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-   -   Festival6, Portmeirion - Joint Operation (https://www.4x4response.info/showthread.php?t=5589)

JerryG 06-09-2016 07:35 AM

Festival6, Portmeirion - Joint Operation
 
It was a pleasure to work with a friendly and professional team of 4x4Responders this Sunday and Monday at the Portmeirion Festival. Job was to extricate vehicles from one of the worst wet and muddy car parks I've seen in a while. Why they put a main car park in a field which was reputed to be below sea level is beyond me. Don't they know the tide comes in and it rains in Wales!!
Wales 4x4R kicked the job off and requested assistance through the joint working procedure. They were joined by NW4x4R, WM4x4R and GW4x4R, and I think maybe Hereford? If I 've forgotten anyone - apologies.
A terrific group of like minded people.
We all mucked in together, literally, and after pulling each other out a few times, soon got used to where we could drive. Not many places! We were excluded from one of the main car parks, only tractors in there and even some of them had to be rescued.
Sunday night looked grim, with the possibility that we would have to stand down as it was becoming difficult to move around especially with more rain forecast, but Monday morning came round and we just got stuck in - excuse the pun. By early afternoon we had practically cleared one of the main car parks. An excellent effort by all.
Duncan ably took on the co-ordination role for all the Responders present and looked after our welfare. Thank you for the Pizza and Chips!
This was a magnificent effort by 4x4 Response and one we shouldn't be afraid of trumpeting across the land to highlight the capabilities and professionalism of our organisation. Best wishes to all.

TimChilde 07-09-2016 09:09 PM

I've heard a few reports back from our guys that went - and it sounds like it was quite 'interesting' ;)

It's really good to see different groups coming together and working well alongside each other.


Well done guys.

Tim.C

Chopper 08-09-2016 08:32 AM

Top work to the guys and gals that went.

However, is there any reason why the organisers did not call in expensive commercial recovery operators?

DuncanS 08-09-2016 10:23 AM

And you can name some local recovery operators that could actually do that in a sensible timeframe? I don't know of many companies nationally that could pull off something like that to be honest.

Chopper 08-09-2016 10:40 AM

I know 2 locally, and I haven't been in the trade for over 2 decades.

My concern is the network is being increasingly utilised by commercial entities who have failed in their planning. Those commercial enterprises are utilising a charity to save the day, and aren't paying the charity/those charities the commercial rate for the work.

We're increasingly becoming a cheap default for people who put profits before planning. Little seems being done to stop this trend. I didn't join to be a cheap source of labour and equipment for business enterprises, and I won't turn out for such a call unless I know my team is being paid a realistic commercial rate.

Warren Dukes 08-09-2016 12:38 PM

I agree with Richard's comments almost entirely. It's one thing to 'help out' in a genuinely unexpected event or emergency situation, but, when proper Risk Management and Contingency Planning is not carried out by commercial event organisers, it is not really the remit of 4x4R to drag them out of the mire. However, being paid a commercial rate to do the job would raise a whole host of other potential pitfalls and issues, mostly centred on everyone's favourite subjects; Health and Safety and Public Liability. I would not be happy to commit any of my members to such an enterprise, and, in all honesty, I would expect them to refuse the task anyway, including our Treasurer who is a professional recovery operator away from 4x4R.
I doubt everyone will agree with my thoughts, that's the whole point of fora such as this, but please do give both sides of the argument serious consideration. It could save a lot of heartache in the long term...

Mark SX243 08-09-2016 12:50 PM

I agree entirely with the above. For commercial events then we should only be involved IF the council or police have stepped in and requested our assistance. A commercial activity calling on us because we are easier or cheaper is not on.

A small charity event asking for assistance is different.

This is in no way meant to diminish the work done by the guys at Portmeirion. Qudos to them.

