Three spectators died this weekend when a Mitsubishi rally car speared off into a crowd on a hill climb up Mt. Tara in Serbia. It is difficult to watch, difficult to assign blame and difficult to find a clear lesson to take away.
The organizers for this event, a non-championship event in the FIA's European Hillclimb Championship, banned all spectators from standing in this location. It was the same situation in the deadly French rally crash earlier this year. This crash makes it painfully clear why it should be avoided.
Rally cars will go off the road, and they will crash. It's a matter of the sport. Race organizers are responsible for properly managing the crowds, but the spectators are ultimately responsible for staying out of the line of danger.
Warning: the video below shows what happens when fans don't stay away.
Rally America keeps spectators a fair distance from the course, but on long rallies, policing every turn is impossible. As a rally spectator, much of your safety is up to you. Hopefully, this video will influence organizers to more forcefully assert their restrictions (as the impending lawsuits might do) and will also convince spectators to more strictly heed those warnings.