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Driving At 159mph Is Safe

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Driving At 159mph Is Safe

Old 30th Aug 2006, 12:03
  #241 (permalink)  
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FL is right in what he (nearly) says.

When the law (rarely justice) is being administered by robots, circumstances outside programmed situations are not taken into account.
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Old 30th Aug 2006, 12:17
  #242 (permalink)  
 
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But nutty, you have strongly implied before that no ordinary driver is capable of judging when it is safe to excede the speed limit. That was my point.

What do you mean that there is no reason why he would have copped 3 points and a fine? There were cameras! There was no reason to think any appeal would be successful (and the only one with experience, Flying Lawyer, seems to agree that he might not have won the case), and in fact going to court could have increased the penalty. Therefore you are saying he should be willing to cop at least 3 points and £60 fine.
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Old 30th Aug 2006, 12:23
  #243 (permalink)  
 
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cheers FL and tuned in.

Coconutty,

You said I should have pulled over to the left and blamed me. Then you threw out some moral bullshit about somebody could have died, and it would have been my fault.

You were not there. What I would liked to have seen you do is ask questions to ascertain whether it was safe for me to pull over to the left, wait for my response, then pronounce judgement. You didn't do that, you went straight into blame culture. A presumption of guilt. Strangely enough that is the exact problem I see in the criminal justice system and what I was trying to highlight by telling my little story. Are you a magistrate? As an aside, do you know what a NASA form is (no googling now).
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Old 30th Aug 2006, 13:54
  #244 (permalink)  
 
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I'm with Slim-Slag on this one. Pound to a penny he'd get the points and the fine and told to piss of when he tried the 'ambulance' excuse.
Anyway- how could he, a mere motorist, be expected to judge it safe to speed up. That's why it's a 40-Right.
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Old 30th Aug 2006, 15:53
  #245 (permalink)  
 
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Slim,

Like everything - without knowing ALL the info, one can only use that which you posted. I still maintain that if you'd tried indicating left then one or more of the truck drivers might have put their Yorkie or newspaper aside and opened up a gap for you to move into safely.

I'm quite prepared to accept that you weren't deliberately putting anyone's lives in danger by sticking to 40 and holding the ambulance up, it was not my intention to imply that you were, and I apologise if I have given that impression - If I really thought that I wouldn't even bother with a reply. However without KNOWING what incident the ambulance was going to, who can say - you have to admit it IS a possibility that life was in danger.

It is also a possibility that you could have overtaken the line of lorries, pulled in to let the ambulance past, and then slowed down to below 40 for a minute or so to let the average speed work itself back to "normal" ( no doubt incurring the wrath of the lorry drivers who are now behind you - but then they could always pull past you couldn't they ? ) - however ( without knowing all the information about where the next fixed camera was etc. ) that doesn't seem to have been considered as an option either.

No - I'm not a Magistrate / Traffic Cop / or even an irate Ambulance driver - it would be nice to hear some opinons of ambulance drivers and their experiences.
AFAIK there isn't a NASA type reporting scheme in operation for the roads

If I had been in that situation - knowing only what I know now - I would have tried the left indicator and if a gap didn't open up I would have exceeded the speed limit, passed the lorries, pulled in when safe to do so to let the ambulance past, made a note of its registration number as it did so, then slowed down if possible to below 40 to sort the camera thing out. If I got a ticket I would write in quoting what happened and if necessary plead Not Guilty ! But then that's me - everyone is different - I truly believe that I would not have been found guilty even if the case got as far as proceeding to Court. After all the ambulance will also be on camera to prove my story

Oh, and I didn't actually say you would be to blame if someone had died, I blamed you for holding the ambulance up, and hoped that no-one had died as a result which is slightly different. Such blame could easily be directed at the ambulance driver for going down such a busy road in the first place, or the local health authority that hadn't provided enough ambulances so there would be no need to travel such a route .etc etc ......

Tuned...

You seem keen to push the point of what I implied previously - are you referring to :
"No-one wants to get a speeding ticket or points on their licence, and this will always be an emotive topic - arguments that if everyone stuck to the limit there would be less accidents, limiting someones speed doesn't necessarily make them drive any safer, speed cameras are only used to raise revenue for the Police / Government instead of tackling "real crime" etc etc

... in which case re-read the word "arguments" - these are common arguments heard every time the tpic of speeding is discussed - they are not necessarily MY opinions or implications.

