Jim Clark Rally deaths lead to new safety rules

IR20140601. 01/06/14,. Fatal accident at the Jim Clark Memorial Rally, Little Swinton near Coldstream, Scottish Borders. Police SOCO officers at the scene where a rally car taking part in the Jim Clark Rally struck spectators, causing deaths and casualties. Picture Ian Rutherford.'''�Ian Rutherford 'ianrutherfordphotography@gmail.com'www.ianrutherfordphotography.com'07710337520
IR20140601. 01/06/14,. Fatal accident at the Jim Clark Memorial Rally, Little Swinton near Coldstream, Scottish Borders. Police SOCO officers at the scene where a rally car taking part in the Jim Clark Rally struck spectators, causing deaths and casualties. Picture Ian Rutherford.'''�Ian Rutherford 'ianrutherfordphotography@gmail.com'www.ianrutherfordphotography.com'07710337520

A high-powered group looking at spectator safety after three people were killed at the Jim Clark Rally has published its first recommendations.

They include designated safety officers and a safety car at all multi-stage rallies.

Partners Iain Provan, 64, and Betty Allan, 63, from Barrhead, died alongside Len Stern, 71, from Bearsden, when a car lost control at Little Swinton in May. A 61-year-old man was seriously injured. Six people were hurt two hours earlier at Eccles.

Revealing the findings, sports secretary Shona Robertson admitted that motor sport could never be completely safe.

But she added: “These initial findings set out clear improvements that can help to prevent tragic accidents. The Scottish Government sees these changes as essential to allow rallies to continue to take place safely in Scotland.”

Berwickshire MSP John Lamont welcomed the findings and said he was pleased that the temptation to issue a knee jerk reaction had been resisted.

He said: “Clearly some steps can, and need to, be taken, to make spectating as safe as possible. However, I would urge caution against any draconian measures being imposed that would prevent the Jim Clark Rally and others taking place.”

Fellow MSP Jim Hume commented: “It is vitally important that communities in the Borders and visitors are able to enjoy the Jim Clark Rally safely. The tragic events of last year must never happen again.”