FIA to comprehensively review rally spectator safety

The FIA is to launch a ground-up overhaul of spectator safety in the wake of recent hi-profile incidents involving injuries and deaths of fans.

Urged by drivers and teams alike, the review will place emphasis on educating both event organisers about the dangers of the sport and how best to avoid situations that could place spectators in harm’s way.

The review follows a major incident at Rally Argentina, where six fans were hospitalised, and an accident on the Estonian national rally last weekend, which left three spectators dead.

Speaking to Autosport magazine, FIA rally director, Jarmo Mahonen, commented: “What happened in Argentina was a result of people being placed where they should not have been placed. It does not help to say afterwards that the people were in a prohibited area – as an organiser, you have to ensure that the spectators do not go to these areas.”

“We need to work with the grassroots, we need to ensure the education of not just the spectators but also the marshals and organisers. Ninety per cent of the safety work for rallies is done before the event even begins – we saw this on the Rally of Portugal, where I believe that the greatest amount of credit belongs to the organisers’ pre-event campaigns telling the spectators how to behave. Education is the key to success.”

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