CODE OF CONDUCT

Adopted: 22 July 2020

 
This Code of Conduct incorporates the Codes of Conduct of 4WD Australia and 4WD NSW and ACT (the Association of 4WD Clubs), and Wagga Wagga Four Wheel Drive Club (WW4WDC) trip rules developed over 40 years.
The Code has been developed to encourage safe, family friendly and sustainable 4WDing when exploring our diverse country. It is not meant to be restrictive. Enjoy your recreation, respect the rights of others, and support four-wheel drive touring as a responsible and legitimate family recreational activity.

All Activities

  1. All 4WDrivers have a shared responsibility for safe, minimal impact activities. Respect the cultural, heritage and environmental values of public and private land by obeying restrictions, laws and regulations for recreational vehicles and activities that apply. Respect our flora and fauna. Stop and look, but never disturb.

  2. Club members and guests are expected to behave responsibly, in accordance with the Club Objectives, Constitution and By-Laws, and in a manner which does not bring the Club into disrepute. A person behaving irresponsibly may be asked to leave the activity or have their membership denied or cancelled.

  3. At all times members are to treat others with respect, tolerance and politeness.

  4. The designated Activity Leader for each Club activity is in charge at all times. Activity Leaders should follow the Club Activity Leader’s Guide.

  5. For insurance purposes ALL participants must be recorded on the attendance register.

  6. Visitors on Club trips must apply for temporary Club membership using the Temporary Member/Visitor Trip Participant Form.

  7. Participants in activities do so at their own risk. Vehicle damage or personal injury is always a possibility. Neither the Activity Leader nor the Club are liable for any injury or damage.

  8. In case of an emergency, participants should inform the Activity Leader of any health concerns or issues that may arise during the activity. Confidentiality will be maintained. Members are also encouraged to keep an up-to-date Emergency Information Booklet/Form in the vehicle glove box.

  9. It shall be the sole responsibility of each participant to decide whether or not to start or continue to participate in an activity. It is recommended that advice is sought from the Activity Leader.

  10. Intending participants in an activity are to inform the Activity Leader and confirm their participation a few days before the event.

  11. Pets are not allowed in National Parks and are discouraged from Club activities. The Activity Leader has the right to determine whether or not a pet is allowed at a Club activity.

Trip Preparation

  1. For any trip, the recommendations in the document Preparing for a Club Trip should be followed.

  2. Take adequate water, food, fuel, basic spares and a first aid kit. A first aid kit (including AED) is to be carried on all Club trips.

  3. In remote areas, travel with another vehicle and have adequate means of communication e.g.  HF radio, Satphone, EPIRB, PLB.

  4. Plan ahead and lodge trip details with a responsible person. Inform them of your safe return.

  5. A reconnaissance should be done before each trip, and for safety should be done in pairs.

  6. Keep your vehicle mechanically sound and ensure it complies with relevant legislation in relation to roadworthiness and modifications.

  7. Vehicles participating in trips MUST carry basic recovery equipment. The MINIMUM required is a suitably rated snatch strap, recovery points front and rear of the vehicle, shovel and suitably rated shackles.

  8. A person needing assistance is expected to use their own recovery equipment wherever possible.

  9. Be aware of biosecurity issues and ensure vehicles are clean to avoid carrying weed seeds and diseases into new areas.

  10. Chainsaws are potentially very dangerous. Operators must concentrate fully on the job and wear safety equipment (including safety chaps). All spectators must keep well clear as the operator may not be aware of others nearby. Anyone assisting is to take direction from the operator. It is recommended that operators undertake appropriate training.

 

Trip Protocols

  1. The Trip Leader is in charge at all times, including conduct of the trip and overseeing the negotiation of all hazards or vehicle recovery.

  2. At the commencement of a trip, the Trip Leader is to give a safety and program briefing to participants, check radio communications, review convoy procedure and nominate a “Tail-end Charlie” sweep car.

  3. Convoy communication is by UHF channel 10. Because it is public and important for safety, communication is to be sensible.

  4. No driver shall drive in a manner, or at a speed, that could endanger themselves or other people, or break traffic regulations. Speed limits are not to be exceeded.

  5. For large groups, consider breaking up convoys into groups of no more than 5 vehicles with larger separation between groups. Leave overtaking space between groups.

  6. Vehicles should maintain their position in the convoy unless the convoy leader permits a change. No vehicle shall pass the trip leader except in emergency. Persons leaving the convoy MUST notify the trip leader and the following vehicle, and if possible, give details of their intentions.

  7. Respect the rights of others to use and share the road space. Acknowledge that your vehicle may be wider and higher than others. Do not obscure the vision of other drivers. Leave room between vehicles to allow other vehicles to overtake.

  8. Keep a safe distance between vehicles. Increased weight and tyre choice can affect braking distance. Ensure good visibility. Only one vehicle to negotiate an obstacle at any one time.

  9. Each driver is responsible for the vehicle behind and must keep it in sight at all times. Do not leave an intersection or obstacle until you are sure the vehicle behind knows where you are going or has crossed the obstacle. Vehicles should endeavor to keep up with the vehicle in front.

  10. All vehicles are to remain on formed roads while in the bush unless directed by the trip leader to bypass an obstacle.

  11. Leave gates as found. The trip leader is to advise Tail-end Charlie whether to leave a gate open or closed.

  12. When stopping in convoy, allow plenty of room between vehicles.

  13. Because of the risks involved, it is recommended that there are at least two competent drivers in each vehicle.

  14. If a driver is unable to continue driving (e.g. illness or injury), or the vehicle cannot be driven due to breakdown or accident, then the vehicle may need to be secured and left for retrieval at a later date.