... or is it something else I might have said, once, somewhere else
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Old 30th Aug 2006, 16:28
  #246 (permalink)  
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If I had been in that situation - knowing only what I know now - I would have tried the left indicator and if a gap didn't open up I would have exceeded the speed limit, passed the lorries, pulled in when safe to do so to let the ambulance past, made a note of its registration number as it did so, then slowed down if possible to below 40 to sort the camera thing out.
Thus carrying out a complicated sequence of manouevres much more likely to cause danger and result in a hazardous situation than speeding up a bit, simply in order to comply with the blanket speed limit.

Granted speed limits are there with the intention of improving safety, but you can't forsee all eventualities and the inflexible way they are enforced can sometimes have the opposite effect.

Talk about putting the cart before the horse !
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Old 30th Aug 2006, 16:37
  #247 (permalink)  
 
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"made a note of its registration number" Now I need a pen and paper ready to take notes while driving. As if I don't have enough to do, answering my phone, changing the CD. programming the GPS, lighting up another fag, eating my sandwich and having a swig of tea, keeping an eye in the mirror for PC Milton......
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Old 30th Aug 2006, 18:18
  #248 (permalink)  
 
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Speaking from experience, I would say NEVER speed up to pass a bunch of lorries to avoid delaying a following vehicle who apparently wants to overtake on a motorway, even to 82 mph.

It was an unmarked police car containing an Ops Support PC with a VASCAR ...... 3 points and £60, no discretion. To$$er.
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Old 30th Aug 2006, 18:51
  #249 (permalink)  
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Don't give them a brake test if they get too close and flash their headlights either.
Some guys just don't have a sense of humour. (And I thought they were in a hurry . . . )
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Old 30th Aug 2006, 18:53
  #250 (permalink)  
 
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slim_slag

You suggest you could have got a ticket if you'd speeded up. Yes, you may have recieved a notice requesting the details of the driver, at which point, you would have the oportunity to make your case.

Remember, as well as your car, the Ambulance would have been detected exceeding the speed limit, so your reasoning would have been verified.

That was option 1. Option 2, is as Nutty suggested, it apopears from your post that you did not try it though. It may have been that had you done so the HGV's would have made the room for you, although if they had used thier common sense they'd have used it anyway, and made a gap.

I would dispute the FL has any great experience of this, as the number of times it happens and the reasoning is excepted far and away outweights the number that go before a court, just like most matters Police deal with. Of course most posters here fail to think of that.
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Old 30th Aug 2006, 19:14
  #251 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by bjcc View Post
just like most matters Police deal with.
Police, like the rest of the human race, include good guys and [email protected]@rds.
I met one of the good guys recently.
Dual Carriageway Trunk Road, roundabout, prat shuts off my lane causing me to brake hard to avoid hitting him or the truck. Carry on, road clears, I overtake (lawfully) prat sits RIGHT on my rear bumper. I slow, he slows, I speed up, HE speeds up. He's VERY close (it's night) with his headlamps on high beam. No other traffic about, so I accelerate above 70mph (yes, I know) as my car is more powerful and faster than his. Having pulled-out a lead I slow down to 'nearly' 70mph (80 indicated). He start to gain on me, then shoots off at a junction. As I slow right down and pass the onward slip I catch lights coming FAST down the slip road. Very fast. I assume it's matey (it WAS late at night, nobody else around). I speed up to just over 80. 'Matey' catches up then drops in behind me (not too close). I maintain separation. After a while Blues and Twos. Jam Sandwich Traffic Car had been parked-up having a break (he told me) when a Scooby Doo went past him at several hundred kms/hr. Traffic puts his flask away and winds up the old Volvo (his words, not mine) When he reaches the roundabout on the Trunk Road Junction he sees ME and takes off in pursuit. I run. We had a man-to-man about how silly I was. No points on my licence. (None since 1967). He asks if I SAW the Scooby (I say no - I tell him EXACTLY how it was with Matey). He gives me a George Dixon 'Evening all' and we part good friends, me chastened and with my respect for Traffic undented. No breathalyser (I hadn't had alcohol for several weeks before that), no producer (but it's all on computer anyway nowadays), no fingerprints, no DNA,
Great bloke. Me prat.
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Old 30th Aug 2006, 20:07
  #252 (permalink)  
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Some years ago I was gently pootling along a single lane country road. I saw and heard a police car coming up fast behind me, but there was absolutely nowhere for me to pull over to let him pass.

So, not wanting to impede him, I booted it for a mile or two, then swerved into a field entrance which suddenly presented itself, in a shower of dust and stones.

Erm, he did the same!

Turned out he wanted to check me out, as did the other plod car that turned up to back him up on the 'failing to stop'.

