THE DAKAR IS COMMITTED TO SAFETY
Keeping all competitors, members of the public and accreditation holders safe is the main concern of the organisers. Extreme sports adventures involve risks, and the Dakar is no exception. The organisers spare no expense to mitigate these risks. All safety processes are reviewed and optimised every year.
The race and assistance route in the road book is the only course that is opened and validated by the opening team. The Iritrack system tells the Race CP where each vehicle is located at all times and enables it to contact the vehicle via satellite phone. If the vehicle stops suddenly or finds itself in an unusual position, the Iritrack system immediately sends an alert to the Race CP, which tries to contact the competitor. If the competitor fails to answer, emergency services are dispatched.
The Operational Coordination Post, the rally's control tower:
- 35 people mobilised 24/7.
- All of the information is centralised at the OCP (Iritrack, beacons, radio communication, etc.).
- The on-site OCP has a twin PC in Paris.
- Safety sessions and drills are organised before the start of the rally together with the Peruvian authorities.
State-of-the-art medical services:
- A 60-strong medical team;
- Helicopters and vehicles on the course —including vehicles equipped for medical treatment— on duty;
- A field hospital equipped with cutting-edge emergency healthcare material;
- Helicopter transportation to the nearest hospitals can be carried out in a very short time.
All vehicle drivers (whether they participate in the race or not) who hold an accreditation for the Dakar are required to sign a charter of good behaviour before the start of the rally. Respecting the traffic rules in force in each country is mandatory. Speed checks are run in real time using data collected by GPS devices, and violations will give rise to penalties. Police forces will also set up speed checks.
9,000 police officers and soldiers will ensure the safety of the crowds and the rally. The Dakar has been an enormous success in South America (4 million spectators in 2018). National security forces set up protected and supervised spectator areas to guarantee spectator safety. About 30 secure spectator areas will be set up for the 2019 edition. The location of spectator areas is revealed three days before the relevant stage, both on the rally's official website and on social media.
A mass prevention campaign (written press, radio, TV, billboards, etc.) is launched long before the race to inform the public of the behaviour expected from them.
The race has struck a partnership with the Peruvian Automobile Club (ACP). ACP will spread safety tips through its communication channels, as well as bringing an educational bus to the Feria Dakar with a circuit to teach children the basics of road safety.