Update: Code of Practice – Fuel
MotorSport New Zealand would like to issue an update on the recent changes to the Code of Practice Fuel, commonly referred to as “Refuelling Regs” or “Fuel Regs”.
We first want to acknowledge that there are some misunderstandings around the updates to the document and subsequent regulations. We have also received a tremendous amount of feedback and as such will be reviewing these.
These guidelines were first issued in 2006 and have been updated periodically since. The purpose of this Code was to provide a framework to help ensure safe fuel handling practices following a serious fire at an event.
Fuel is an incredibly dangerous substance and can cause serious injury or worse even without being ignited. The most recent update to the Code was instigated following a rise in the number of unsafe and unacceptable fueling practices seen at some events. Whilst most people were safely handling fuel, the number of occasions where people have been seen refuelling dangerously could not go unaddressed.
Our officials have witnessed refuelling while another crew member welded parts of the car, neighbouring competitors were grinding with sparks heading towards the open fuel tank, refuelling cars whilst on stands at unsafe angles on the sides of busy main roads, the list goes on.
The Code was clearly not being followed by all, despite repeated requests and attempts by officials to engage and educate competitors and crews over a long period of time. It was clear it needed to become enforceable in order to be effective.
WHAT HAPPENS NOW:
MotorSport New Zealand, in consultation with our Advisory Commissions, will now review the Code of Practice taking into account the feedback we have received from competitors, crews and organisers.
Once this review is complete, an updated version of the Code will be released along with an enforcement date for any new regulations.
Until such time, the current regulations in the Code are highly recommended, and officials will be advised to take the approach to educate competitors on safe fueling handling practices.