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Tankertrashnav
27th May 2012, 21:49
Driving down the M5 near the Somerset/Devon border today we all came to a standstill, and then started the all too familiar creep forward a few yards at a time. From time to time an emergency vehicle with blues and twos on came scorching up the hard shoulder. Then after ten minutes or so we reached the scene of the accident and prepared to see mayhem. We found:

Three police 4x4s
One police motorcycle
One para-medic motorcycle
One ambulance
One incident control vehicle
Two full size fire engines

Oh yes, and one saloon, a Jaguar I think, with some front end damage from apparent collision with the hard shoulder (it was in the outside lane), air bags had gone off but no major damage to the main body.

The point is - who decides that an RTA involving one vehicle requires such a disproportionate response? Needless to say when we got there, there was a gaggle of police and other emergency services standing around chatting. One policeman was sweeping up debris - nobody was making any attempt to cone off the approaches beyond the immediate area, so motorists were making their own (very sensible) arrangements to get into a single lane to pass the accident site.

Why are our highway authorities so prone to overkill on these occasions, closing whole stretches of busy motorways for hours at a stretch? I'm sure these thnigs are handled much more sensibly in Europe - am I right?

ShyTorque
27th May 2012, 22:23
I like them to do this. If they tie up all the local assets on a minor bump, it lets the rest of us off the hook a little; to drive carefully and safely at 71 mph instead of at 70, without attracting undue attention.

'Chuffer' Dandridge
27th May 2012, 22:24
Any RTA on a Motorway will attract a 'standard' attendance for each carriageway. Better to have too many than not enough I guess...:ok:

This thing that really grips me is 'The Crime Scene', where the Rozzers close the road for hours while they sort things out. Wasn't like that in my day. Move vehicles and get the traffic moving ASAP!

parabellum
27th May 2012, 23:05
Think I'm right in saying that the rules change if there is a fatality? There will then be an inquest that requires a mass of information, can't have people dying without the appropriate amount of paper work can we?:rolleyes:

racedo
27th May 2012, 23:56
Para

You right as when it is a fatality there is a lot of work done to try and find out what happened......

Could be driver error, surface error, mechanical etc etc and police spend their time in assessing what happened given Inquest and potential criminal charges.

Additionally if there is a fire or fuel spill the surface may need to be ripped up and relaid which is not a 20 minute job or barriers need completely replacing.

I know a 3D application has been developed to record the whole scene from a number of different angles to enable Accident investigation to take place away from the scene but you still got to place the cameras and do the logging from different angles.

In the same way that when an aircrash has occurred on a runway with fatalities I would not expect the runway to be opened an hour later.

What I do see more and more is that at certain junctions there are Highways agency vehicles ready for a rapid response to an incident with single aim of getting traffic moving.

As someone who drives a lot on motorways and has had more than my fair share of delays I just go with the flow and chill when delays happen, rather be in a delay than be the cause of the delay.

Sprogget
27th May 2012, 23:59
How exactly does a surface make an error? I mean, I understand that a driver is capable of making an error, but a surface is a surface is it not? It may be in good or poor repair, but it is nonetheless a passive non intervening collection of aggregate and binding agents.

Krystal n chips
28th May 2012, 02:38
Ah, Sproggy.....this may alleviate the confusion you have about road surfaces....

EU - Road safety - Road and pavement maintenance (http://ec.europa.eu/transport/road_safety/specialist/knowledge/road/managing_safety_of_roads_through_their_whole_life/road_and_pavement_maintenance.htm)

On the other hand.....

As for the Highways Agency and rapid response, well frankly, once they become involved, the management of any incident seems to deteriorate into confusion...rapidly.

Regarding the disproportionate response in terms of personnel / vehicles ( not only to Motorway incidents) you sometimes wonder if this has more to do with demonstrating to the public how wonderful the emergency services are ( NOTE purely for the benefit of those who are unable to distinguish comment from criticism...this is NOT a criticism of the capability of those services) given that interviews of such after an event allied to media reports invariably seem to be along the lines of self publicity.

