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Blue flashing lights

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Blue flashing lights

Old 27th Dec 2005, 22:56
  #1 (permalink)  
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Blue flashing lights

Why do the UK police sit behind a vehicle, be it broken down or stopped with blue lights flashing?
See this everyday on the M6 around Brum.
Why not use amber flashers. Nothing more irratating than doing 70 ish down motorway only to have traffic ahead slow down to 60 to pass a Police car on the hard shoulder, probably helping a stranded motorist. Then to speed back up to 70 plus.

At least they now don't operate the front blue flashers so at least the traffic on the otherside continues to flow normally.

Surely blue flashers should only be used to indicate a real danger, such as obstructed carriageway, or get out of the way lights.
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Old 27th Dec 2005, 23:01
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But (as a professional driver) what gets me is why does everyone stand on the brakes when they see the blue flashers? Its not like they are going to hop back in their car and have you for going past them at 7.32mph over the speed limit
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Old 27th Dec 2005, 23:01
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Quite possibly the lights are for “Please don’t RUN OVER ME as I assist this person.”
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Old 27th Dec 2005, 23:04
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Why slow down to 60mph on the motorway? The legal speed limit is 70 and therefore, 70-ish is probably within their error boundary!

If you ARE on the inside lane, then slowing down, whether blue or amber lights is the safe thing to do.

Cheers

Whirls
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Old 27th Dec 2005, 23:19
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Interesting subject, particuarly for a sad act like me.

I was having a chat with a senior traffic copper just last week on this very subject and apparently the current thinking is that blue lights for a fend off on the hard shoulder is a no no, the ideal warning system being red repeaters with hazard lights.

Studies have shown that people get so distracted by blue lights that they make mistakes, for example driving into the vehicle that the blue lights are attatched to, which is rather bad news of course.

The new DoT vehicles (generally 4x4s with battenburg livery and orange & red lights) seem to fend off adequately with their visual warning systems.

As BidEndBob points out, the fronts lights are now cancelled for a rear fend off, on a similair note, in my area when the traffic units are responding they kill their rear lights, as there is no point in telling everyone where you have just been.

Last edited by Paracab; 28th Dec 2005 at 01:45.
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Old 28th Dec 2005, 01:01
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My forces policy is that when a vehicle is stopped minimum standards dictate Red/Blue rear stobes are on.

You will find that when a police vehicle stops another, the police vehicle will sit slightly pround so as to protect the other driver when they get out.

Police strobes are very powerful and can be seen quite some distance away, giving others opportunity to slow down in good time instead of slamming on the brakes at the last moment.

If im stood on the motorway, I would prefer others to slow down cause, I would be very nurvous of someone driving towards me with mobile to ear whilst eating a cornish pastie doing 90mph
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Old 28th Dec 2005, 06:22
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There have been more than a few incidents involving traffic officers while they are assisting at accidents or breakdowns. One near Colchester Essex a few years ago was a fatal. Officer killed in broad daylight by a driver that "just did not see him."

Whatever it takes to stop this happening agin.
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Old 28th Dec 2005, 07:42
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Installing extra amber lights in addition to the existing blue ones would increase Zero List Drag to the point where the pigs would be unable to keep up with lebs in stolen WRXs...
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Old 28th Dec 2005, 07:53
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people get so distracted by blue lights that they make mistakes, for example driving into the vehicle that the blue lights are attatched to
Which suggests that, instead of changing the colour of the lights, there needs to be a stricter control of the minimum number of functioning brain cells possessed by licensed drivers. That'd help me out as well (no.....not by invalidating my license ).

I think blue is cool, anyway. Plus, it's cool. Blue rules. More blue I say.
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Old 28th Dec 2005, 09:39
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More blue I say.
Don't get caried away ! I think you'd better stop short of adding a pair of blue [email protected] Lights to the windscreen washers. That's a sure sign of reduced brain cell count.
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Old 28th Dec 2005, 10:00
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pair of blue [email protected] Lights
I like that one Grainger! Made me smile!
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Old 28th Dec 2005, 10:07
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Why are we sending well paid, skilled police officers to breakdowns? Shouldn't we use their skills more effectively?