JerryG 08-09-2016 04:17 PM

Well this has opened the proverbial can of worms!
I don't know who made the initial call upon our services - Wales can enlighten us on that.
All I know is if we are asked to assist then that is what we do, shouldn't we?
The semantics of who pays etc is irrelevant to me as long as I get some recompense for fuel used.
I don't know of any commercial set up who could assemble 10 or 12 4x4's at a few hours notice, with more available if required, in a location away from any large centre of population - unless you know different.
The organisers did call in help locally and they ended up with tractors from local farmers etc. They were also intending sending the festival contractors around from the main festival site when that was clear and safe. Bear in mind the car parks we were operating in were some distance from the festival site itself.
They promptly ripped up the fields making large ruts which when you pulled a car over them removed various bits off the front end!!
For our part there was NO injury, or damage to ourselves or our vehicles, nor to any of the vehicles we assisted out of the car parks. The same cannot be said for other third parties who were involved in the exercise!
To respond to a point made in another thread, some of us are trained in winch work (not used here I hasten to add!) and recovery techniques, and the very nature of 4x4Response membership means that we are a responsible group who undertake risk assessments at every step of the way.
To the point about planning and contingency by the organisers, the whole thing must have been approved by the local authority and police before a licence was granted, so perhaps the criticism should be aimed at them? Perhaps they failed in their duty of care in not ensuring that proper advance arrangements were in place?
What I can tell you is that the festival goers we helped were absolutely delighted, some congratulated us on our professionalism and careful removal of their vehicle from the site. Some said they would prefer us to help them rather than a large tractor.
As to the whole question of liability and insurance then that indeed is something for National to consider and offer guidance on together with our insurance experts.
But from a purely personal point of view I just wish we could move away from the PC brigade, the ambulance chasers, and all the other litigation and money motivated creepy crawlies and let common sense prevail!! Some hope! There, I've said it now and feel much better!
Let's learn from these events and come up with some guidlines that we can all sign up to.

Warren Dukes 08-09-2016 06:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JerryG (Post 69104)
Well this has opened the proverbial can of worms!
I don't know who made the initial call upon our services - Wales can enlighten us on that.
All I know is if we are asked to assist then that is what we do, shouldn't we?
The semantics of who pays etc is irrelevant to me as long as I get some recompense for fuel used.
I don't know of any commercial set up who could assemble 10 or 12 4x4's at a few hours notice, with more available if required, in a location away from any large centre of population - unless you know different.
The organisers did call in help locally and they ended up with tractors from local farmers etc. They were also intending sending the festival contractors around from the main festival site when that was clear and safe. Bear in mind the car parks we were operating in were some distance from the festival site itself.
They promptly ripped up the fields making large ruts which when you pulled a car over them removed various bits off the front end!!
For our part there was NO injury, or damage to ourselves or our vehicles, nor to any of the vehicles we assisted out of the car parks. The same cannot be said for other third parties who were involved in the exercise!
To respond to a point made in another thread, some of us are trained in winch work (not used here I hasten to add!) and recovery techniques, and the very nature of 4x4Response membership means that we are a responsible group who undertake risk assessments at every step of the way.
To the point about planning and contingency by the organisers, the whole thing must have been approved by the local authority and police before a licence was granted, so perhaps the criticism should be aimed at them? Perhaps they failed in their duty of care in not ensuring that proper advance arrangements were in place?
What I can tell you is that the festival goers we helped were absolutely delighted, some congratulated us on our professionalism and careful removal of their vehicle from the site. Some said they would prefer us to help them rather than a large tractor.
As to the whole question of liability and insurance then that indeed is something for National to consider and offer guidance on together with our insurance experts.
But from a purely personal point of view I just wish we could move away from the PC brigade, the ambulance chasers, and all the other litigation and money motivated creepy crawlies and let common sense prevail!! Some hope! There, I've said it now and feel much better!
Let's learn from these events and come up with some guidlines that we can all sign up to.

Hi Jerry, I doubt you'll ever come across anyone less PC than me mate. My point is not about any of the work done up until now, but, and it's a big but, it's more about the single occasion where something goes squiffy and something or someone gets broken. No amount of goodwill in the world will help against a clued up ambulance chaser, who's sole purpose in life is to make shed loads of cash out of other peoples misfortunes at any cost to the "defendant" for want of a better expression.
It would only take one incident to go that way and the gutter press would have a field day. If that were to happen, unless we as an organisation were on very solid ground, legally speaking it could easily spell the end of 4x4R as we know it. I've been doing this since 2001 when I first joined Somerset 4x4 Response, as it was then, and it would sadden me beyond belief if it all went belly up. It's not a rant, I hope - it wasn't meant to be... :)

Ross HB 09-09-2016 09:30 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chopper (Post 69100)
Those commercial enterprises are utilising a charity to save the day, and aren't paying the charity/those charities the commercial rate for the work.

