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Driving At 159mph Is Safe

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Driving At 159mph Is Safe

Old 25th Aug 2006, 15:00
  #141 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by G-CPTN
I'm afraid (?) I'm in favour of the PC 'familiarising' himself with his new vehicle, just as a fighter pilot requires to discover what his mount will do, despite no enemies being about.
Surely there are race tracks, disused airfileds and other non-public areas that could be used but an A road at those speeds??

Would this ruling also apply if it was a professional bodyguard practising his getaway skills? if not why not.
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Old 25th Aug 2006, 15:13
  #142 (permalink)  

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I'm afraid (?) I'm in favour of the PC 'familiarising' himself with his new vehicle, just as a fighter pilot requires to discover what his mount will do, despite no enemies being about.
Isn't familiarising yourself in such a fashion on a public road like your fighter pilot familiarising himself with his mount on the approaches to Heathrow?

As Choxolate says, there are more appropriate places.
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Old 25th Aug 2006, 15:27
  #143 (permalink)  
 
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God help everyone if he gets his hands on that 300+mph JCB diesel car!
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Old 25th Aug 2006, 15:48
  #144 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Cheerio
Extract from news.bbc:

The police are 'dissapointed' with his conviction, and would appeal.

That's not what the news report says.

The police prosecuted him.
The police appealed when he was found not guilty the first time and asked for a retrial.
The policemen's union says it's disappointed etc.
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Old 25th Aug 2006, 15:52
  #145 (permalink)  
 
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G-CPTN, I could agree with you if it was 159mph in the right time and place. The Police could do the same as Aston Martin used to do on the M1. Make sure the road is clear and go for it.

BUT, 131mph on a 60mph limited A road, and worse 91mph in a 30mph. How does that relate to familiarising with the vehicle.

As for "the speed recorded by the on-board camera was different to the actual speed of the car", I bet that would not make any difference to PC Milton nicking someone for speeding.

OKAY FOR PC MILTON OKAY FOR US, just off to check my cars performance, see if the manufacturers figures are correct.
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Old 25th Aug 2006, 16:06
  #146 (permalink)  
 
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Heliport,
I paraphrased it, here is a direct quote:

'The West Mercia Police Federation said it was "disappointed" with the guilty verdict and would lodge an appeal.'
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Old 25th Aug 2006, 16:08
  #147 (permalink)  
 
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Cheerio

I think "Police Federation" = policemen's union.
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Old 25th Aug 2006, 16:11
  #148 (permalink)  
 
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Thanks for the clarification!
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Old 25th Aug 2006, 16:11
  #149 (permalink)  
 
