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One law for the police,another for the motorist

Discussion in 'Motoring' started by gavan, Sep 24, 2007.

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  1. gavan

    gavan Member

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    No, just a sense of fair play and the fact that I'm aghast at seeing driving like that on public roads, regardless of who is doing it.

    If police can cane their cars around the road like that on a driver assessment exercise then surely a 'properly trained and assessed' regular citizen can do likewise?

    If that's the case, then I'll remove my 'fairness' objection but I still think that the moves shown on the programme were deplorable no matter who was doing them - unless in the case of a genuine life or death emergency.
  2. gavan

    gavan Member

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    I see where you're coming from but I didn't see any evidence of the sideroads being blocked and ISTR that there were some cars coming out of them in the shot that we saw (might not have been the same one under discussion). Also the item was a report of a single driver being assessed - no evidence to support that it was part of a wider exercise involving training of multiple drivers in support duties.

    Further, if they did want to assess a manoeuvre like that (having outriders block side roads or traffic light junctions to allow safe high speed passage), why could it not have been done on a track with cones/prop traffic lights? According to VBHs description they approached the lights at 130 before slowing to 100 to shoot the red. Rather a dangerous price to pay if the training went wrong(or assessment exercise as it was in this case).
  3. gibbsy

    gibbsy Active Member

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    Interesting discussion, especially the fact that the police car went through a red light at 100mph. I did see the programme and would love to see the whole of the unedited video.

    As far as I can remember from my days of driving fire appliances to incidents red lights had to be treated thus: You had to approach any traffic lights with audable warning devices sounding for at least 100 metres. You had to reduce speed and be prepared to stop. If the lights were against you (red) you had to treat them as a 'give way' signal and proceed through them with caution. If you had an accident going through a red light on the way to an incident then the driver could face prosecution for dangerous driving. I retired from the service in 1994 so perhaps I'm out of date. To be quite honest I don't think I ever went through a red light without a substantial lift of the throttle.

    Pelican crossing lights on red: You must stop.

    As far as the driving at high speeds on the public highway it is a must. No amount of track driving can get you ready for public roads. In the fire service we had to go on refresher courses every two years, they were known as EFAD courses (Emergency Fast Appliance Driving) and you were instructed to floor it when it was safe to do so, I touched 100mph on the M4 in a 11 ton Dennis (down hill and with a following wind I may add). However on this course we were not allowed to go through red lights or to exceed 30 or 40 mph limits in built up areas which obviously they did in the programme.
  4. Ian J

    Ian J New Member

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    I fully agree. It's alright claiming that you have your siren wailing away but that won't be of any use if the other driver who thinks that it's safe to proceed as the lights are green is deaf and can't hear the siren.
  5. vonhosen

    vonhosen Member

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    Dispense with the laws of the land ?

    What laws were dispensed with ?

    She was sitting in, watching a driver being assessed on a drive by an instructor.
  6. vonhosen

    vonhosen Member

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    Was there any danger though ?

    If you have excellent line of sight approaching the lights, can see that there is nothing else approaching the lights then you are clear to go, because the red light is a give way effectively for a Police vehicle.

    The better the vision, the earlier you can make that decision.
    With poor or obstructed vision you wouldn't do it at high speed.
    You only commit to going when you are sure it's safe to.
  7. Solomon Grundy

    Solomon Grundy Active Member

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    I think the best place to train for high speed pursuits is on normal roads, there can be nothing to substitute it.

    It is a stupid argument to say "well they do it, why can't I"...would you do a drug bust, catch a kerb crawler, chase a car thief...because that's what the cops do too?
  8. vonhosen

    vonhosen Member

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    You are referring to the junction that was shown as the junction that was taken at 100mph. It doesn't necessarily follow that's the case. It may be they had no footage of the junction being taken at 100mph, so edited in them going through another red light, with that talk over. The junction that was shown when she was talking about that incident, didn't look like he was approaching at 100mph at all.
  9. dan54

    dan54 Member

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    Errr..last time I looked doing nearly twice the speed limit and going the wrong way round a roundabout.