Isn't this what the RNLI do? What makes us different?

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Acropolis 11-09-2016 07:02 PM

Regardless of if this sort of response is been offered on a commercial basis or not, then Risk Assessments etc. and everything else that was mentioned still have to be taken into account.

If you are a responder are there as part of an organised response then you, the people that sent you there, the controllers and event organisers have a legal responsibility to ensure that what you are doing is safe and correct and isn't going to put anyone in danger. Vehicles getting damaged is one thing, and can be argued it was the circumstances etc. that lead to it, unless someone does something stupid such as try to tow a car out by the windscreen wipers etc.

But if someone gets hurt, then we are all in a world of pain, regardless if we are getting paid or not.

Should we be doing this kind of thing, for free - no way, as people have said we shouldn't be here as a free/very cheap resource for organisers to call upon when it has gone wrong, but that is a commercial decision down to the local group who is providing the initial response to set commercial terms. When it comes to paying responders, if the current arrangement of more than HMRC guidelines is broken, then it becomes for hire or reward and the whole vehicle insurance situation comes in play and we are in a different ball game all together. Yes it may have been on private land, but it was publicly accessible, therefore insurance rules apply.

This is where National are needed to offer some guidance and support, not around policies on wading in water and decontamination, but on things like this, get some PROPER (and I don't mean the outcome of a trustee/council/management conversation) legal guidance and advice, the same for tax implications and also for insurance. This is what the groups need from national, something that will really help.

Given the circumstances we operate in, it is only a matter of time before something goes wrong, and someone is hurt or a vehicle is damaged and someone tries to claim for it, and then we will see what really happens, and i suspect that we will find that our insurance cover os woefully inadequate and a whole can of worms will be opened.

But back to the original thread, if the local group wants to provide this kind of service then why shouldn't they, the commercial terms are up them, and if they are happy to do it and their members are happy to respond then fair play to them.

AlisonW 11-09-2016 07:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Acropolis (Post 69143)
if the local group wants to provide this kind of service then why shouldn't they

Because National should be able to negotiate better rates, which benefits us all? YMMV...

Acropolis 11-09-2016 07:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by AlisonW (Post 69146)
Because National should be able to negotiate better rates, which benefits us all? YMMV...

These are however local events, very few are organised by a single company/organisation, so it would make it very hard for national to get agreed rates across the board. Would be far easier to deal with at a local level.

steve.herts 12-09-2016 05:48 PM

Some nationally drawn up, proper legal disclaimer that ensures in such instances 4x4R is viewed as a "good samaritan" organisation rather than providing a commercial service and that liability is the responsibility of the event organiser, their agent or even the individual motorist could be useful.

As someone involved in event car-parking in a past life, one immediate question springs to mind. Who are we actually assisting? Is it individual motorists? Is the parking contractor? Is it the landowner who wants their field back? Is it the main event organiser? All of them have an interest in clearing the area, but who makes the call for assistance, and who is the assistance actually for.

Big operations such as this and Glasto are a two-edged sword. Without incident, these are great ways of raising the profile of our organisation, and to some extent even helping the entire 4x4 community by being to seen to be helpful rather than the negative image from a different minority of racing along byways and churning up moorland. They can of course, be great fund-raisers too, but then there is the line between covering operating expenses and receiving a perhaps sizeable donation, and actually providing a faux-commercial service at commercial rates.

Perhaps looking at how St John Ambulance operate at such events could be useful? They provide a charged for cover service, but as a charity. Needless to say, they do have the advantage of recognised standards and training. They are also on site constantly in readiness, not simply called when the situation has degraded to a point that they have to be called in from far and wide. Certainly as a retired person having to fork out for say a BORDA qualification would possibly prevent me being a responder simply based on finances.

