This is not a Race!!
(Never was, never will be)
DUE TO THE SIZE THAT THE RALLY HAS NOW GROWN TO, WE NEED TO BE VIGILANT WHEN IT COMES TO SAFETY ISSUES. As well as making the event safe, the rules endeavour to make it enjoyable. The main rules relate to amber light requirements, rear window numbers, and two way radios. All these safety items will be subject to scrutineering on the morning of Day One. If any of these items are not up to scratch you will be required to travel at the rear of the field for the entire event, or until the issue is rectified.
- UHF RADIO. All vehicles must carry a UHF radio capable of operating on Channel 20. It is preferable that the radio is hard wired to the vehicle. A hand held UHF radio is acceptable, although it will not have the range of an inbuilt unit. Try to get a 5 watt handheld if at all possible. If using a hand held radio you must have enough batteries to last the duration of the event, or a method of recharging the hand held unit while mobile. The radio must have a range of at least 100 metres. If the range is found to be less than 100 metres you will be required to travel at the rear of the field.
- DUST LIGHTS. All vehicles MUST BE fitted with the following dust lights.
- A revolving or flashing amber light that must be mounted to the roof of the vehicle and must be visible from behind the car, and preferably also visible from the front. The Amber revolving light must be a high intensity light that is capable of penetrating through dust. Many revolving LED lights do not project much light, and will fail scrutineering. A Halogen Globe is a much better solution than many LED globes. It is recommended that any globes be upgraded to 100w, and carry a spare globe with you.
- Flashing LEDs are acceptable as an alternative to rotating beacons. Once again these LEDs must be bright enough to cut through thick dust. We have tested several different LED lights (similar to the pictures below).
- A rear facing white light must also be fitted to the vehicle at boot level or above. The roof rack is the best place for these lights. These lights are only to be used on dirt roads, and must be capable of being turned on and off while the vehicle is in motion. These lights are readily available on eBay or at stores like Super Cheap Auto. 100 vehicles traveling together at normal road speed on dirt roads creates a lot of dust which makes it difficult to see other vehicles. It’s like thick fog or smoke, only brown. If you are stopped near a dirt road make sure you leave your safety lights on, as this is the most dangerous situation you will encounter. A sample White Light is below. This was purchased on Ebay for around $30. It is essential that you have the White Light as well as the Amber Light.
- VINYL NUMBERS. You must have 150mm High White Numbers for the rear window of your vehicle, similar to the photo below. The numbers must be affixed to your vehicle prior to departing the start line. The number indicates your vehicle number, and it is to be affixed to the upper right corner of the rear window. You are free to choose an appropriate number, and advise the event organiser of your choice. It makes it easier if your call sign is a number rather than a name. For example, trying to put “The Wollongong Bandit” in 150mm Vinyl number on your rear window is not really practical.
- DOOR STICKERS. Any door stickers from previous similar events must be removed from your vehicle, or covered over. All vehicles will be provided with 2 door stickers 600mm wide x 400mm tall. These should be attached to the front doors of your vehicle. You will need to provide your own Black 150mm high vinyl numbers to affix to these door stickers. These numbers are readily available from boating shops or for about $3.50 each on eBay Door stickers will be posted out about 4 weeks prior to the event, and spares will be available on the Thursday Evening or Friday Morning. Door Stickers will be optional for 4WDs but all 4WDs must display the vehicle number on the rear window. If you’re worried about the paintwork on your fancy 4WD you can stick the numbers on the side windows (provided it doesn’t restrict the driver’s vision). It is also preferable to have white 100mm numbers affixed to the top right of the front windscreen.
- TRIP METER. The route has been surveyed using an iPhone App called TripRoad. It only costs a couple of dollars. We’ve been using this App for about 5 years now, but any similar App will perform the same function. This uses the GPS capability of the phone to measure distances. It works regardless of whether you have telephone coverage. It is recommended that this App or similar is downloaded prior to the event. This method, along with the Odometer of the vehicle should make sure you don’t get lost. It is not necessary to have any expensive Terratrip (or similar) distance devices. A phone cradle to affix your phone to the windscreen is highly recommended, as well as a phone charger, as most Apps drain the phone battery quite quickly. Below are a couple of screen shots showing what the TripRoad App looks like. It works on iPhones and iPads. When searching the App Store type “TripRoad” as one word.