    The problem is we (the public) keep getting it rammed down our throats that speed kills and how doing 35 in a 30 is a serious offence,which costs hundreds of lives and we must be punished with fines and points.Now I've got nothing against fire engines and ambulances rushing to a scene but I cant think of many scenarios where the police need to be doing 130mph.
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  10. vonhosen

    vonhosen Member

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    No laws were broken, he was using a legally held exemption at the time. That exemption is written into the law. If he wasn't using the legally held exemption then the speed limits would apply to him just as they do to you.
  11. Solomon Grundy

    Solomon Grundy Active Member

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    I can't believe all this bitterness toward our Police force over something like this...it basically amounts to jealousy because people want to drive that fast too...

    Don't get me wrong I am not a huge fan of the police, mainly because when you have to deal with them they have an inbred disability which prevents them from hearing what you are actually trying to say to them, but this is ridiculous.
  12. gavan

    gavan Member

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    Yes, taking umbrage at police tearing down public roads at 130mph before speeding through reds at 100mph on driving assessments whilst the public is relentlessly hammered with fines for minor motoring infractions is just jealousy obviously :rolleyes:

    I certainly don't want to be caning through reds at 100mph, even if I was legally allowed to do so. Nor do I want to drive at 130mph on normal single carriageway roads, nor tear around roundabouts in the wrong direction.
  13. gavan

    gavan Member

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    I acknowledged that in the post. However, she clearly described them zooming down a road at 130mph before slowing to 100mph to shoot red lights.

    You can imagine all sorts of ameliorating circumstances (like outriders blocking said lights) but that's pure conjecture and in any case that sort of setup could best have been practised on a track. All available evidence from the show says it was a single car out with the driver on a personal assessment, not part of a wider exercise.
  14. Mylo

    Mylo Member

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    A car breaks down in the fast lane of the M6 outside of rush hour. The driver cannot safely leave the car for fear of being killed. It's only a matter of time before approaching drivers do not see the stranded vehicles hazard lights and plough straight into it. The closest traffic car is 15 miles away.

    This is not a made up scenario. If the police followed the 70mph rule the odds are there would be a multiple pile up with many serious injuries.
  15. vonhosen

    vonhosen Member

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    He obviously made an assessment then. He was approaching at 130, couldn't see it was safe to go, at 100 he could & went through at that speed. What evidence have you that sight lines weren't good ?
    That there was any danger at all ?
    Did VBH say that what he did was dangerous ?

    You can't reproduce the amount of hazards, the variation in any simulator or on track. There is no substitute for practicing in a live environment under the guidance of an experienced instructor. Believe me the instructors survival instinct will take over. If the driver is dangerous he'll step in.
  16. Miniholic

    Miniholic Active Member

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    There you go, one law for them, one for everyone else. The exemption is in place to allow the police to do their job without breaking the law.

    Right Mylo, you can close this one now. :smashin:

    What I find totally wrong is that armed response officers can shoot people, but I can't. How is that fair? :devil: :D
  17. co55ie

    co55ie Member

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    They do need to drive fast thats true but not at the risk of causing an accident or serious injury to the general public.

    It is just as unsafe for a highly trained driver to drive at 50 mph thorugh a 30mph zone as it is for an average driver. Unless of course the police driver training empowers the driver with being able to see into the future , gives super human reactions and gives the car being driven by the trained officer reverse thrusters so it can stop instantly.

    You cannot drive safely at 130mph full stop no matter how skillful a driver you are in any circumstance without seriously endangering the lives of others. Hows the driver training going to help when your car starts to spin at 130 mph because there is oil on the road maybe there is a lorry broken down just beyond the blind bend.


    In the vast majority of cases the risks involved aernt justified by the circumstances. If a kid has nicked a moped it really isnt worth risking peoples lives to catch them which is exactly what the Police do.
  18. vonhosen

    vonhosen Member

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    You drive so you can stop within the distance you can see to be clear & reasonably respect to remain so, that's the golden rule.
    If there is a lorry around the bend stopped, you should be driving so that you can stop short of it.
  19. co55ie

    co55ie Member

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    then your agreeing that the police shouldnt speed at all. As the legal speed limit for a road has been deemed as the fastest safe speed for the conditions and potential hazards that may and will be posed.

    No training course can influence the external factors of any situation.

    You cannot control a car any car at very high speeds safely on the public roads without serious risk to others no matter how skilled a driver you may be. The police are imbaciles if they think different and try to make any justification to the contary.

    Fact very few police have had any real driver training.
  20. Mylo

    Mylo Member

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    :lesson:I'll say again, this is not a police bashing thread.

    Your choice of wording is getting offensive.

