Targa New­found­land re­leases com­pre­hen­sive safety over­view

The Southern Gazette - - SPORTS - Gazette File Photo

Event or­ga­niz­ers for Targa New­found­land have pub­lished a com­pre­hen­sive over­view of its safety plans, pro­cesses and pro­to­cols.

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’.

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.

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