Isle of Wight 4×4 Club Code of Conduct
- Use only rights of way with known, proven or provable vehicular rights. If challenged, discuss; if not resolved, then leave as requested until the status is rechecked.
- Keep to the defined track. Detour only to pass immovable obstructions. Report any obstructions (including low branches) to the highway authority and ask a committee member to discuss it at the next meeting. Be critical of your own abilities and equipment when assessing an obstruction; it is your right to abate a non-lawful obstruction, but do not commit yourself to a bigger task than you are equipped for.
- If the route is not obvious on the ground ask. Either locally, or check on the maps held at the highway authority offices.
- Travel at a quiet and unobtrusive pace and as slowly as practicable; we recommend a maximum of 12 mph when in a 4×4 and on an Unsurfaced Right of Way (URoW). Ensure your vehicle is fully road-legal.; URoW are subject to the same laws as surfaced roads.
- When travelling in groups, keep to a small number – ideally four or less. Split larger parties up and either use a different route or allow a good interval to elapse before following.
- Do not travel on URoW when they risk being affected beyond a point of natural recovery once the weather improves. If need be, walk some or the entire route first to determine its suitability. Do not use URoW which maybe damaged by the wheel pressure applied by your vehicle.
- Avoid damage to trees, hedgerows and boundaries. Some roads carry vehicular rights but are physically too narrow for 4x4s.
- Do not practice recovery techniques on any URoW. Use a winch only with extreme caution, and use only the correct equipment and techniques.
- Be courteous to other road users – pull over and stop your vehicle for walkers, but pull over, stop your vehicle and switch off the engine for passing horses; the same courtesy should also be shown to walkers with dogs, if the dogs show the least sign of nervousness round vehicles. Thank those who move over for you.
- After consultations with Country Landowners Association and National Farmers Union HQs, “best practice” dictates that gates if they were found to be secured in an open position should be left open, and those which are found shut or swinging should be shut behind you; the landowner might appreciate being told about a gate insecurely propped open if you see them.
- Keep dogs and children under close control. Watch out for injured or trapped animals, and report all suspicious events to the landowner.
- Guard against all risks of fire. Take your litter home and that left by others if you see it, wherever practicable. Plastic bags can suffocate stock if swallowed. Help to keep all water clean. Remember that wildlife faces many threats and UROW are valuable habitats. Take special care in spring and early summer.
- Follow the Country Code, but be aware that it is for your guidance only
With acknowledgement to the All Wheel Drive Club and the Green Lane Association