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As a PC with some knowledge of how the disciplinary process works (in my force anyway) the outcome of the case will bear little on the outcome of any disciplinary proceedings taken against him. I fail to see how those sorts of speeds can be justified, especially when off duty as it would be difficult to justify them under ANY circumstances.
As for the quote saying that the Police are disappointed in the outcome, I would comment that it would have been the Police who started proceedings against the officer. Having re-read the article after the mods post i see that it does not say that.
I can assure anyone who wants to know that these days you are left high and dry by the job if you ever commit an "indiscretion" without even the support of a union as it is illegal for us to have one..ok we have a "federation" which does its best to represent us but no one likes to hang a copper more than another copper.
Anyway, back to the point of the post..This is embarrasing for my profession but the logic of the courts is often unfathomable to say the least! More to the point, nothing angers an honest PC more than somebody who tries every angle to get off something. Ok that is there right in law and I cannot say for certain how my integrity would hold up in such a situation as I am only human, but i for one would never think myself superhuman and above the law. In fact I drive like a granny...
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Old 25th Aug 2006, 16:19
  #150 (permalink)  
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Certainly I would always start my familiarisation with a fresh vehicle on a private space, learning the power-on / power-off characteristics and the tendency of a vehicle to understeer / oversteer, but few test tracks have extensive lengths of 'highway'. Ours had a 2-mile banked circular track where speeds (well) in excess of 100 mph could be negotiated 'hands off' as the track camber would keep the vehicle pointing in the 'ahead' direction. Altering speed would merely cause the vehicle to settle higher or lower on the banking. Hardly a true appreciation of the straight-line stability. Certainly we had an extensive 'B-road' circuit, but again the road camber was arranged advantageously, and a couple of 'ride-and-handling' circuits, but these were not really high-speed capable (except by out-and-out racing drivers). Despite all these facilities, it was still enlightening to drive on public roads with all their foibles. I have no doubt that the Police driver, despite his speed, was performing within his capabilities. I have been passenger to drivers who have been able to perform manouevres that I have considered impossible (and indeed would have been judged dangerous if executed by 'average' drivers). In my opinion it's like comparing a typical Cessna pilot with a fully trained and experienced 'Top Gun' FI. Agreed, it would be 'unreasonable' for a fighter pilot to practice his intercept skills amongst the usual Heathrow approach traffic, but this Police Driver was driving in the middle of the night on deserted roads. That, of course is no guarantee that there was NOBODY about (after all, HE was), but again, I believe that he would be driving with due care and attention to possible hazards. I have (before the 70mph blanket limit) driven on public roads at very high speeds. High speed is not, in itself, dangerous. Of course there have been times when I admit I have taken chances beyond what might have been reasonable (just as many of you might admit to exceeding the speed limit on occasions), but in general I consider that my driving remains within the bounds of safety. As I have said, I've been a passenger with (including Police drivers) when they've driven in a manner beyond 'my' standards of capability, yet not considered dangerous (IMHO) due to the reserve capacity of reaction and response available to the driver.
Aviation requires stringent safety standards due to the nature of the business being 'passenger-carrying'. One wouldn't expect a bus-driver to drive in a 'spirited' manner (however I have been passenger in such a vehicle when the driver made-up twenty minutes on his schedule, though he was always legal and 'safe' IMHO - I offered him a job as a test driver afterwards! I doubt if the other passengers noticed, such was the smoothness of his driving.).

I don't expect universal approval of my comments and opinion expressed above.
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Old 25th Aug 2006, 16:28
  #151 (permalink)  
 
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Professional bodyguards don't carry the Queens Warrant, they are mostly jumped up nightclub doormen.
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Old 25th Aug 2006, 16:32
  #152 (permalink)  
 
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At 131mph with a coefficient of static friction of 0.9 (i'm being generous here as the standard normally used iis 0.8) the stopping distance in a straight line on dry roads is 200 metres (give or take 10 metres). With a reaction time of .2 seconds (and that is superman good) will give an overall stopping distance of nearly 250 metres. (see http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/crstp.html )

Do you still " have no doubt that the Police driver, despite his speed, was performing within his capabilities" considering it was night and headlights were unlikley to clearly illuminate anything further than 100 metres away.

Tony D - the Queens warrant is not a licence to break the law, and I was referring to a professional bodyguard not some half wit door keeper in a nightclub
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Old 25th Aug 2006, 16:57
  #153 (permalink)  
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I'll concede your point, Chox, but a skilled driver is always assessing his escape and avoidance possibilities. A complete stop isn't always necessary, and we (at least I) don't know the width of the carriageway subjected to the 30mph limit.
Locally, we have a section of road previously 'unlimited' which has had the 30 mph limit extended (and street lighting installed) as it joins two centres of habitation. It is straight and level and I have previously driven (a racing sports car) along there at 130mph (pre national limit). On the same section of road I was also required to drop my motorcycle into a two-foot high snowdrift when a truck emerged from a side turning (during daylight, but on hard-packed snow) then stopped (when he saw me) in the middle of my chosen avoidance route (I'd planned to travel BEHIND him but had to change to the FRONT as he had stopped within my probable trajectory). My speed at the time was below 30mph due to the road conditions.
A Police advanced driving instructor who viewed the video confirmed the 'accused's' driving as not dangerous:-
But former police driving instructor Douglas Boulton, who viewed a video of Pc Milton's driving on the day, said he saw "no problem with it at all".
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Old 25th Aug 2006, 17:10
  #154 (permalink)  
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A Police advanced driving instructor who viewed the video confirmed the 'accused's' driving as not dangerous:-
The same could be said of millions of drivers who have received fixed penalty notices, fines and indeed driving bans for exceeding the limit, often for only a few seconds and by only a very small margin.

