The board of the Ontario Racing Commission has announced that it has approved revisions and new rules directing all Standardbred racetracks to upgrade their emergency warning light systems to now include a siren.
According to a release by the ORC, the changes/upgrades must be implemented by January 1, 2015.
The ORC has explained that the rule change was a recommendation following an investigation and report by the ORC’s Equine Accident Specialist into an incident which occurred at Flamboro Downs. The ORC held a meeting to review enhanced race protocols with a number of racetrack operators, drivers, veterinarians and horsepeople, as well as a number of ORC judges and investigators.
The recommendations discussed ways to stop the race when, in the opinion of the judges, the situation warranted such action.
The new and revised rules will provide the judges with the authority and ability to turn on warning lights when they view a situation that could negatively affect the health and safety of the participants. The lights indicate to drivers that they should proceed with caution.
Under the new and revised rules, when a more serious emergency situation occurs, the judges will have the authority and ability to stop the race and communicate this to the Drivers through the use of both the warning lights and the siren.
The ORC has announced that racetracks will have until January 1, 2015, to install an enhanced emergency warning system, approved by the ORC. Failure to comply may result in fines or suspensions or both.
To view the ORC’s notice on the issue, click here.
To view the ORC’s Standardbred Directive #3 – 2014, which includes new rules and revised rules, click here.