Dear Mr Cussen


      I refer to your letter dated 2 December 2012 concerning the above subject.

      It is a national policy of the Association of Chief Police Officers to discourage events taking place on public roads and footpaths where participants are likely to be in conflict with other vehicular traffic, due to present day traffic conditions and tragedies which have occurred in the past.

      Although the police do not have the authority to refuse permission for this type of event, it is our duty to prevent accidents and, therefore, we cannot condone events where people are placed in unnecessary danger.

      Should you decide to continue with the proposed event, you as the organiser are fully responsible for carrying out appropriate risk assessments and mitigation measures. Should any incident occur, you may wish to consider potential liability in relation to the potential for consequential civil litigation. In the event of a collision occurring which resulted in a death or serious injury to any person, an investigation may be launched and involve a detailed review of your risk assessments, planning, safety and organisation of the event. In any subsequent inquiry or Court hearing, the content of this letter will need to be disclosed.

      I note that you have carried out a ”Hazard Analysis” and the provisions, especially in regard to crossing the two main A roads, would appear to significantly reduce the danger involved. I would, however, expect to see contingencies for dealing with adverse weather conditions on all sections of the race that occur on a road (the A37 for example, is prone to reduced visibility due to thick fog).

      The Traffic Management Act 2004 places a statutory responsibility upon local authorities concerning the roads. They must effectively manage the road network for which they have responsibility to ensure the expeditious movement of traffic across that network and others to which it links. If you decide to progress with the event, the relevant local authority will be best placed to provide advice and guidance on the proposed route. It is strongly advised that you make contact with each of the local highway authorities on whose roads the event will run.

      If the event goes ahead, I would ask that you undertake an early and full consultation with the relevant authorities and possibly via a Safety Advisory Group, in order that wherever possible every effort is made to ensure the maximum safety for those taking part in this event. If the event includes any accompanying vehicle, this should be driven at such a speed that it causes no inconvenience to other road users and when parked should be completely off the highway.

      It may be that your event requires you to have insurance in respect of public liability, and I suggest that you seek advice on this matter.

      Yours faithfully

      Inspector M Wilcox
      Force Road Casualty Reduction Co-ordinator