  15. Be aware of vision limitations and be particularly observant near children to avoid accidents. Take care when reversing. Check blind spots and ensure that no one has walked behind your vehicle before you reverse. If necessary, get out of the vehicle to make sure the area behind is clear.

  16. Adopt minimal impact driving practices. Respect the cultural, heritage and environmental values of public and private land by obeying laws, regulations and restrictions that may apply. Do not enter private property without permission. Respect our flora and fauna. Do not disturb livestock or interfere with watering points.

  17. For any vehicle recovery operation, the WW4WDC Vehicle Recovery Guide should be followed. Before any recovery operation, make sure all safety precautions are observed. All people must stand well clear of cables and straps and no person is to be in the Danger Zone during a vehicle recovery. The winch operator or the driver of the towing vehicle is in charge of the operation under the supervision of the Trip Leader.

Camping

  1. Environmentally sustainable and socially acceptable vehicle-based camping is a shared responsibility. Adopt the practice of “leave no trace” minimal impact camping. Tread Lightly!

  2. Dispersed camping is recommended so as not to compact the ground surface and inhibit vegetation growth or regrowth.

  3. Respect the privacy of others. Do not camp too close.

  4. Do not camp in huts unless it is an emergency.

  5. Camp in established campsites. If possible, do not create new campsites.

  6. Do not dig trenches or gutters around tents/swags.

  7. Do not locate your camp where dead or rotted trees may be above your campsite, and keep clear of large trees which may shed branches at any time.

  8. Do not camp in a creek bed or watercourse because flash flooding can, and does occur.

  9. Do not camp near any constructed stock water point (e.g. dam, bore, windmill, trough) natural waterhole, creek or river in such a way that you may prevent native fauna and livestock from gaining access to water.

  10. Do not camp within 100m of any building unless specific permission has been granted.

  11. Take all rubbish home. Leave campsites clean and tidy, and ensure all campfires are out.

 

Campfires

  1. Always check for fire restrictions in the area you intend to visit. Fire restrictions are imposed for a number of reasons other than fire danger and local authorities should be consulted.  Remember, a Total Fire Ban is applicable to all types of fuel other than electricity, so be prepared.

  2. Always use existing fireplaces if possible. Do not create another fireplace where one already exists.

  3. If a fire pit needs to be dug, try to remove the topsoil as a sod and place to one side. When the fire has been extinguished and is not to be used again, replace the sod over the cold ashes.

  4. It is a requirement that the area surrounding any open fire be clear of vegetation for a radius of 4m. Spare firewood is to be kept a minimum of 3m from a fire.

  5. Do not use stones in the construction of a fireplace as they are prone to explode from the heat of the fire sending dangerous fragments in all directions.

  6. Use only dead fallen timber for fuel. Do not cut standing trees as they are a key part of the environment.  Do not use “treated” timber in a cooking fire.

  7. Never leave a fire burning unattended, even for short periods of time.

  8. Campfires are to kept safe, manageable and to a sensible size. They are not bonfires.

  9. When decamping, ensure that the fire is completely extinguished as residual hot ash or embers not only present a fire hazard but are likely to cause injury to animals. Use water to extinguish the fire, not sand or soil which make the fireplace unusable for the next person. Dispose of cold ashes around plants as these will liberate nutrients into the soil.

 

Toilets

  1. Observe good hygiene. Do not pollute waterways.

  2. Use properly constructed toilets where provided.

  3. Self-made toilets should be not less than 100m distant from campsites and water courses or water holes. All human waste MUST be buried. Toilet holes should be as deep as practicable to prevent excavation by fauna.

  4. Do not attempt to burn toilet paper in toilet holes. Bush fires have been started by this practice. Fill in the hole with removed soil and compact as much as possible. Note: burning toilet paper with care is acceptable in the desert because it is very slow to decompose in the dry conditions.

  5. Chemical toilets should be used where the ground surface prevents digging adequate toilet holes or the soil is of a type that is not suited to such a purpose. They should also be used in those areas which have a sensitive environment and ecology that are easily disrupted. In some national parks chemical toilets are required. Waste from chemical toilets should be disposed of at authorised sewerage points.

 

Washing

  1. Do not pollute waterways. Do not wash anything using soaps or detergents in streams and lakes.

  2. Wash points should not be located within 50m of any creek, stream, river or waterhole to prevent contamination of such waters. Care must also be taken to ensure that a wash point is not located near a watercourse that feeds into a water supply.

  3. When disposing of waste water spread it across the ground to enable natural filtration. Do not use waste water to feed the root systems of native flora as residue contained within the water could be harmful. When water is in short supply wash water can be used to extinguish campfires.

 

Rubbish

  1. Minimise rubbish by removing unnecessary packaging prior to departure on trips and carrying food etc in reusable containers.

  2. Dispose of rubbish in designated rubbish bins or dumps.

  3. Do not leave rubbish out overnight because it will attract animals.

  4. Do not bury rubbish as it may be dug up and scattered by native animals.

  5. Combustible rubbish may be burnt in the fire after all cooking etc has finished and the group agrees. Do not burn plastics in fires as this leaves highly toxic residue. Nappies and sanitary napkins should not be disposed of in a campfire.

  6. DO NOT leave rubbish (e.g. bottles, cans, food) in a campfire when departing. Take it with you.

  7. Keep the environment clean. Carry your own, and any other, rubbish out.