The family of the late Jimmy Girvan have today issued a statement following the decision by the Procurator Fiscal not to hold a Fatal Accident Inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the accident which claimed the life of the former Rally Champion in a rally accident in September 2010.
“The family is extremely disappointed with this decision," said the Statement. "Despite the decision of the Procurator Fiscal not to hold an inquiry on this occasion, the family feel strongly that measures require to be taken to minimise the chances of this type of accident occurring in the future and thereby help prevent any other family having to go through the trauma and grief that they have had to endure.”
“The family consider that the sport’s governing body, the Motor Sports Association (MSA), should oversee the introduction of compulsory training for co-drivers / navigators alongside a subsequent competency test to be carried out before they enter into any rally competition within the United Kingdom.”
“Furthermore, the family would like the MSA to introduce a regulation which requires the wearing of a Hans Device (a head and neck support) to be made compulsory for drivers and navigators participating on all special stage rallies, in line with the current requirements for international rallies where it is mandatory for such devices to be worn.”
“The family look forward to hearing from the MSA in that regard and in the meantime respectfully seek privacy to move on with their lives as best they can in the circumstances.”
Jimmy was held in high esteem by the Scottish rallying fraternity in general and Highland Car Club in particular who just happen to be organising the Snowman Rally this weekend. This court decision and the family’s response will doubtless be the topic of much debate and discussion this weekend as Scottish rallying gathers in Inverness.
Although there are still a few detractors, there is strong support for the sport-wide adoption of the Hans device, especially from those who have used it, but the issue of co-driver/navigator training will be more contentious and require more serious debate.
If such training is to be required in the future, what will be required and who will administer it? And if co-drivers need to be trained, what about drivers? Will they need an additional test beyond the standard Driving Test? Will the current BARS test suffice or should it be changed, and how will that affect enthusiastic 14 year olds who are desperate to get into rallying?
Two small questions perhaps, but potentially big consequences for the sport.
It's all very well for those of us who are personally involved to shrug off the dangers, but when things go wrong it is family and friends who have to pick up the pieces.