(Published October 2023, replacing January 2014)
Members can take part in a wide range of motor sports and driving activities including taking part in the young driver scheme which allows under 17-year-olds to have driving lessons on private land.
Insurance and the law
The use of any motor vehicle on a public road must follow the Road Traffic Act and be appropriately insured. Insurance for motor vehicles owned by Scout Groups can be obtained from Unity (Scout Insurance Services).
Vehicles owned by Scout Groups, Districts, Counties or activity centres must ensure that appropriate Accidental Damage, Fire and Theft (ADFT) insurance is purchased to cover these vehicles, this is available from Unity (Scout Insurance Services).
Standard Scout insurance does not cover members for third party liability in motorised land vehicles. Members should contact Unity (Scout Insurance Services) before taking part in motorised land activities to see whether they need to take out third party liability insurance.
As is the case when using an external provider for any activity, if an external provider is used to deliver motor sport activity POR 9.6 outlines the minimum requirement for insurance cover,
What activities can we do?
The motorsport activity must be appropriate to the young people taking part, consideration should be made to their age, size, maturity and coordination skills. All safety equipment must fit the participants correctly.
Motorsports activities can include Go – Karts, quad bikes through to rally and racing experiences.
Guidance and POR for motorsports and driving activities is not restricted to combustion engine vehicles. Electric vehicles are increasingly used in these activities and guidance and POR equally applies to the use of these electric vehicles including electric Go – Karts, Electric ATV’s and Electric cars.
There are various regulations regarding quad bikes (all terrain vehicles; ATVs). Find out more about these regulations.
There are also some regulations which directly relate to the use of ATVs and quad bikes with young people. These include restrictions on the maximum speed of quad bikes for use by under 12s, limiting them to 15mph but the vehicle must have a regulator in operation that confines the speed to 10mph.
For those aged between 12 and 16, the regulations specify that the maximum speed of the vehicle should be 30mph but the vehicle must have a regulator in operation that confines that speed to 15mph. The vehicle must also have a sign in a prominent position that says:
THIS ATV IS NOT SUITABLE FOR CHILDREN UNDER 12 YEARS
The label should be in red lettering. It should be legible, durable and precede any other safety information.
The full regulations and conditions are contained in the All-Terrain Motor Vehicles (Safety) Regulations 1989.
When operating quad bikes and ATVs as a Scouting activity the following points represent good practice:
All ATVs must be fitted with a kill cord which must be worn at all times.
The operation must be under the control of a competent instructor or supervisor.
There should be a written operating procedure.
The track should have a re-gradable surface to prevent the creation of ruts.
The design of the track should avoid sharp corners.
The operating authority (Campsite, District or County/Area) should carry out regular risk assessments of the operation.
There should be an incident book to record any accidents, incidents or unusual occurrences.
Quad bikes owned by Scout Groups, Districts, Counties or activity centres must ensure that appropriate Accidental Damage, Fire and Theft (ADFT) insurance is purchased to cover these vehicles. This is available from Unity (Scout Insurance Services) on 0845 0945 703.
When deciding to provide off road driving as a Scouting activity the following should be considered:
The area or track to be used – the use of green lanes is considered off road for the purposes of this activity and therefore helmets and suitable PPE must be worn.
The vehicles must be safe to use, ensuring that they are in good working order and in a condition which would not present additional risks to the participants.
Environmental impact of the activity should be carefully considered and minimised.
The vehicles must be appropriately insured for the activity undertaken.
If you're looking to provide off road driving or 4x4 activities within Scouting and are looking for advice or a provider check out Scout 4x4, a Scout Active Support Unit who specialise in these activities.
Go karting will mainly take place through external providers but in some cases go karts may be owned and operated within Scouting.
If you are looking to provide go karting activities within Scouting and need advice or a provider check out the Lincolnshire Scouts Go Kart Activity Team, who specialise in these activities.
Driving lessons must only be given by those qualified and insured to do so and in a suitable vehicle. This may be through the use of an external company such as a driving school.
Participants must wear appropriate safety equipment for the activity being undertaken, which should be determined by the activity risk assessment. This may include overalls, boots, knee and elbow pads.
For all off road (including the use of green lanes) and racing activities participants must wear a helmet. The type and style of helmet may vary and can be prescribed by the activity risk assessment. When taking part in driving lesson type activity on private land (basic manoeuvres, control of the car at low speeds etc) helmets do not need to be worn.
Rules relating to motor sports
Rule 9.12.12 Motor Sports