Luckily, we ended up having a laugh about it.
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Old 30th Aug 2006, 20:32
  #253 (permalink)  
 
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This very morning I was driving at the legal limit (60 mph) on a single carriageway with a number of vehicles behind me and one or two at a constant distance in front. A black Vauxhall Vectra overtook the section of traffic I was in, at a speed I would estimate to be in excess of 80mph.
He had to slow down due to the weight of traffic and eventually I was able to get a better look at the car and occupants - not surprisingly it was Plod.

If I had tried the same trick on him I've no doubt that I would have been invited to attend the local Magistrates' Court in the near future.

One law for them and another for us.
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Old 30th Aug 2006, 21:16
  #254 (permalink)  
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Round here they can frequently be seen with 'Police driver under instruction' on the back, though 'others' are obviously 'just' making their way to or returning from Police HQ. I had two of the latter catch me up on a two-way road. I kept close-in to the kerb wherever 'I' judged there was an obvious overtaking possibility and, eventually they did a runner for it (though not coincidentally. We passed the entrance of Police HQ and I saw the later one peel-off and enter. I have NO objection to that, non at all. Their driving was safe, didn't interfere with any other road users, and, having the power (and exceeding the speed limit briefly during the overtaking manouevres) I enjoyed watching them. Would have done the same had they not been there (and I had the power, probably nearly twice my power). Saw absolutely no need to impede their progress.
I also move-over for (civilian) motorcycles (to let them know I know that they're there). Often get an acknowledgement wave too!'
Mind you, I've also kept-up (for 30 miles) with an outing of three training cars over a section of road that I've driven over for more than forty miles (whilst the students were obviously unfamiliar with it). They eventually pulled into a layby for a get-together, after which I never saw them again. They were Durham guys heading through Northumberland to Scotland (via A68 and Carter Bar). Durham has their own skid pan, which they occasionally open to the public. I've not used it, but I HAVE driven (frequently) on Bedfordshire's skid pan at Tempsford. Had a LOT of fun there. Wonder if it's still there? Often dropped-in with a special motor when out-and-about. Nice tea too. Those guys were human too, we used to have (informal) competitions against them.
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Old 30th Aug 2006, 21:36
  #255 (permalink)  
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A few years ago I found myself at the front of a line of traffic waiting for the lights to go green and I had a police car with his blues and twos on right behind me. He had been struggling to get through for over 5 minutes, as it was rush hour, and the road had roadworks which meant that with the high concrete blocks on either side no one could nudge up on to the pavement to let him through. I opted for the Coconutty approach and took it upon myself to make the safest crossing through the red lights that I could which was in fact to turn right and go into a retail park. Old Bill whizzed off down a bus lane on the other side and I heard nothing more about it.

Since then I have wondered if I was right and have gone googling:

The following is taken from the Highway Code:

194: Emergency vehicles. You should look and listen for ambulances, fire engines, police or other emergency vehicles using flashing blue, red or green lights, headlights or sirens. When one approaches do not panic. Consider the route of the emergency vehicle and take appropriate action to let it pass. If necessary, pull to the side of the road and stop, but do not endanger other road users.

It now appears that the words "but do not endanger other road users" are the ones that are being used to "do" drivers who go through red lights - even those who go very slightly over the line.

I have also come up with the following three links where two people have been prosecuted. (Links 2 & 3 refer to the same case.)

http://www.radar-detectors.co.uk/new...ar_through.asp

http://www.paramedic.org.uk/news_arc...erseesred/view

http://www.radar-detectors.co.uk/new..._ambulance.asp


For me the key comments are in the last link:

Kevin Delaney, of the RAC Foundation, said the law was unequivocal and he regretfully would advise any motorist not to go through a red light to allow an emergency vehicle to pass. “There should be an exemption in the law to deal with this or some discretion exercised by the courts,” he said. “But sadly it does not happen.”

South Yorkshire Ambulance Trust spokesman Sue Cooper said: “It is regrettable that a motorist who gave way to an emergency vehicle has been in court. But the Trust has every confidence in the legal process and the advice given in the Highway Code.”

A spokesman for ambulance drivers union Unison said: “I'm sure Mr Freeman thought he was doing the right thing, but drivers are trained for these circumstances and he should have stopped at the light.”


In future then I will ignore Sue Cooper's confidence and her knowledge of the Highway Code and will play it by ear and try to judge the situation as it is presented to me. However if I do decide to go through a red light it will be in the knowledge that I will be in the wrong and that I probably won't be able to get away with it if I end up in court.
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Old 30th Aug 2006, 21:41
  #256 (permalink)  
 
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bjcc

Slim_slag posted what he felt were his prospects of success if he contested a motoring matter in court. I responded specifically to that point, and stand by my response.