I appreciate that all these events and festivals have to draw a balance to maintain profitability. There is, or should be a line, drawn between volunteers and technical/professional services. Having volunteers steward events in exchange for tickets, meal vouchers etc has long been common, but the services provided by 4X4R at these events is very different, it is potentially very expensive, not just diesel, but food, drink, time, and who would use a strap after a dozen snatch recoveries as seen on TV at Glasto? I certainly wouldn't. It is also significantly more dangerous, in amongst moving traffic, on a poor surface, in the dark, and the potential liabilities are far higher, from a bumper on mums fiesta to serious personal injury and death.

Having read the thread on the radio licencing, I can understand, and even appreciate that national like to let the areas operate fairly autonomously, but whilst incidents like this prove that mutual aid between groups works well, some guidelines on policy, although not actual rules could be beneficial especially given the high profile of these events, and the potential liabilities that could affect all groups and the national umbrella.

AlisonW 13-09-2016 02:34 PM

As I see it, the answer to Stephen's question should, ideally, be that we are assisting the individual motorist in this case. The contractor, landowner, and organiser should all have known in advance that they might / would need cover and arranged it *at their cost* accordingly. Indeed there is an element of feeling / being used if they chose not to make advance arrangements despite weather forecasts which indicated a high likelihood that recovery would be required.

And yes, the liability issues are definitely to the fore and should, imho, fall upon the person or organisation which called us for assistance, preferably (definitely!) indicated via a formal signed document. The drafting of such a proforma agreement by national would appear very sensible and useful.

Simon Bentley 13-09-2016 02:48 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by AlisonW (Post 69171)
As I see it, the answer to Stephen's question should, ideally, be that we are assisting the individual motorist in this case. The contractor, landowner, and organiser should all have known in advance that they might / would need cover and arranged it *at their cost* accordingly. Indeed there is an element of feeling / being used if they chose not to make advance arrangements despite weather forecasts which indicated a high likelihood that recovery would be required.

But we categorically do not work for individuals - that has always been the case and is declared to our insurers as such.

steve.herts 13-09-2016 02:58 PM

If assisting individual motorists, I can foresee problems with signed waivers. Specifically the sheer number required. 100 cars requires 200 waivers. I'm not sure how many vehicles Wessex and mutual aiders recovered this year but that is an awful lot of paperwork to file and retain.

As I understand it when operating under the auspices of a recognised organisation, the MOUs state that we operate under the liability of the organisation we are supporting to prevent just this kind of legal headache.

Operating as a good Samaritan is all well and good as an Individual, but as an organised group I would except the legal situation to be more complex as our motor insurance is supposed to specifically cover our volunteer roles, and I would presume that there is some form of liability cover as an organisation, either locally and/or nationally.

I concur that if being used in a professional manner by an event, they should treat us in a professional manner, full liability cover, and recompense/donations and prior planning in line with the service provided.

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AlisonW 13-09-2016 10:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Simon Bentley (Post 69172)
But we categorically do not work for individuals - that has always been the case and is declared to our insurers as such.

My apologies for being unclear! I was meaning that in practical terms it is the people who are stuck we are helping but arranged and on behalf of whichever of the other three requested assistance and it is the latter whom we act on behalf of and therefore need the formal agreement with, not each individual. The issue is whether we are being taken advantage of when the organising party should have known better.

m3dic 14-09-2016 11:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Simon Bentley (Post 69172)
But we categorically do not work for individuals - that has always been the case and is declared to our insurers as such.

Why? Ignoring the large events and comercial organisations for a minute. What about the stranded motorist that is on a busy arterial road that just needs protection (flashing lights and reflectives) and a tow off the carriageway or a tyre changed? Do we not help them? Do we go "na we don't help individuals, sorry love/mate"

I would suggest a large amount of us do the above fairly regularly (I did three in a day the other week!) You now tell us it's a no no. Could we not seek cover for the above kind of scenario? Or does helping individuals go against our charitable aims?