We know the emergency services are, in the main, excellent so why the need for such pious and at times, over reacting public statements.

Solid Rust Twotter
28th May 2012, 07:12
Don't forget the rubbernecking tourists who have never seen a wheel being changed in their lives and slow down to gawk at someone doing so on the soft shoulder or in a lay by, thereby disrupting traffic for miles. Seen a few drive into other vehicles, so intent were they on what's happening on the side of the road.

Damn this edit tomfoolery.

UniFoxOs
28th May 2012, 07:30
You right as when it is a fatality there is a lot of work done to try and find out what happened......

Could be driver error, surface error, mechanical etc etc and police spend their time in assessing what happened given Inquest and potential criminal charges.


However this is different to:-

In the same way that when an aircrash has occurred on a runway with fatalities I would not expect the runway to be opened an hour later.

In the second case the cause will be investigated and steps taken to prevent the same thing happening again. This could involve hardware changes (to the a/c and all other a/c using the same hardware, or to airport installations), or notifications to pilots, operators and maintainers of the aaircraft etc. etc.

In the first case there is a 90+% likelihood that it was due to some form of driver error, and nothing at all will be done about it to prevent re-occurrence except, perhaps, prosecuting the one driver for the one incident. Makes the whole excercise rather a costly waste of time, IMHO.

UFO

racedo
28th May 2012, 19:19
How exactly does a surface make an error?

Incorrectly laid surface which disintegrates easily when driven on would be a suface error.

waveskimmer
28th May 2012, 19:32
Accounts for Surrey county council roads policy then!:E

G-CPTN
28th May 2012, 20:29
How exactly does a surface make an error?
Contaminated with oil and water or 'black ice'.

It will not perform as intended and expected.

The same could be true of a pothole - especially one filled with water - which could unseat a motorcyclist or even unsettle a car driver.

Loose rivets
28th May 2012, 20:37
Or it could be that roll of tarmac that was taken to the pub by a bloke who said, 'Pint please, and one for the road.':}

Sprogget
28th May 2012, 21:16
Contaminated with oil and water or 'black ice'.

It will not perform as intended and expected.

The same could be true of a pothole - especially one filled with water - which could unseat a motorcyclist or even unsettle a car driver.

Not the surface's fault though is it? Some inconsiderate weather front comes along & sticks a load of black ice on top of you. Besides, a surface covered in ice will behave exactly as you whould expect, povided you know it's there of course.

RedhillPhil
28th May 2012, 23:27
I like them to do this. If they tie up all the local assets on a minor bump, it lets the rest of us off the hook a little; to drive carefully and safely at 71 mph instead of at 70, without attracting undue attention.

So you're the bloke that potters along at an indicatated 71 (true 67-68) holding the traffic up.

racedo
28th May 2012, 23:35
Not the surface's fault though is it? Some inconsiderate weather front comes along & sticks a load of black ice on top of you. Besides, a surface covered in ice will behave exactly as you whould expect, povided you know it's there of course.

Not the drivers fault if
the tyres were badly made where the thread comes off at high speed.........Ford and Firestone (250 deaths)
car bursts into flames..................BMW Mini
potential brake failure.........Chrysler/Dodge

Sprogget
28th May 2012, 23:54
This just keeps giving. :)

ShyTorque
29th May 2012, 00:05
So you're the bloke that potters along at an indicatated 71 (true 67-68) holding the traffic up.

I think you missed the irony/understatement there, Phil! If you had ever driven with me, you certainly wouldn't accuse me of "pottering along". I would admit to sometimes taking a calculated risk and edging "slightly over the 70 limit", obviously only for short periods of time, in light or nil traffic on the motorway (!) but I'm hardly likely to boast on a public website about by how much, don't you think? :oh:

Also, I do know how by how much my car's speedometer over-reads at 70 mph, at least as far as reasonably possible, according to the satnav. Having changed my car recently, I made a point of finding out asap.

