View Full Version : Highways Agency 4x4

Greek God
7th Aug 2006, 09:27
What's with all these Highways Agencies 4x4s that seem to be popping up all over the place now? I see 2 or 3 each time I go into work now all decked out like police cars but with black and yellows checks instead of blue & yellow and Traffic Officer emblazoned on the back. They also sit in the nearside lane at 50 causing huge tails - what do they do?:zzz:

7th Aug 2006, 09:52
They do this

Highways Agency Roles and Responsibilities (http://www.highways.gov.uk/aboutus/documents/ha_r_and_r.pdf)

or did you want an amusing comment......:cool:

7th Aug 2006, 12:18

7th Aug 2006, 12:48
Too much to read.

Bottom line, can they pull you over for speeding?

7th Aug 2006, 14:44
No, they're just there to sweep-up after collisions.

7th Aug 2006, 14:48
Will they get pinged with the extra road tax for 4x4s? :}

7th Aug 2006, 14:55

7th Aug 2006, 15:00

Flying Lawyer
7th Aug 2006, 16:28
Does their 'Enforcement of road traffic offences' function include reporting drivers for speeding?
If not, then traffic flow would be improved if their 4x4s didn't look like police vehicles.

They could be put to good use by dealing with middle lane drivers who clog up our motorways.

7th Aug 2006, 17:23

The 'Enforcement of road traffic offences' bit is in YELLOW which - according to the key - is a POLICE function, not Highways Agency :rolleyes:

If they do ever let them enforce the speed limit - will they have to paint all their 4 x 4's bright yellow to match the cameras ? :p


Krystal n chips
8th Aug 2006, 06:24
A truly "splendid" :rolleyes: organisation who are non accountable and whose organisational capabilities are outlined below-----not that the criticism will make one iota of difference of course ! :mad:


I suppose the prescence of the 4x4's acts as a deterrent on first sight to those who have a "liberal" interpretation of the speed limits, however, the manner in which they are driven ie at around 45mph on the inside lane of a Motorway suggests that whoever decided this should be an operational policy has never driven on a Motorway !!!. I do though, have a distinct sense of unease here given that I feel that once established, then eventually their powers will also be expanded to cover motoring offences. I also suspect there are quite a few "wannabe but would never be good enough" members who would revel in the role of Traffic Police Officer---excuse my cynicism here ;) and thus we have the Traffic Warden syndrome to come on the Roads as a result.

8th Aug 2006, 06:45
It's not so much a speed "limit" so much as a speed "guideline".

Now if I can just convince the Mag...:} :}

Curious Pax
8th Aug 2006, 07:43
Like others I suspect that the similarity between these cars and police cars is not a coincidence - it certainly has the effect on traffic speed around them that I imagine the police would approve of. The fact that I haven't seen a police car on a motorway in my last few visits to the UK is probably not a coincidence either!

Flying Lawyer
8th Aug 2006, 08:11


All the more reason they shouldn't look so much like police vehicles.

8th Aug 2006, 08:36
If they are causing such tailbacks couldn't you report them for causing an obstruction? Surely impeding the flow of traffic for no defendable reason is an offence?

Curious Pax
8th Aug 2006, 08:39
In themselves they aren't causing tailback (in my experience they tend to be doing 60 rather than 45) rather it's all the numties who seem paranoid about overtaking what they think is a police car even when it is going slower than the limit. You often see a similar effect with speed cameras - limit is 60, traffic is moving at 50 and you still get prats hitting the brakes when they see it!

Flying Lawyer
8th Aug 2006, 09:04
I agree that's a problem.

But even if drivers slow down to the speed limit until they are sure it's not a police vehicle, it still causes a tailback and bunching at 70 mph.

8th Aug 2006, 09:14
It wouldn't suprise me if the role did expand to full traffic policing duties.

There is no reason why they can't report to a police officer any traffic offence they see, in the same way that any member of the public can now, which includes speeding.

As for the markings of thier vehicles. Well, the words Traffic Officer are clear, albeit not from a mile back, and the check markings are a different colour than Police.

The markings argument could be applied to lots of other vehicles, I recall wizzing passed a white van with blue lights and Police written on it once. The word Police was prefaced in this case with the word 'Military'. But the traffic still slowed because of its presence.

Apart from that, personally, I can see them taking over traffic policing and becoming like the situation in New Zealand a few years ago, where there was a Traffic Police Force. Mind you, they have now been disbanded and absorbed into the the NZ Police.

