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New UCI regulations for vehicle convoy aim to improve rider safety

Josh Cunningham
7 Feb 2017

38-page document details guidelines aiming to increase safety in the race vehicle convoy

The UCI has released a 38-page document, titled 'Guidelines for Vehicle Circulation in the Race Convoy,' which details the measures the governing body is taking in an attempt to increase the safety of a race convoy. 

The sport has been tragically blighted by serious and fatal vehicle-rider collisions in recent years, and as a result there has been an increasing number of calls for change from multiple arms of the sport.

In accordance, the published guidelines have the support of the Cyclistes Professionnels Associés (CPA), the Association Internationale des Groupes Cyclistes Professionnels (AIGCP) and the Association Internationale des Organisateurs de Courses Cyclistes (AIOCC), who represent the riders, teams and organisers respectively. 

The guide covers race preparation and race traffic, as well as motorbike, crash, and time trial protocols. The UCI claims that the guidelines put an increased emphasis on the vehicle drivers, and that as well as holding the official UCI driving license (issued by national federations), drivers must respect the new guidelines at all time.

"Good sense, concentration, respect and clear-headedness when making a decision - for example when considering overtaking; A considerate, prudent attitude rather than overconfidence."

Other points include the obligatory use of headlights by all vehicles and the use of indicators when changing lanes; No filming or photo-taking can be practiced from a moving vehicle; No sitting backwards on motorcycles; No vehicles to draw parallel with riders unless live broadcasting; There must be gap of at least 15 seconds before a vehicle (singular timing motorbike at first) is permitted to enter between groups of riders. 

Rules that apply to normal drivers outside of the environments of a race, such as no mobile phones and no television sets in the front seat, have unsurprisingly also been enforced in the guidlines. 

In 2016, the UCI established new stricter rules for anyone driving a vehicle in a race. Each driver, who must be in possession of a UCI licence issued by a National Federation, must not only respect the UCI Regulation but also, from now on, comply with the new guidance.

'Drivers are responsible for their driving,' the guide states. 'If they fail to observe the regulations, they face significant financial penalties as well as suspensions of their UCI Licence that allows them to drive in the race convoy. The sanctions related to driving in the race convoy are defined by Articles 2.2.038 and subsequent of the UCI Regulations; Anyone contravening the rules can be sent to the UCI Disciplinary Commission.'

'This Guide for vehicle circulation in a race is an important step forward which reflects the concrete efforts made by the UCI and all stakeholders to improve the safety of riders at competitions,' said UCI President Brian Cookson.

'I would like to acknowledge the constructive spirit shared by our Federation, the riders, teams, Commissaires and organisers during this in-depth work. We call on the drivers’ sense of responsibility to guarantee the safety of riders.

'This document backs up our Regulation, which was strengthened last year, and will serve as a reference for Commissaires and organisers as well as anyone working at a race. This Guide is proof of our determination to assume our responsibilities in the face of a capital issue: the security of our sport and our athletes,' Cookson added. 

The President of the AIGCP Iwan Spekenbrink said: 'The Guidelines for vehicle circulation in the race convoy is an easily accessible reference document that is useful for both experienced and less-experienced drivers. It is a much-appreciated initiative that is part of the growing professionalism of our sport over the last 10 years.'

The full guideline document can be viewed here.

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