Authorisation Permits

You may be new to organising Autosport events, or you may be a very experienced person who has run many events and wondering why do I need to have my event authorised?

  • Authorisation Permits provide Event Safety Plans, Risk Assessment and approved Industry Standards and Procedures to the event taking place.
  • Authorisation Permits provide documented lawful authority to ride or drive in sport or recreation that may be seen by the average person as dangerous, careless or inconsiderate driving or riding by the average person.
  • Authorisation Permits can provide the person in charge of an event with a defence against prosecution.
  • Authorisation Permits can provide a participant with a defence if they should cause injury or death as a result of taking part in an event.
  • Authorisation can help to absolve all those involved of charges, in particular under Sections 1, 2 and 3 of the Road Traffic Act, as well as other sections.

But my event is on private land so why would I need to be authorised?

You may be convinced and even told that on private land you can do what you want. Past Court precedence has shown that the moment a member of the public (that is not a member of your family) is on that land it is then a public place and all the rules of the Road Traffic Act apply unless the event is authorised under Section 13A of the Road Traffic Act.

More information can be found in our Guide to Authorisation or by reading the government legislation below. You can of course contact the IOPD if you have any specific questions for your organisations.

The Motor Vehicles (Off Road Events) Regulations 1995

Disapplication of sections 1 to 3 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 for authorised motoring events

If your Organisation is accepted by the IOPD, the cost of a full year permit cover for all your events, at any number of listed venues is only £580. Please note there is no Insurance Cover of any kind included in this cost but the IOPD is happy to suggest a variety of insurers who could cover your type of activity.

Background to how the Off Highway Event Regulations came about:
Prior to 1988 Chief Police Officers’ requested to have wider powers to cover off-road situations (i.e. not on the highway) where riders and drivers were considered to be acting dangerously and irresponsibly. So in 1988 the Road Traffic Act was changed to include all public places as well as roads. This in effect outlawed the majority of auto sport activities.

In 1991, 27 organising groups applied to the Secretary of State to be made ‘Authorising’ or ‘Governing Bodies’ to provide dispensation and therefore the legitimatisation of auto related events. Under Statutory Instrument No 1370 eleven were accepted. These eleven were able to inspect, approve and sanction off-highway venues and events. Then issue an Authorising Permit exempting all involved from prosecution for the most serious motoring offences, under Section 13A or the 1991 RTA.

These eleven organisations or Authorising Governing Bodies are today still the only official organisations that can by law issue Permits of Authorisation. The IOPD was identified by the DoT (as it was then) as the best experts to represent the commercial sector and to introduce motor sports risk management systems to all forms of auto leisure activities. So the IOPD is the representative and Governing Body for stunt riding and driving, drag racing, power shows, speed events and to oversee commercial events like Driving and Riding Experiences as well as amateur activities.