Police and Finnish Safety and Chemicals Agency (Tukes) concerned for safety of street race events
The Police and the Finnish Safety and Chemicals Agency Tukes express their concern for the safety of young people’s street race events and moped meets. Such events require an advance permit, and the organiser always needs to notify the Police and have sufficient safety arrangements in place. Taking care of the participants’ and the outsiders’ safety is paramount.
During the current year, the Police and Tukes have become aware of some cruising and street race events as well as moped meets, associated with dangerous behaviours. A common feature of the events is that they have been organised in public traffic areas, in other words on roads where the Road Traffic Act applies.
They have also been characterised by a spontaneous arrangements or with lack of any clear organisation, with no concern about the safety and legality of the events.
All events on public roads must be safe
Various street races and moped meets are public events referred to in the Assembly Act, and the Police of the locality of the event must be notified of them. This is particularly important for events organised on roads which call for separate safety measures and traffic arrangements.
Even more important than the official notifications and other formalities, it is vital to organise the event with due attention to the participants’ and outsiders’ safety, and – above all – to the legality of the event.
According to the Police and Tukes knowledge, there have been downright life-threatening close call situations in the street race events and moped meets. Such situations could have been avoided through more careful planning of the events, Chief Superintendent Heikki Kallio of the National Police Board points out.
- Slightest mistakes in steering and running off the intended track have caused injuries outside the official racing tracks and other safe places. The dangerous situations have mostly been associated by bravado and negligence for the personal and other people’s safety. In fact, the organiser’s responsibility and notifications made of the event play a role for safety reasons.
Organiser may face obligation to pay for damages
An event organised spontaneously but with shortcomings may cause the obligation to pay damages, or even penal consequences. At the mildest, the organiser of the event may face a penalty for violation of assembly rules while the participants can have fines or minor traffic violation penalties for breaking the Road Traffic Act.
- In the worst case scenario, the rest of the organiser’s and participants’ life will be shadowed by serious injuries and even cases of death. How would that make you feel if your friend is run over or someone is injured because of these actions?, Senior Inspector Kari Koponen of Tukes asks.
Organising a safe event starts with the due notification made to the Police department, accompanied with good planning. The Tukes site includes instructions and information which help to ensure safety in these activities, including a Guide for safety in drag and speed racing events.