The National Traction Engine Trust



The Motor Vehicles (Off Road Events) Regulations 1995 is linked to Section 13A of the Road Traffic Acts and came into force on 15th June 1995.

Citation and commencement

1.      These Regulations may be cited as the Motor Vehicles (Off Road Events) Regulations 1995 and shall come into force on 15th June 1995


2.      The Motor Vehicles (Off Road Events) Regulations 1992[2]and the Motor Vehicles (Off Road Events) (Amendment) Regulations 1992[3]are hereby revoked.

Authorising Bodies

3.      The following bodies are authorising bodies for the purposes of these Regulations, namely:—

Amateur Motor Cycle Association Limited;

Association of Rover Clubs Limited;

Auto-Cycle Union;

British Schoolboy Motorcycle Association;

International Organisation of Professional Drivers Limited;

National Autograss Sport Association Limited;

NORA 92 Limited;

National Traction Engine Trust;

Royal Automobile Club;

Scottish Auto Cycle Union Limited; and

Youth Motorcycle Sport Association (YMSA) Limited. 

4.—(1) An authorising body may give an authorisation for a motoring event for the purposes of section 13A of the Road Traffic Act 1988 upon such conditions as it thinks fit.

(2) An authorisation for a motoring event given by an authorising body may be revoked by that body or by a person authorised by that body at any time before the event is held or while it is being held.

Notes to the Regulations

The revised (1995) Section 13A of the Road Traffic Act 1988 provides that a person shall not be guilty of an offence under sections 1, 2 or 3 of the 1988 Act by virtue of driving a vehicle in a public place other than a road if he shows that he was driving in accordance with an authorisation for a motoring event given under these Regulations.

The offences under sections 1, 2 and 3 of the 1988 Act are:

causing death by dangerous driving;

dangerous driving;

careless and inconsiderate driving

These Regulations prescribe bodies who can grant an authorisation for a motoring event and require a person applying for an authorisation to pay a fee specified by the body concerned (regulations 3 and 4). 

An Authorising body is required to affect rules and codes of conduct for the operation of Authorised Events and is further required to ensure, on a practical basis, that such the operation of the events is compliant with such rules and codes of conduct.

Additional Notes:

1. The ‘off road regulations’ must be read in conjunction with the 1988 Road traffic Acts

2. These regulations were introduced after an outcry from sporting organisations and representatives of other off-road event organisers after the Government had previously introduced ill thought out regulations aimed at preventing joy riding in car parks and other public places not being a ‘road’ as defined in the RTA.  This had the immediate effect of exposing participants in legitimate off road events to the consequences of offences ‘as if they had been committed on the public highway’.

3. At the draft stage of the ‘off-road regulations’ the NTET applied for and was subsequently granted Authorising Body status.  This is enshrined in the regulations and it is therefore incumbent on the NTET to undertake the function of Authorising Body.  The NTET could ask to be relieved of its status.  Such a process requires a motion to be laid before a Parliamentary committee.

4. The number of Authorising Bodies has reduced in recent years to 9 on a voluntary basis.

5. The regulations do not specify which Off-Road Events are covered by which Authorising Body.  An informal agreement prevails between the bodies not to Authorise events patently operating under the umbrella of another body.

6. There is a mandatory requirement for an Authorising body to ‘monitor’ its events, ‘in a practical manner’.

7. The organisers of an Authorised Event are required to notify a number of local bodies, including local government officers, of the intent to hold the event and to provide those bodies with details of the Authorisation Certificate.  In so doing the event is less likely to be submitted to close ‘on the day’ scrutiny by the advised bodies on the basis that the event is being operated to a formal and prescriptive Code of Conduct ‘monitored’ by the Authorising Body.

8. Charges for Authorisation vary considerably.  However, the NTET is amongst the least costly and its charges include for the production of Rally Lists which are distributed to all Regional Tourist Boards for display in local Tourist Information Centres.  The NTET’s charges also enable the NTET to provide subsidised Safety Training Seminars.

9. Apart from the obvious benefit of drivers of vehicles being immune from the three driving offences a major benefit should be therefore that authorised events, by working to a formal and prescriptive Code of Conduct, provide less risk to all of the participants; organisers, exhibitors, contactors, and members of the public.

15 Nov 2010