FIA World Rally Championship

New live onboard cameras give FIA safety marshals power to stop stages quickly when crowd safety is compromised

1 Mins read
Credit: FIA

As of this year, FIA’s safety marshals have a new set of tools to help manage spectator safety along rally stages, if the crowd comes too close to the road or stands in dangerous places, the stage can be stopped immediately.

Until now the marshals have had to rely on the zero cars, which drive through the stages before the rally cars, to check that the crowd is at a proper distance and that the track is safe.

Previously problems occurred when the last safety car passed through the stage, ten minutes before the first rally car came through the stage. It is not uncommon for crowds to arrive late, to places where there are no guards or crowd marshals. Some fans have also been known to find places to hide when the safety cars pass and then return just before the cars arrive on the stage.

By using the cars’ onboard cameras directly in real-time, the safety marshals can immediately see what it looks like along the entire stage and will have the authority to stop the competition as soon as safety is compromised.

Credit: FIA

Thanks to the quality of the cameras and our zoom functions, we not only see that there are people in the road, we can also see who is there. And with the help of GPS tracking, we also see exactly where they are to send staff” Michèle Mounton said.

The new onboard system was tested in WRC last season during the events in Spain and Wales, and it has worked above expectations.

“This is the best and most important thing that has happened in terms of security for many years” Mounton added.

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