THE LAW AND THE RACE CONVOY
BRITISH Cycling has called for a review of the legal status of the race convoy after a driver on the Lincoln Grand Prix was issued with a fixed penalty notice for crossing double white lines and driving on the wrong side of the road.
Although the Crown Prosecution Service dropped the case when they learned of the circumstances – the race was operating under police control – the affair rang alarm bells at British Cycling.
For the officer who issued the fixed penalty notice was acting in accordance with the law.
British Cycling has obtained legal advice to clarify the nature and effect of “rolling road closure orders”; more correctly called “Temporary Traffic Restriction Orders” (TRO).
It boils down to this. A TRO restricts the public’s right to access the course; it does not suspend road traffic laws in favour of the race convoy.
Any relaxation of road traffic law is at the discretion of the police on the race. The incident on the Lincoln GP was the first of its kind, which is testimony to the normally tolerant approach by the police in allowing free movement of the convoy.
What the Lincoln incident makes clear, says British Cycling, is for race officials to be absolutely clear what movements by the race convoy the police will and will not allow.
“All parties need to understand the ‘ground rules’ and stick with them,” says British Cycling.
They recommend race officials and police meet prior to the race to establish what is to be permitted.
“We advise all those involved in the race to attend the pre-race briefing, to carry out their duties in accordance with the instructions given by the police officers at that meeting, and as a matter of course, to obey the normal traffic regulations unless specifically authorised otherwise.
British Cycling’s full statement can be read on their website: www.britishcycling.org.uk