I certainly didn't "hold up" the unmarked police car when I got pulled; pottering along certainly wasn't the issue that upset the former paratrooper with a grudge against police pilots. An SP50 was the result of that day's slight enthusiasm with a BMW on my tail (unfortunately it had a pair of blue lights hidden behind the grille). These days I'm a little more aware of police tailgater's underhand tactics when keen for a "hit", shall we say.

(Thankfully now all points tim-ex'ed and legally removed from my driving licence and I prefer to keep it that way).

Flash2001
29th May 2012, 01:23
In Ontario the main roads are closed for hours and hours for police investigations. I rather like the Quebec attitude. Quebec drivers weave through the scattered bits and pieces at 70 mph sounding their horns so that police and medical people can get out of the way (If they're fast).

After an excellent landing etc...

Gordy
29th May 2012, 02:53
Here in Salt Lake City we have "incident management" vehicles that patrol and are on call to respond to any incident on the roads. They travel in a truck fitted with sat phones, cameras etc and a trained manager. They will take control of all incidents, and the roads are rarely shutdown.

You can even see in real time all the incidents:

UDOT TRAFFIC (http://commuterlink.utah.gov/)

Paracab
31st May 2012, 20:41
Driving down the M5 near the Somerset/Devon border today we all came to a standstill, and then started the all too familiar creep forward a few yards at a time. From time to time an emergency vehicle with blues and twos on came scorching up the hard shoulder. Then after ten minutes or so we reached the scene of the accident and prepared to see mayhem. We found:

Three police 4x4s
One police motorcycle
One para-medic motorcycle
One ambulance
One incident control vehicle
Two full size fire engines

I can understand that this seems like over-resourcing and to a certain extent it is; however the emergency services can only go on what the caller(s) tell them. I know that the Fire Service have a standard motorway attendance but the ambulance service will react on the info given by the caller.

You'd be amazed at how many calls to RTC's are given as 'persons trapped' or 'car on fire', only for us to arrive and that not be the case. (airbag deployment dust has a lot to answer for!).

I have a friend who is a traffic collision investigator for the Police so I have an awareness of how he works.

Whilst I appreciate the utter frustration that being stuck behind a smash can cause, collisions involving death or life changing injuries must be investigated properly which always takes time. The Police do not close major routes for giggles and the pressure to get roads re-opened is on from the start

Wasn't like that in my day. Move vehicles and get the traffic moving ASAP!

Personally I'm glad that is no longer the case. Lets put a different slant on it.

At 4am you get the dreaded knock on the door as a member of your immediate family has been killed on a local motorway. Another driver is suspected of causing death by dangerous driving and only a thorough investigation can prove this, this will inconvenience rush hour drivers in a few hours but may secure a conviction that will get this person locked up.

Or, they drop it there and then, clear the carriageway and let the barsteward who took away everything you live for go scot free.

What would you HONESTLY want done?

Milo Minderbinder
31st May 2012, 20:51
It may not have been over resourcing
That simple one vehicle accident may still have generated one or more suspected back or neck injuries - which would have required eight or more fire crew i.e. two or more pumps @ 4 crew each plus a vehicle with cutting gear.
The vehicle was in lane 3 - so multile police vehicles would be needed to safely stop traffic with a rolling roadblock to enable access to the stranded vehicle

ShyTorque
31st May 2012, 21:04
Today I experienced an incident that blocked the traffic. Not on the motorway this time, but on the major route through my local town.

One paramedic vehicle was parked on the pavement, a full sized ambulance on the road, blocking one carriageway. Two police cars turned up, driven down the pedestrian only street and blocking the pelican crossing alongside and also the opposite carriageway.

A terrible tragedy. A drunk had slid to the ground in a phone box and was unable to get up.

