Soapboxes to be Taxed and Tested from 2014
The Department of Transport have announced that, in order to bring the UK into line with europe wide legislation on the taxing and testing of road vehicles, gravity racers will require a valid MOT certificate, road tax and third party insurance from April 2014.
The Scottish Cartie Association recently requested clarification of the rules that will apply to soapboxes when the new law comes into effect, and the DfT confirmed that soapboxes will no longer be classified as bicycles because they have four wheels and are not pedal powered.
This ruling throws into question the practicality of holding gravity races on public roads since, regardless whether they are closed or not, the provisions of the Road Traffic Act will apply in any case. Furthermore, any gravity racer being towed back to the start line would be classified as a trailer, so the last cartie on the tow line must carry a registration plate and light board connected to the towing vehicle and the driver must have licence appropriate for the weight of the entire tow train.Clearly this is going to cause serious difficulties for soapbox race organisers, and the SCA will be lobbying for this ruling to be reviewed at the earliest opportunity. Further information on how you can help can be found here.