Thursday 18 February 2016

Rally - Moving on

It's now two years since the tragedy on  the Snowman and since then the sport of rallying has been under increased scrutiny by various authorities and politicians. Then we had the triple tragedy on the Jim Clark Rally, but due entirely to different circumstances. Nevertheless, the sport was tasked with re-appraising its organisation.

This season will be the first under the new rules instituted by the Motor Sports Safety Review Group regarding spectator and media attendance, rules with which we all must comply.

However there are some folk who are trying to highlight differences between the zealous attention of the Scottish Government to our sport and their apparent tolerance of the risks on the Scottish mountains. And as we all know, this has been a bad week for outdoor pursuits in Scotland.

Mountaineering is not a spectator sport so no parallels can truly be drawn. However, tragedies in the mountains can have a consequential effect, often requiring mountain rescue teams to go out in all weathers, and search, and carry out rescues, often at great personal risk.

Whilst rally followers and rescue crews do not face the same dangers the two sports do share one thing in common, third parties can inadvertently put themselves at risk and this can have a detrimental impact on how our sports are perceived.

Whether you regard that as fair or unfair depends on your own personal viewpoint, but as we go about our own sport this coming year it behoves us well to look, listen and be aware at all times.  It's one thing participants and competitors being injured in the pursuit of their passions, it's quite another when others are involved - for whatever reason.

It's a judgement we must make every day.  Is life for living - or existing?

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