    I've read no statements from the POLICE justifying their actions, in this thread.
  21. co55ie

    co55ie Member

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    I think training to drive through red traffic lights at 100mph on a public road is more than enough justification for my wording.

    Its utter lunacy and nothing other than a total disregard for the publics safety.. You cannot justify these actions under any circumsatance. It is reckless in the very most extreme sense of the word, infact it is way beyond reckless ,lunacy and the other words I have used

    But I will accept you position :thumbsup: on the wording
  22. gavan

    gavan Member

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    Driving at 130mph on a public road, in traffic is dangerous. Period.

    Driving through red lights at 100mph, on a public road, in traffic is dangerous. Period.

    Just because they are the Police and they can get away with it without being hauled into court like any common or garden road-going hooligan driver would be, doesn't make them omnipotent or make their actions (which we saw many examples of on the show) in any way 'safe'.

    If a member of the public had attempted any of the antics we saw clearly played out on camera by the police, I doubt a magistrate or judge would have given them the time of day when they started to explain their actions as being 'safe because they knew what they were doing'.
  23. co55ie

    co55ie Member

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    i would also love to know given the dangerous potential of the Police's stance on road use why they cannot be bothered to fit their cars with sirens that carry a proper directional sound (white noise blasts for example) so at least the public have some idea which direction they are coming from at 130 mph plus
  24. Mylo

    Mylo Member

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    What about this example.

    If you watched the program you would have heard the reference to the different sirens the car was fitted with.
  25. jaymz

    jaymz Member

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    I believe this does appear to be double standards especially if what they are doing is only a training and assesment event staged for the TV program.

    However if i was that person on the M4 who had broken down and i would expect them to be there ASAP.

    Although I do believe the traffic lights where not safe to approach at 100MPH as there was no safe line of sight as it was surround by trees. Nor did they approach a roundabout the wrong way.

    I happened to record it last night on my MCE machine so here it is for anybody to see again;

    http://www.mediafire.com/?9kzxl6zgxmj
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  26. Mylo

    Mylo Member

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    nice one dude :smashin:

    That clears up the roundabout situation. They did not go round it the wrong way from what I could see.

    The 100mph red light was not shown either, the one shown was quite slow.
  27. vonhosen

    vonhosen Member

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    The lights shown don't look like they were the junction referred to as taken at 100mph.

    Correct, they didn't go the wrong way around a roundabout.

    It's not double standards. It's an assessment drive (which would be a perfectly acceptable use of the exemption, all Police drivers have to periodically be checked to maintain standards) & she was allowed to sit in on it.
  28. vonhosen

    vonhosen Member

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    Rubbish 130 is just a number, whether it's safe or not can only be judged by the circumstances in which it was being done. Every person who does such speeds on a public road isn't convicted of dangerous driving, because it isn't always dangerous.

    No it's not, circumstances matter.
    If you go to court & say "it was dangerous" & they say "why" & you say "because it just is" you aren't going to get a conviction.

    If a Police officer drives dangerously the same will happen to them as does to a member of the public.

    If a member of the public did the same as the Police driver did, yes they would be prosecuted for speeding & running a red light. It doesn't matter if it was safe for them, because they don't have an exemption & it's an absolute offence if you don't. No danger is required to be shown.

    Rather than saying 130 is dangerous & going through a red light at 100 is dangerous, outlining exactly what evidence from the video constituted dangerous driving.
  29. vonhosen

    vonhosen Member

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    It's the circumstances that matter.
    No video was shown of going through red lights at 100mph. You are reacting to a headline without any detail of the story. You weren't there, so you can't offer a constructive opinion of it being dangerous in the circumstances, let alone hope to qualify with evidence what you are basing the opinion on.

    Variable tones &/or white noise tones are fitted to vehicles.

    You don't carry 130mph into situations where you are concerned that there is potential for vehicles much slower to pull into your path.

    The speed does nothing in itself to tell you if it's dangerous or not.
  30. gavan

    gavan Member

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    I'd be extremely interested to know if any members of the general public (not retired or off duty cops) have ever shot a red light at 100mph or similar speed and got away with it in court.

    Likewise, I'd also like to know of any cases of members of the public being brought up in court for doing 130mph and the judge ruling that it was 'safe' because the driver/conditions made it suitably safe to do that speed on a public road in traffic.

    I think we all know what the answers would be. The fixed penalty system is kind of an answer in itself to what the stance for the public is. Apparently the police force have magic powers that enable them to far exceed speed limits in complete safety though
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