Why not train civilians to do the job instead. We could equip them well, with resources and training, and call them "highway agency" officers, thus releasing skilled police officers to get on with the job they are so good at - law enforcement.

Lets use our taxes more effeciently and effectively I say
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Old 28th Dec 2005, 10:24
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Them blue [email protected] are a menace.

A pair doubly so.
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Old 28th Dec 2005, 10:28
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Slighty off subject but...

Boxing Day, and Family ES went to the circus where Miss ES (aged 6) wanted a furry wand that flashed blue lights (no, do not even think of going there...). Parental permission granted provided wand not waved and said lights were not on in car on journey home. Well, there we were, doing steady 70mph on dark motorway when the inevitable happened, wand with lights on waved around on back seat. Joint parental instant admonishment from front seats. However, what was funny (I know, it would not have been so funny if it caused accident, etc, etc, but with no harm done I am allowed my laugh) was way car overtaking suddenly slowed down at sight of blue lights.
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Old 28th Dec 2005, 10:42
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Installing extra amber lights in addition to the existing blue ones would increase Zero List Drag to the point where the pigs would be unable to keep up with lebs in stolen WRXs...
Chine,

Some people like myself might find your words insulting...

The fact that you refer to the police as "pigs" tells me what sort of person you are.

you may need them one day

for example

Oneday you could be in the toilets at kingscross station carrying out your business when your aged punter makes off without paying for services rendered...

who you gonna call?


There are alot of current and ex old bill in these forums so, be nice...
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Old 28th Dec 2005, 10:47
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Given the propensity of the Great British Driving Public to run into things on and near motorways (that's why you are always told to get away from the car if it has to stop on the hard shoulder) if I were a police officer or an emergency worker I should want to be lit up like Blackpool illuminations.
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Old 28th Dec 2005, 10:50
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It's good to see that at least some motorway police are aware that people drive using hand-held mobiles. It's just a pity they dfon't spend a little more time, and the technology that is undoubtedly available to nick the b*ggers who are endangering their fellow motorists to a far greater degree that someone doing 90mph with both hands on the wheel.
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Old 28th Dec 2005, 11:12
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TwoLowTerrain.
A query please. Not a "trick" question by the way as I have said previously, I am in favour of more Traffic Officers, not fewer. Anyway, re your comments about your Forces policy on lights, is this simply your Forces own regulation or is it supposed to be a Nationwide requirement ? I ask purely because as I drive all over the UK as part of my occupation, I thus notice the different approaches of the numerous Forces.

On the other hand it would be nice if a modicum of brain was used by drivers in the first place and they moved into the centre or outside lane to get past an incident on the hard shoulder. This would, however, require said drivers to make a simple overtaking manouvre which is beyond the cruise control adherents and middle lane disciples in the first place!. As has been said previously, for anybody on the hard shoulder or indeed on the Motorway per se in an incident, then surely the more Warning and Attention lights the better for ALL concerned.
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Old 28th Dec 2005, 11:59
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Krystal.

I agree with your comments regarding the use of lights.

I believe that there is a national standard which comes from Centrex the police training body.

Its down to individual forces to enforce policy to the minimum standard as set by Centrex.

Health & Safety would suggest that when carrying out a traffic stop, strobes should be used.

Some officers dont bother.

If a police officer stops a motorist and another vehicle drives into the stopped vehicle or the driver gets hit... guess who is gonna get a visit from complaints and disipline and this is regardless as to wheather it was safe to do so.

They are fitted to the vehicle for a reason so... We should use them.

One more thing...

Rear strobes are red and blue.

They are not hypnotic so, there is no excuse for driving into a police vehicle with said strobes flashing.
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Old 28th Dec 2005, 12:56
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TooLowTerrain

Thanks for your reply Much appreciated.
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