G-CPTN
31st May 2012, 21:16
http://images.icnetwork.co.uk/upl/nejournal/may2012/4/3/church-image-3-135242438.jpg

After a turbine-tower transporter slipped-off a country road into a ditch at 6am Monday, the road has remained closed and will expect to be open by late Friday afternoon:-
A696 near Otterburn closed after turbine transporter crash - Today's News - News - JournalLive (http://www.journallive.co.uk/north-east-news/todays-news/2012/05/29/a696-near-otterburn-closed-after-turbine-transporter-crash-61634-31065091/)

Locals are 'not happy':-
Otterburn traders to seek compensation from wind farm group - Today's News - News - JournalLive (http://www.journallive.co.uk/north-east-news/todays-news/2012/05/31/otterburn-traders-to-seek-compensation-from-wind-farm-group-61634-31081032/)

Northumberland County Council network manager Dick Phillips said it was not possible to override the police order to permanently close the A696 until recovery was complete.

McGoonagall
31st May 2012, 21:34
Travelling north on Tuesday gone there was a 4 or 5 car incident about Jcn 16 on the M1. It was dealt with efficiently and quickly. I was about 4 cars back when the Bill stopped the traffic, cars were hauled or driven onto the hard shoulder, the debris cleared and the traffic waved on. The one highlight was a chancer that tried to drive up the hard shoulder only to find a police car behind him and his way blocked by the damaged cars. Last seen blowing into a machine while receiving a good barracking from the static cars sat in an orderly queue.

:)

Gertrude the Wombat
31st May 2012, 21:51
Also, I do know how by how much my car's speedometer over-reads at 70 mph, at least as far as reasonably possible, according to the satnav. Having changed my car recently, I made a point of finding out asap.
How does the overreading vary with

- outside air temperature
- tyre temperature (which you measure how, exactly?)
- tyre inflation pressure
- atmospheric pressure
- altitude
- wha'ever else I haven't thought of

?

Sir George Cayley
31st May 2012, 21:54
And that folks is why I like traveling on a Pendolino :ok:

SGC

ShyTorque
1st Jun 2012, 01:13
How does the overreading vary with

- outside air temperature
- tyre temperature (which you measure how, exactly?)
- tyre inflation pressure
- atmospheric pressure
- altitude
- wha'ever else I haven't thought of

?

Who cares?

Milo Minderbinder
1st Jun 2012, 01:23
More important to realise that an in-car satnav assumes you are driving on a flat level - and calculates speed that way. It doesn't allow for hills - so a high speed ascent or descent of a steep hill could be markedly faster as measured from point to point on the road than the satnav indicates

UniFoxOs
1st Jun 2012, 07:02
What would you HONESTLY want done?

Better driver training and testing so that the crash doesn't happen in the first place. Punishing the errant driver is locking the stable door...

UFO

Lightning Mate
1st Jun 2012, 08:57
I recommend the Institute of Advanced Motorists driving course and test.

I was taught by a police class one driver and was astonished by what I was taught. The most interesting was the lesson on "how to drive two cars at once".

Some of you out there will know exactly what this means.

Tankertrashnav
1st Jun 2012, 10:22
LM - was that you who passed me at something like Mach 2 last Sunday? ;)

Rossian
1st Jun 2012, 11:29
....for those of us who have NOT done the IAM test - what does it mean and how is it done?

The Ancient Mariner

(only because I'm curious)

ShyTorque
1st Jun 2012, 11:48
I was taught by a police class one driver and was astonished by what I was taught. The most interesting was the lesson on "how to drive two cars at once". Some of you out there will know exactly what this means.

Yes, I think I know what is meant by that. If you're really good at it you can second guess what other motorists will need to do next, even before they realise it themselves.

The ones that aren't so good at it don't realise what they need to do next such as those who can't decide whether to indicate and overtake the lorry ahead or take their foot off the accelerator for a second or two and stay in lane until other traffic has passed them.

The very worst ones slow down, look in their mirror but not early enough, then brake, then indicate and pull out in front of the other traffic....

Result = nose to tail accident in the outside lane. :hmm:

Lightning Mate
1st Jun 2012, 15:11
....for those of us who have NOT done the IAM test - what does it mean and how is it done?

Not as ShyTorque says.

It means controlling the vehicle behind you if it is too close. Gently modulate the throttle to slowly reduce speed. NEVER BRAKE.

