Video: This is what happens when you stand on the wrong side of the damn road

When spectators refuse to obey the instructions from the marshals or even listen to the good old common sense, we get angry at them and write angry posts. But when the people of the media, you know, guys who go through certain procedure to receive media credentials which in turn allows them to go where mere spectators cannot, commit the similar crime, then we are scratching our heads in disbelief. When you get your media papers you get to wield some powers, such as to snoop around the VIP areas in service parks or other similar zones which are, more or less, restricted to others. Out on the stages media credentials will let you stand in the zones again not accessible to others, but it depends on the marshall and event’s safety officials. The general idea is that you, as a member of the media, know a thing or two about the safety and about the nature of the event you’re following. You don’t put that thing around your neck so you look cool and “accredited”, you wear it as a sign of knowledge, experience and professionalism.

What happens when a member of the media decides to stand at the side of the road used as a special stage, but in a very very wrong spot. Fast section of the road, slippery dirt and the outside of the corner are BAD idea. The fact that it’s all happening in the woods, where you don’t have a clear route of escape without risk of tripping over something, makes it even worse. So what do you do? Well, nothing really, nothing but a mere step and a half jump, hoping that it will be enough to survive the impact.

Video attached here shows how poor judgement on behalf of media people or the spectators can ruin someone’s rally, not to mention health or lives. It happened on the Lake Superior Performance Rally, the final event of the 2013 Rally America series.

You are not faster than a car. You are not trained to overcome your reflexes and instincts. You are risking your life and the lives of others and for what. I don’t have time at the moment to go into 10 pages of why is it bad idea to stand where this guy was standing – if you understand, please share the knowledge with others when you’re out on the stages. If you don’t understand, just stay at home.

Make sure to watch the entire video, as the driver (Matt Brandenburg) give a very detailed description of what went through his mind when he saw someone rolling on the hood of his car. They (the crew) crashed soon after the incident, which is no surprise given the shock and the loss of focus. Yes the incident was caused by them making a mistake and going slightly (!) off the road, but that would not be a problem and they would recover from that without problem, maybe even continue at a slightly more relaxed pace. But when you make a mistake AND hit someone, well…

To Matt and his co-driver Tim Oliver, best of luck in future rallies. That was some fine driving and I especially loved the “shall we give it another go” after the crash. Never give up (unless the oil pressure is gone, of course).

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