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steve.herts 15-09-2016 07:56 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by m3dic (Post 69194)
Why? Ignoring the large events and comercial organisations for a minute. What about the stranded motorist that is on a busy arterial road that just needs protection (flashing lights and reflectives) and a tow off the carriageway or a tyre changed? Do we not help them? Do we go "na we don't help individuals, sorry love/mate"

I would suggest a large amount of us do the above fairly regularly (I did three in a day the other week!) You now tell us it's a no no. Could we not seek cover for the above kind of scenario? Or does helping individuals go against our charitable aims?

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Operating as Steve, I am free to assist anyone I wish, in any manner I wish, operating as HT13 I assist as a member of 4x4R, subject to their policies, codes of practice and such. A dynamic incident such as proposed I am certainly Steve, not HT13. No request from a body with an MOU, control unaware.

There are two risk assessments under such circumstances, the obvious physical safety one, and the liability one. I will where possible provide personal and scene protection, I will not attempt repairs, despite being a competent spanner monkey. Removal to a place of safety is very much dependent of the moment, but not normally something I would consider unless at the direction of a constable, and with their lights protecting me too.

The number of people out there who have never been towed is remarkably high, even higher for slack lines rather than rigid bars. We tend to think of such events as quite routine, especially if we are the ones who go out on the unmade roads or pay our thirty quid at the quarry on a Sunday.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Greig Gailey (Post 69195)
Clearly none of us would drive past a person in genuine distress or where a broken down vehicle is in a dangerous position. However many members of the public have little or no experience of being towed on a road with a rope/strap and that could prove more of a risk than leaving the car where it is and simply ensuring the safety and welfare of the person whilst professional help is on its way. I also am pretty sure that our liability does not extend to undertaking road side repairs, especially if these acts of assistance are dynamic and without the prior knowledge and authorisation of your group control.
I'm not saying that I wouldn't and have not done similar, but any such activities I've done have been under the banner of a Good Samaritan and not as a member of 4x4 Response.

It's not that we wouldn't want to help people because clearly we do hence we are members of the organisation, but we are not insured or equipped as a recovery organisation, and having done recovery in the motor trade I know that the liability cover is significantly more than the basic generic policy most groups are running.

Unfortunately litigation plays a massive part in what we do and you have to think of what happens if the wheel you change comes off, or your rope / straps snaps, or the person under tow looses control and any of the above causing an accident or injury which could all have been avoided by simply ensuring the persons safety and welfare at the roadside whilst a recognised recovery agent and or the police attends.
As a serving officer I can tell you that even the traffic police will not take a vehicle under tow unless its in a dangerous position, and in such circumstances they are likely to also take control of the tow vehicle as well.

I concur as regards liability. Whilst operating under the auspices of a good samaritan provides some protection legally, it is not a get out of bankruptcy free card. The test is pretty much "reasonable of a similar person in similar circumstances". This means that in the case of first aid, a regular person, someone with a basic first aid certificate, and an off-duty paramedic are all held to different standards if assisting a casualty.

It would not be unreasonable to expect a court to expect higher standards of a member of an organised group, in a stickered vehicle with beacons, to a higher standard than Mr Jones in his Mondeo. As an example, I have done more than a handful of good samaritan, place of safety recoveries for the police, and not once have they wanted to take charge of my vehicle (I have even been flagged down by an officer who has recognised my vehicle from previous assistance). I doubt any actually would, the liability issues for them are just as great, being in charge of an unfamiliar vehicle under such circumstances can create a world of hurt, whereas directing a person who presents as competent for the task is far less risky. Most officers, including traffic, do not have the authourisation or training to drive large 4x4s, thus they are caught in a liability trap too. The last RTC I assisted at, the police were initially unwilling to even be in the towed vehicle, it was only when the driver insisted he wanted to attempt to drive off the scene because he was terrified of being towed, they took charge before he pumped a couple of gallons of ATF over the carriageway and became further stranded.
Quote:

This is a topic that will continue to go round and round
It is nice to see this forum actually active :)

m3dic 15-09-2016 08:08 PM

So I am glad that the officers of my local force are not of your view. I have undertaken several tow's on trunk/A roads with and without police assistance.

The most recent one is even a news story on our website with the email the persons involved sent to our trustees.