This serves to increase the distance between you and the vehicle in front, thus allowing the "tailgater" the opportunity to safely overtake you.

It is much safer to have such idiots in front of you rather than behind you, because you may then put sufficient distance between you and the vehicle in front such that when he/she causes an accident ahead, you will never have to brake hard to avoid it.

NEVER drive aggressively - always DEFENSIVELY.

Personally, when at 70 to 80 on a motorway or fast dual-carriageway, I always maintain a distance of at least 200 yards from the vehicle in front.

This adds a couple of seconds to my transit time.

....and yes - I do drive a 155 mph car and pay low insurance premiums.

Please do not think I am trying to be clever - it's just common sense in the end.

ttn - not me mate..........

G&T ice n slice
1st Jun 2012, 15:30
I learned a lot about "defensive" driving when I had a Lotus 7...

when you're sitting 6 inches off the tarmac you quickly learn that (a) no-one can see you and (b) everyone else are a complete set of idiots who shouldn't be allowed on the road.

wierdly, it was motorbike-ists who were the "let's race you at the traffic lights" idiots.

Fareastdriver
1st Jun 2012, 15:52
Driving in China you have to have the gift of interrogative telepathy. There is no other way of finding out what they are going to do.

Standard Noise
1st Jun 2012, 16:08
I learned a lot about "defensive" driving when I had a Lotus 7...
Indeed, tis a perilous hobby, but a terribly loud two tone horn is worth it's weight in gold.

racedo
1st Jun 2012, 21:29
I always maintain a distance of at least 200 yards from the vehicle in front.


Or twenty cars on the M25 which fill the gap :ugh:

ShyTorque
1st Jun 2012, 21:52
On the M1, a chance to have a 20 yards gap without someone cutting you up would be nice....

RedhillPhil
1st Jun 2012, 21:52
I think you missed the irony/understatement there, Phil! If you had ever driven with me, you certainly wouldn't accuse me of "pottering along". I would admit to sometimes taking a calculated risk and edging "slightly over the 70 limit", obviously only for short periods of time, in light or nil traffic on the motorway (!) but I'm hardly likely to boast on a public website about by how much, don't you think? :oh:

Also, I do know how by how much my car's speedometer over-reads at 70 mph, at least as far as reasonably possible, according to the satnav. Having changed my car recently, I made a point of finding out asap.

I certainly didn't "hold up" the unmarked police car when I got pulled; pottering along certainly wasn't the issue that upset the former paratrooper with a grudge against police pilots. An SP50 was the result of that day's slight enthusiasm with a BMW on my tail (unfortunately it had a pair of blue lights hidden behind the grille). These days I'm a little more aware of police tailgater's underhand tactics when keen for a "hit", shall we say.

(Thankfully now all points tim-ex'ed and legally removed from my driving licence and I prefer to keep it that way).

Sorry.

.......................

ShyTorque
1st Jun 2012, 22:51
No problem, a good debate is always a pleasure....... :cool:

TZ350
1st Jun 2012, 23:28
" I always maintain a distance of at least 200 yards from the vehicle in front."

I wish the Germans would adopt that philosophy....................

I'm surprised that NASCAR isn't their favourite form of motorsport, judging by the fact that every mofu wants to slipstream you ..............:mad:

Windy Militant
2nd Jun 2012, 10:49
The shape of things to come Motorway road train (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-18248841)

Apparently on another forum it was suggested that BMW business drivers were objecting to it. Apparently they felt it didn't allow them to get close enough to the car in front!;)

TZ350
2nd Jun 2012, 14:40
" BMW business drivers were objecting to it. "

That I can believe, they are the worse offenders .

Followed , IMO, by Passat estate drivers !

Krystal n chips
2nd Jun 2012, 15:14
"I wish the Germans would adopt that philosophy....................

I'm surprised that NASCAR isn't their favourite form of motorsport, judging by the fact that every mofu wants to slipstream you "

Strange then that I always found driving in Germany / Holland etc to be considerably safer due to the traffic laws.... which are enforced..... and are very simple..you either obey them and the law is on your side ..... or you don't it isn't.