8th Aug 2006, 10:03
This Government has a long-term aim of allowing every Tom Dick and Harry from police to litter wardens to the dog catcher to hand out penalties to citizens, without the inconvenience of taking them to a court. I am sure that the medium-term aim is to create them as a kind of Police Lite, a bit like Community Support Officers.

I see that the HA wardens have saved hundreds of police officers 'for other duties'. So where are they?

8th Aug 2006, 10:32
From what ive been told they can flag a car for speeding to be picked up by the police later on, seems like a lie to me tho, just thought id throw it out there.
Also, if you stop on the hard shoulder for whatever reason i.e. changing a wheel, they stop behind you with lights on and stuff to make other drivers more aware of your presence (thus making you safer)

8th Aug 2006, 11:04
I have to say I'm all for them. From what I've seen of them on the M3 and M25, they make breakdowns a lot safer, and I've never seen one.....sit in the nearside lane at 50 causing huge tails

Saskatoon, I'd imagine they have 4x4s in the event they might have to pull off on to the grass verge, banking etc. when dealing with an incident.

8th Aug 2006, 13:29
Suffice to say that following a recent large scale accident which was dealt with by the police with the highways agency providing fend off cover at the rear the highways agency spokesman only referred to how their traffic officers dealt with the incident.

I think I'd rather they amalgamated the various police motorway patrols with BTP to provide a national transport police force covering trains planes and motorways.

8th Aug 2006, 14:30
What 'authority' do Transport Police have outside their immediate sphere of operation? I appreciate that 'Railway' Police can deal with public (dis)order offences on trains and stations and parking misdemeanours on 'British Rail' property, but do they have powers (other than those of a civilian) 'on the High Street'? I appreciate that they can probably summon-up a 'real' Policeman mate PDQ.

8th Aug 2006, 14:36
The BTP have full police powers, as it happens i very nearly applied, but never got round to it. Its classed as a region, like staffordshire police, cheshire police etc etc, their name is just reletive to where they patrol. i think the only force that dont have powers everywhere is the MoD Police who guard our nuclear 'deterrent'

10th Aug 2006, 16:50
Looks like they make incidents such as breakdowns a lot safer, and hopefully release police officers time for law enforcement.

And I hope the two guys caught up in that terrible incident on the M56 just west of EGCC are making a speedy recovery :)

10th Aug 2006, 17:34
Afterall, the goverment wants to banish all 4x4's to the country.
I thought the government wanted to banish all 4x4s to another country :E

11th Aug 2006, 10:36
So why a 4x4 vechicle?
I mean, for extensive motorway patrol and monitoring, wouldn't an estate car (much like police volvo) be far more suitable and be able to carry an array of equipment.

I would have thought a powerful 4X4 would be more appropriate for moving / recovering wrecks on the road/hardshoulder or embankments......


11th Aug 2006, 11:09
I have in my time sworn in MoD police, Nuclear Police (that's not quite the right name) and Council employees who patrol open spaces. All took the oath to serve HM 'In the office of Constable'.

cessna l plate
11th Aug 2006, 12:26
I think we have to take our lead from KnC here.
He sees more of these motors than the rest of us.

Might be something to do with some of us quite like a little shut eye at 2am, not a journey to an airport somewhere !!!!

11th Aug 2006, 14:49
I would have thought a powerful 4X4 would be more appropriate for moving / recovering wrecks on the road/hardshoulder or embankments......
Perhaps a Scimitar Samson, Warrior or an FV430? http://www.army.mod.uk/img/equipment/av/images/av_sms.jpghttp://www.army.mod.uk/img/equipment/av/images/av_war.jpghttp://www.army.mod.uk/img/equipment/av/432.2.jpg

13th Aug 2006, 08:27
One thing I've noticed about this lot is that when pulled up on the hard shoulder they park with their vehicles pointed out into the carriageway. I was always told to turn the wheels towards the verge, in case the car was shunted it would then turn left away from the traffic rather than back onto the carriageway causing an even bigger pile up.

13th Aug 2006, 09:10
AS, as far as I know that is still the current advice from major motoring organisations.

In fact THE AA (http://www.theaa.com/motoring_advice/breakdown_advice/general.html) still quote it on their website.

I have noticed they pull up a fair distance behind, and that they do tend to point wheels towards the verge, I suppose when you have a vehicle covered in reflective stuff and with big flashers on top you can expect people to see it better than an ordinary car.