The fact is as you say a risk assessment I spent nearly 5 years behind the wheel of an ambulance and I have been on the hard shoulder etc during that "close call" my previous vehicle had blue lights and was an ambulance in that role I closed lanes on trunk roads/motorways on more than one occasion every time with thanks from the police/highways.

Re repairs at the roadside I am not a mechanic and have limited technical ability when it comes to cars but I can change a tyre and even the big three roadside assistance organisations push the liability on to the end user by saying it's only an "emergency change/repair" I once changed a tyre in lane one of a major road police called no units available to attend, elderly couple in the car you both can't seriously suggest it was better to wait there with yellow lights flashing until the police turned up also if I hadn't of done it he would have continued to do it (offside wheel in a live lane)

I think it's sad that we can't truly be of assistance to our communities as members of a community based organisation could we not look it to insurance that would cover us to undertake emergency towing on the highway the law is already on our side in so much you don't need b+e to tow in an emergency.

Maybe I am of the mind that I joined an organisation that wanted to help people in need. How naive of me...




AlisonW 15-09-2016 08:24 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Greig Gailey (Post 69199)
they can legally drive anything they are licensed to drive for a policing purpose.

And I expect most of us have insurance which permits us to drive any vehicle we want with the permission of the vehicle's owner (as opposed to breaking into a parked car to move it from a dangerous location.)

Quote:

Originally Posted by m3dic (Post 69200)
I think it's sad that we can't truly be of assistance to our communities as members of a community based organisation could we not look it to insurance that would cover us to undertake emergency towing on the highway the law is already on our side in so much you don't need b+e to tow in an emergency.

As a <member of 4x4 Response> we can't, as an individual member of society, we can.

Greig Gailey 15-09-2016 08:43 PM

I offer a differing opinion from many others in the thread, but at the end of the day folks as private citizens you are perfectly at liberty to do what you feel is right.

However I do feel that at times there is a level of over enthusiasm on this forum that borders on the reckless, and if offering an alternative view attracts personal criticism, then it's not a forum I wish to engage with and will remove my comments from the thread.

Hopefully good fortune will always be with you.

steve.herts 15-09-2016 09:31 PM

Quote:

Stephen I think you misunderstood, the police would have no need to take charge of your vehicle as a tow car, I was referring to the police taking charge of the broken down vehicle in conjunction with being towed by another police car.
Your wording was ambiguous, you stated take control of the tow vehicle. A Hyundai I20, the local normal police car cannot move a fully laden van wiht a mini-digger behind off a roundabout. When the A1 is backed up 3 miles, they will, from experience take any assistance they can get. The "professional" recovery operator has to creep through that ever expanding tailback, and a response vehicle capable of such a move is likely the other side of the city, and an ARV with very different tasking priorities.

Quote:

Yes many police officers have little or no experience of off road driving, but they can legally drive anything they are licensed to drive for a policing purpose.
Legally drive and authourised to drive are two very different propositions, as I am sure you are aware.
Quote:

Traffic officers ( especially motorway patrol) have extensive experience of driving 4wd vehicles on the road,
Perhaps in your area this is the case. Personal experience across more than a couple of counties/police authourities states this is not always so. Experience of friends who are currently serving officers supports me.
Quote:

Also a court of law does not recognise stickers, beacons or orange jackets as being any evidence of proficiency, and as an organisation of largely unacredited well meaning volunteers using outer own vehicles, there would be no expectation of expertise beyond that of the layman.
I beg to differ on this point. An organistation with response in the name, branded clothing, and in some instances liveried vehicles with call sign identifiers and beacons, with a mission of supporting upper tier responders, suggests an element of professionalism. You may as well say that there would be no expectation of expertise from SJA, RNLI, HM Coastguard, Mountain Rescue et al.

The clincher for this is perhaps found on this very website, in the FAQ
Do I get blue lights on my vehicle?

No we are not an emergency response,

I would also like to point out that we are talking of civil liability here, which has much lower standards and burdens than criminal law.
Quote:

You are correct though, the level of responsibility and liability weighs heavy on an officers shoulders, and on that basis I would never ask a member of the public to tow a vehicle on my behalf in favour of calling a professional recovery contractor unless it was absolutely unavoidable. I would be more likely to ask you to assist by utilising your lights and beacons to provide safety cover.
It is unavoidable more often than is desirable. I have never met a police officer yet, who when offered assistance said "No ta mate, recovery will be here in half an hour." Maybe that is because I only offer assistance when there is an unsafe situation, or the road is nearly or totally impassable.