TZ350
2nd Jun 2012, 15:26
Obviously you are one of these :mad: :mad: who don't use their mirrors..............:hmm:

Krystal n chips
2nd Jun 2012, 15:53
"Obviously you are one of these who don't use their mirrors."

Well let me put it this way....and in as simplistic a manner as possible....

I have been driving since the 70's....Mil / Commercial 7.5tonne and white vans..plus privately of course.

In that time lets see....driven into by a Belgian in Germany...he was wholly in the wrong...I was wholly correct ( remember what I said about German traffic law? )

UK..driven into when stationary at a roundabout waiting for traffic to clear...actually, it was a very minor bump.

Other than that....ready for this?....NO points / convictions or other accidents...ever.

There again, being a glider pilot, I tend to use the Mk1 eyeball when flying and driving.....you were saying something about not using mirrors ?

Storminnorm
2nd Jun 2012, 16:02
I never had a mirror in a glider.
Is it some sort of vanity thing?

Did I miss something important?

Krystal n chips
2nd Jun 2012, 16:13
" I never had a mirror in a glider.
Is it some sort of vanity thing?

Did I miss something important"

Aww Norm....the chance to look at yourself sweating profusely, bits of stale food around the mouth and day or so's facial hair growth....alas, only in a motor vehicle......:D

TZ350
2nd Jun 2012, 16:38
[quote] K& C
" Well let me...................................................

There again, being a glider pilot, I tend to use the Mk1 eyeball when flying and driving.....you were saying something about not using mirrors ?


Nothing in your pointless speel indicates that you check yout mirrors...........after you have pulled out into the fast lane ( of an unrestricted stretch of autobahn ) to overtake a line of, say, 10 trucks travelling at 100kph..............:hmm:

You are one of those :mad: :mad: who are oblivious that other users travel faster than you; i.e. closing speeds of up to 100 + k's .....................

But you do live in your own little world. :rolleyes:

Krystal n chips
2nd Jun 2012, 17:44
" Nothing in your pointless speel indicates that you check yout mirrors...........after you have pulled out into the fast lane ( of an unrestricted stretch of autobahn ) to overtake a line of, say, 10 trucks travelling at 100kph..............

You are one of those who are oblivious that other users travel faster than you; i.e. closing speeds of up to 100 + k's"

I don't recall you and I ever being socially introduced and travelling together ( thankfully)...so I am intrigued as to your assessment of my driving ability....you seem to have blissfully ignored the accident / points free licence here....however, I do admit that I usually travel in either the inside or middle lane ( for overtaking and likewise the third lane if one is available ) which means I use my mirrors quite a lot....Big Dazza also uses the inside lane remember ?.....as for speed, well yes, I did enjoy driving on the unrestricted autobahn...BUT...and this may escape you I suppose....as some very experienced Mil and civilian driving instructors pointed out to me....any assine cretin can drive at speed...it's having the training and skill to cope when an emergency occurs that is essential and distinguishes those who can and those who cannot....and I do not have that training..so...

On the other hand, if you wish to sample my driving ability, lets take a ride together...you pay for the fuel and car...I'll drive.....and make a few observations of my own in the privacy of the vehicle. Feel free to bring a friend....if you need moral support.

Halfbaked_Boy
2nd Jun 2012, 20:47
TZ350, I'm curious - what part of Krystal's post gave you the impression that he doesn't use his mirrors?

All he commented on was how he found driving in Germany and Holland safer due to the traffic laws...

Am truly baffled at where that aggressive (childish?) outburst sprang up from!

TZ350
2nd Jun 2012, 23:16
I commented that the Germans tend to " attach " themselve to ones rear fender, a fact that K & C seems oblivious to :rolleyes: ...............obviously not using the rear view mirror.......unless he never ventures out of the RH lane. But he's real good at blowing his horn .:hmm:

That too , can be a fraught exercise, between two trucks with the one behind on ones tail.:eek:

Oh, by the way K & C , I wouldn't want to share anything with you, least of all your obnoxious company. :yuk: