Event organizers for Targa Newfoundland have published a comprehensive overview of its safety plans, processes and protocols.
© Gazette File Photo
Targa Newfoundland competitors cross Canning Bridge in Marystown during the 2011 event. Marystown Town Council cited safety concerns as a reason for the decision to discontinue the road rally in the community this year.
The new document is being sent to the more than 70 communities touched by the annual motorsport festival, distributed to event competitors, officials and volunteers, and posted on the event’s website.
Targa Newfoundland organizer Robert Giannou admitted the overview is a response to recent concerns expressed in a few of the communities on the route.
Town councils in both Marystown and Burin have decided to discontinue the event this year with safety issues cited as among the reasons.
In the introduction to the overview, Giannou writes, “This document is arguably overdue. We recognize that it is not enough to have sophisticated safety plans; we have to tell people about them. The people of the communities touched by Targa Newfoundland have a right to know what efforts are made to ensure their safety.”
Sections of the document lead readers through the history of the development of the event safety planning process. Other areas deal with the original plans that came from the successful Targa Tasmania event in Australia. It concludes with Targa Newfoundland's 12-year safety record.
Giannou further notes, “Some criticism is well-meaning but lacks the facts that illuminate any discussion about Targa Newfoundland. Hopefully this document will remedy that. But some criticism is based on speculation, ignorance and political wrangling – criticism that is both unfair and unfounded.
“We know the extraordinary efforts we go to in our safety preparations but we sometimes forget that people outside the organization can’t see that. We hope this document helps readers understand the elaborate measures we take and investment we make to build on Targa Newfoundland’s tremendous safety record.”
The document, entitled ‘Safety is EVERYTHING!’, can be found online at ‘www.targanewfoundland.com’ under the heading and subcategory ‘Safety’.