ACA - Centerline Communique

From ACA website

Wed, 2010-06-16

To: All Racers

From: Head Motor Referee

Re: Centerline Enforcement

As I would expect, the motor marshals continue to have to warn or disqualify racers in road races for violations of the centerline rule. Just so that there is no question, all racers must stay to the right of the centerline. That means that, if your tires touch the paint, that is technically a violation. The motor marshals do not want to disqualify racers, but they are assigned the task of enforcing this rule, which is for the safety of all participants, as well as vehicular traffic. The motor marshals also understand the need to show consistency in the enforcement of the rule, so they have discussed and agreed upon general guidelines for the imposition of penalties when violations occur. The first criteria is the realization that riders may inadvertently be SLIGHTLY "pushed" out by a bunching pack or to avoid an incident and assuming that this did not create a dangerous situation, a warning is the accepted penalty, but it is still within the discretion of the motor referee to impose the "death penalty" or disquaification based upon the individual circumstances. Furthermore, when a rider intentionally or blatantly touches or crosses the centerline or uses it to his/her advantage (e.g. drafting or advancing position), this deserves an automatic "death penalty." It has also been agreed that where a rider has been given or deserves (road conditions and safety conditions may prevent the motor referee from actually notifying the violator) a warning, a second violation, no matter how minor, should result in the "death penalty." Thus, if you realize that you have been riding on the paint or have inadvertently gone across the centerline and not received a warning, you should consider moving to the curbside of the field, even if that means that you are no longer sheltered from the wind. That way, you cannot possibly commit a second violation. Just remember that, when the motor referee has decided to disqualify you, you will be advised what to do (e.g. "go home" or "you are done for today"), and you need to follow those instructions immediately.

Finally, it serves no purpose to argue with the motor referee when you are contacted, either with a warning or disqualification. Motor referees, riding at the back of the field and usually to the left side, have a good view of what is happening at any one time during the race. By trying to argue with the referee ("I was pushed out" or "It was not me") only creates a dangerous situation for the other racers because the contact lasts longer than it needs to be. You are free, after your race has concluded, to raise your concerns to the Chief Referee, but remember that he/she has delegated his/her authority to the motor referee, and it is extremely unlikely that the ruling will be changed. IF you consider a motor referee's behavior to be inappropriate (unprofessional or dangerous), it is appropriate to raise your concerns to the Chief Referee who will deal with your concerns accordingly.

Andrew Rosen

Head Motor Referee

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