_________________________


"the number of times it happens and the reasoning is excepted far and away outweights the number that go before a court."

What precisely are you claiming?

That the number of times explanations given by drivers caught by speed cameras is accepted far outweighs the number that go before a court?

Or that the number of times explanations given by drivers caught by speed cameras specifically relating to getting out of the way of emergency service vehicles is accepted far outweighs the number that go before a court?

You say "before a court".
Do you mean that?
Or are you including the number that are dealt with administratively by way of a fixed penalty and penalty points?
Are you taking into account the number of drivers who, having had their explanations rejected, accept a fixed penalty because they decide it would be a waste of time, effort and money contesting the matter in court - believing (rightly or wrongly) that they'll be convicted anyway?

On what are you basing your "far outweighs" claim?
Have you worked in a department which decides whether or not drivers caught by speed cameras should be prosecuted? If so, which one?
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Old 30th Aug 2006, 22:01
  #257 (permalink)  
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"I also move-over for (civilian) motorcycles (to let them know I know that they're there). Often get an acknowledgement wave too!'"


You can also get an extended left leg too! This also means 'thankyou', and not what they'd like to do to your door panel (unless it's done en passant!).
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Old 31st Aug 2006, 06:14
  #258 (permalink)  
 
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FL

How often do you think people find themselves in the position S_S was?

How often do people end up in court?

How often do motorists get issued with a ticket for excess speed or ATS for moving out of the way of an emergency vehicles?

Very few.

The links provided by eticket provide evidence of 2. One of which, the incident with the ambulance is a matter of concern, but then, I don't know what the photo showed. It is interesting he was apparently told by the Clark of the Court that he would face huge legal fees if he plead not guilty.

Of course his chances of success, by pleading guilty are zero.

In the circumstances S_S discribes, assuming that he really could not have pulled to to left, I would have been only to happy to offer to appear in his defence had I been the driver of the emergency vehicle. I would think most other emergency vehicle drivers would have the same attitude.

I would assume you will contradict me, if I pointed out that as someone said before, if the emergency vehicle is a Police one, then if the crew indicate you to cross a red light, then a defence would be very simple, that the officer was at that time directing traffic (albeit not in the traditional way) and therefore a driver was simply complying with that.
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Old 31st Aug 2006, 09:20
  #259 (permalink)  
 
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bjcc,

A criminal justice system has to be set up to handle exceptions. This is what I saw happening.

1) My first letter to 'safety partnership' not properly read by person on minimum wage who has far too much work to do as it's efficient that way. Given court date.
2) My second letter to 'safety partnership' not properly read by person on minimum wage. Told to "tell it to the judge" on the date already advised.
3) Magistrates think "here comes another one, everybody else has lied to me today, and I don't like speeders anyway because I know they all did it, and it is an insult to The Court to argue otherwise".
4) Magistrate not persuaded I am innocent "beyond a reasonable doubt". Gets calculator out to work out what £60 multipled by ten is.
5) I refuse to grovel in apology, magistrate gets calculator out to multiply above amount by five.

I am sorry, but that's how I think the system works. Am I wrong to have this opinion? So I obeyed the law.

Interestingly enough, nobody has produced a bit of law which says a private citizen can break a speed limit to get out of the way of an ambulance. You say a police driver can tell you to break a law as he is 'directing traffic', does it say an ambulance driver has the same statutory powers?
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Old 31st Aug 2006, 10:09
  #260 (permalink)  
 
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bjcc

You made a claim which I found surprising. (I don't know if it's correct or not.)
Further, I don’t understand how you’re in a position to make such a claim.
"the number of times it happens and the reasoning is excepted far and away outweights the number that go before a court."
For those reasons, I asked you a few straight-forward questions and you were unable to give straight-forward answers.
If we make bold assertions here, surely we must expect to be asked questions or challenged to support them? If we're unable to do so, we can't expect people to attach much (if any) weight to what we say.

Was your claim was based on a hunch? Or perhaps on how you hope the system works? (I hope so too; but my hunch is that it doesn't always work that fairly.)

_________________________


Re your penultimate paragraph –
It would depend upon the emergency service driver remembering the specific incident – which might depend upon the length of his journey and the number of vehicles that gave way to him. If he didn’t, the accused driver would have to assess his chances of being successful in court without supporting evidence.

Re your final paragraph –
Yes, I’m afraid you are wrong. Using such a defence successfully in court would not be simple.

BTW, I don’t accept that blues and twos are a means of directing traffic. In particular, that blue and twos direct a driver in front to exceed the speed limit, or to drive through a red light, in order to give way to the police vehicle.
Feel free to point to material which supports your proposition.


FL
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