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 :
From: Keith Howell [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: 22 March 2013 18:08
Subject: Car "rallies"
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?
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.
Competition Authorisation Office
For and on behalf of The Royal Automobile Club Motor Sports Association Limited
DDI 01753 765075
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MOTOR SPORTS HOUSE RIVERSIDE PARK COLNBROOK SL3 0HG ENGLAND
TEL: 01753 765000 FAX: 01753 682938
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REGISTERED OFFICE AS ABOVE. REGISTERED NUMBER 1344829 ENGLAND
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
SOME NOTES FOR GUIDANCE ON ORGANISING TREASURE-HUNTS
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?