Each rider is ultimately responsible for his or her own safety during an MVW race, and each individual is responsible for following or disregarding the laws of road. Safety is promoted, in part, by maintaining an awareness of vehicles on the course, and to assist in this task the Club has course marshals positioned at key intersections of the race course. MVW course marshals are responsible for helping to insure rider safety by alerting riders to vehicular traffic present on the race course, and in doing this the following several guidelines are to be considered:
1. Course marshals are tasked to direct and alert riders; they do not have the legal authority to stop or direct traffic. However, if an unforeseen situation arises during a race and stopping or directing traffic would prevent an accident, then actively doing so should be given strong and immediate consideration.
2. Course marshals should wear brightly colored or reflectorized vests for visibility, and they should use a brightly colored flag to signal riders of vehicle traffic or roadway hazards. If a course marshal is ever in doubt about the safety of a traffic situation or a roadway condition, then always make the decision based on the safest course of action for the riders.
3. Course marshals should position themselves at the intersection in such a way as to be clearly and easily visible to approaching riders. However, course marshals are reminded to be fully cognizant of their own safety as well. That is, if standing in the middle of the road or intersection is a hazard to the course marshal, an alternative approach or position is suggested and encouraged.
4. Course marshals need to be diligent in their awareness of on-coming vehicle traffic at all times, but particularly so as the riders approach the intersection. Awareness of traffic includes surveying the intersection in all directions, not just the direction from which the riders are coming or in the direction to which the riders are turning. It is vital to look for vehicle traffic in all directions of the intersection!
5. Acting as a course marshal is not a passive task, nor is it accomplished from a seated position on the hood of a car. If the intersection is clear of traffic, then the flag is to be used to wave the riders through. If the intersection is not clear of traffic, then the flag should be used to signal the riders to slow or stop. In addition to using the flag, verbal directions or cautions are to be used. View Course Marshal Flag Signals
6. Should a course marshal drive their personal vehicle to the intersection, then it is vital that the car be parked completely off the road and in such a way as to maintain clear and unobstructed visibility of the intersection in all directions.
7. In the event a passing motorist should stop to express a complaint, opinion, comment or even a derisive remark, the course marshal should exercise the utmost cordiality in conversing with the driver. Any and all remarks made by the course marshal ultimately reflect on the Club as a whole, and each individual’s response or admonishment should be genuinely polite, earnestly tactful and sincerely apologetic for any of the riders’ discourteous actions, misuse of the roadways or infractions of the laws. The Club’s goal in dealing with upset motorists is, above all else, to prevent law enforcement from being notified. Whether the motorist’s complaint is legitimate or not, should law enforcement get involved, the Club will be on the losing end of the situation. Despite the our safety precautions, the remote locations of our venues and the use of course marshals, the roads on which we race are NOT closed, and we are obligated to adhere to all laws of the roads and extend to motorists the same respect and rights that we expect from them. Remember, considerate and diplomatic dealings with motorists will prevent law enforcement from being notified, and thus prevent the possibility of the race being shut down.