Arguing that your actions were not "dangerous" is not accepted as a defence for a civilian driver, so shouldn't be used to justify the actions of someone who should be setting us all an example.

Once again, one law for us and one for them.
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Old 25th Aug 2006, 17:16
  #155 (permalink)  
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But he was accused (and convicted) of DANGEROUS driving, not exceeding the speed limit!
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Old 25th Aug 2006, 17:47
  #156 (permalink)  
 
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Milton's solicitor, David Twigg, said the appeal would challenge the judge's view that his client's advance driving skills were irrelevant to the charge.
Interesting point.

Should the experience/skill/qualifications of a driver be one of the factors taken into account when deciding if his driving was actually "dangerous"?

Taking extremes for the sake of example, I can think of things which would endanger a helicopter, occupants and maybe even people on the ground if done by a student PPL but not if done by a professional helicopter pilot with say 30 years continuous experience.


NB. One factor, not necessarily the deciding factor. Obviously, some things are dangerous whoever does them.

H.

Any thoughts?
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Old 25th Aug 2006, 17:59
  #157 (permalink)  
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'Granny' (or in my case, 'Great Aunt') meandering onto a motorway via a slip road at 40mph (in second gear) without looking behind or considering the ability of the existing traffic to reposition to AVOID her as she sails out into the inside lane. Well she DID have her indicator flashing, and isn't it up to following drivers to drive at an appropriate speed so that they can stop safely within the distance that they can see? Ergo the following traffic would be responsible for 'driving without due care and attention' or maybe even 'dangerously'. Or should the following vehicle in the 'slow' lane just pull across (after signalling of course) into the middle lane (and so on). THEN the BMW in the 'fast lane' (talking on his hand-held mobile 'phone) would be responsible for not anticipating the events . . .
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Old 25th Aug 2006, 18:23
  #158 (permalink)  
 
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......with PC Milton bearing down on them at 159mph.....
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Old 25th Aug 2006, 18:24
  #159 (permalink)  
 
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I have bumped the 155 limiter in legal conditions in Europe, and elsewhere where it is not legal. If you don't want the time, don't do the crime etc. I suspect we have here on a forum that attracts such types, plenty who would profess lightning reactions, mechanical sympathy and a knack for anticipation. But, we would not get the same consideration as PC Milton, regardless of our portfolio. If Nigel Mansell were caught in the same circumstance, he would be made an example, as this guy should have.
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Old 25th Aug 2006, 18:28
  #160 (permalink)  
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That's emotive, Yakker. There was little or no traffic around when PC Milton was 'familiarising' himself. Road CONDITIONS are taken into consideration, even by racing drivers. It's part of the training (and experience). Without experience of driving in traffic, how would PC Milton know when it is appropriate to travel quickly. If he ONLY tested on a private track there probably wouldn't be any traffic for him to avoid.

Originally Posted by Cheerio
If Nigel Mansell were caught in the same circumstance, he would be made an example, as this guy should have.
Nigel Mansell (despite being a special constable) doesn't work as a pursuit driver with instructions from the Home Office to maintain (and hone) his driving skills. I repeat, PC Milton WASN'T charged with exceeding the speed limit.
Remember, PC Milton has spent ten weeks under instruction LEARNING HOW TO DRIVE FAST SAFELY. He has a certificate to verify that his abilities have been approved for use on public highways. Most of this instruction WOULD take place on public highways (and much at speeds in excess of the speed limits). It's going on (and has been going on for decades). PC Milton's 'crime' was not to get clearance from his superiors before carrying-out his familiarisation (and when he was off-duty). He deserves internal discipline for being a silly boy and not following proceedures.

Last edited by G-CPTN; 25th Aug 2006 at 18:40.
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