- RECOVERY GEAR. Every vehicle is to carry a snatch strap. It is the responsibility of the bogged vehicle to use their own snatch strap. Do not rely on a tow vehicle (4WD) to provide a snatch strap to retrieve your vehicle.
- WATER CROSSING. There may be water crossings on the event. There should be no problems for either 4wd or 2wd cars, unless there has been heavy recent rain. If the crossings are considered unsafe on the day, an alternate route will be used.
- SPARE TYRES. All vehicles MUST carry at least one useable spare tyre (inflated, on a rim, ready to go). A second spare tyre is advisable, but not compulsory. You must start each day with at least one working spare tyre. If you change a tyre you must check the wheel nuts at your next meal break.
- RADIO ETIQUETTE.
- Some people have never used a two way radio before, so don’t assume the confidence level of other teams.
- Never overtake another participating vehicle unless you have made radio contact and have been given the advice “Safe to Pass”.
- Warn following vehicles of any oncoming traffic (e.g. Oncoming vehicle at 163.4km).
- Warn following vehicles of any hazards not listed in the route instructions (e.g. Washaway at 145.6km).
- Channel 20 is a public radio channel, and is not to be used for inappropriate banter.
- ROAD RULES. All vehicles must be fully registered (or Historic Registration) and insured. All roads we use are designated public roads and all road rules must be adhered to. You may encounter oncoming traffic at any time. Just because you are on rural roads with a group of other vehicles in convoy does not exempt you from obeying all the road rules. In particular, you may be subjected to a roadside breath analysis at any time, and the driver must always be below the prescribed legal alcohol limit. Some vehicles will be carrying breath testers. Speeding will not be tolerated. Some areas will have school zones operating when we pass through, so please be careful. The Beyond Bitumen Rally enjoys a good public image, please don’t jeopardise that by doing something stupid. All participants are reminded that there is a code of conduct which must be adhered to.
- OVERTAKING. This event has a number of newbies, who are not familiar with normal outback convoy conditions. Please be aware of the potential speed differences between vehicles. Seasoned participants will probably be travelling considerably faster than newbies. When overtaking you must do so in a manner that minimises the risk of stone damage to the vehicle being passed. Give each other a wide berth and keep the speed differential between vehicles as low as is safely possible. Don’t be impatient. Remember, it’s not a race. Nobody wants a broken windscreen or smashed headlight, (or a punch in the nose at the next stop.)
- INTERFERENCE. Do not interfere with any other vehicle. Do not interfere with road signs or any other property (regardless of how funny you think it might be).
- MECHANICAL BREAKDOWNS. If you see a participant’s vehicle on the side of the road, stop to render assistance if required (even if it is just to lighten the load in their esky). Each day there will be a nominated sweep vehicle, and will flat tow any vehicle if required (as long as it is safe to do so). Other 4WDS may be asked to tow vehicles as well. At least one of the official vehicles will be carrying a solid drawbar for towing any vehicles fitted with a front tow ball.
- PHONE APP. Our Mobile Phone App will be the primary source of communication during the event. Everyone (Including Every Passenger) MUST download the App before the event, as it will include critical information during the event. Here’s a screenshot of what it looks like. To download the app just go to the app store (either Apple or Android) and search for Charity Car Events. The photo similar to the one below will pop up, so just download it to your phone or tablet, or both. When downloading the App, make sure you say “YES” to Allow Notifications. You will also need to sign on to the App with your email or Facebbok details. We will upload the App with all the latest info a couple of weeks before the event.
- ROUTE INSTRUCTIONS. All route instructions have been prepared as carefully as is reasonably possible. However, some errors and omissions may still exist. The basic rules of route instructions include:
- If no route instructions exist then travel straight on (do not turn).
- If you are confused, use your radio to ask others.
- If you find an error in the notes, advise the following vehicle.
- If you get hopelessly lost, find the nearest main road and head to the designated lunch or night time stop.
- PHOTOGRAPHS. Take plenty of photos to bore your friends with, or to upload to Facebook, or our App, other Social Media.
Peter Fehon Event Director – Beyond Bitumen Tour