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Quote:

So I am glad that the officers of my local force are not of your view. I have undertaken several tow's on trunk/A roads with and without police assistance.
I think, without wanting to sound rude, that Greg's approach is in the minority. I have worked on the roads in live traffic in some form of another for a very long time, and so am all too aware of the risks and make a choice of protect or move as quickly and safely as possible.

I know of one county force with arterial routes, that at its absolute best, can parade only two RPU officers per shift. I know a bobbie whose beat is 60sq rural miles. I know of a force so short of traffic officers the only way they can double-crew some vehicles was to create the post of traffic PCSO. Given the lack of resources, I have never met any officer refuse any help.

[quote]The fact is as you say a risk assessment I spent nearly 5 years behind the wheel of an ambulance and I have been on the hard shoulder etc during that "close call" my previous vehicle had blue lights and was an ambulance in that role I closed lanes on trunk roads/motorways on more than one occasion every time with thanks from the police/highways.
Quote:

I once changed a tyre in lane one of a major road police called no units available to attend, elderly couple in the car you both can't seriously suggest it was better to wait there with yellow lights flashing until the police turned up also if I hadn't of done it he would have continued to do it (offside wheel in a live lane)
Depending on the exact circumstances, I may well have encouraged the driver to proceed slowly with me behind to a place of safety. I would have almost certainly called Green Flag as they have a reputation of assisting vulnerable motorists then encouraging them to join after the fact.

Quote:

I think it's sad that we can't truly be of assistance to our communities as members of a community based organisation could we not look it to insurance that would cover us to undertake emergency towing on the highway the law is already on our side in so much you don't need b+e to tow in an emergency.
Your current third party liability should be sufficient as a "good samaritan", but not as a memebr of 4x4Response.
Quote:

Maybe I am of the mind that I joined an organisation that wanted to help people in need. How naive of me...
The way this thread became what it is is because some people felt they were being asked to operate outside that remit. Our mission as a group is the assistance of upper tier responders and essential services in time of exceptional need. Many of us are happy to act good samaritan as private individuals too. However, some corporate bodies with inadequate, or even zero, contingency planning give the appearance of taking advantage of our good nature. I signed up for one, have always done two, but number three does sit a little uncomfortably with me.

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Quote:

And I expect most of us have insurance which permits us to drive any vehicle we want with the permission of the vehicle's owner (as opposed to breaking into a parked car to move it from a dangerous location.)
Other than "place of safety" exemptions, we also require a valid licence for that class of vehicle.

Quote:

As a <member of 4x4 Response> we can't, as an individual member of society, we can.
Exactly :)

m3dic 16-09-2016 12:34 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by AlisonW (Post 69201)

As a <member of 4x4 Response> we can't, as an individual member of society, we can.

I got that Alison. My point is 4x4r seem to distance themselves with these positive interactions. I don't think it would take much for it to become a legitimate activity of the organisation.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Greig Gailey (Post 69203)
I offer a differing opinion from many others in the thread, but at the end of the day folks as private citizens you are perfectly at liberty to do what you feel is right.

However I do feel that at times there is a level of over enthusiasm on this forum that borders on the reckless, and if offering an alternative view attracts personal criticism, then it's not a forum I wish to engage with and will remove my comments from the thread.

Hopefully good fortune will always be with you.

I don't think I have aimed any person criticism at you. I get your point about over eagerness but I don't think we're at that stage. I just think being able to stop and assist stranded motorists for example under the guise of the organisation should be a thing.

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steve.herts 16-09-2016 12:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by m3dic (Post 69205)
I got that Alison. My point is 4x4r seem to distance themselves with these positive interactions. I don't think it would take much for it to become a legitimate activity of the organisation.

I don't think I have aimed any person criticism at you. I get your point about over eagerness but I don't think we're at that stage. I just think being able to stop and assist stranded motorists for example under the guise of the organisation should be a thing.

Sent from my SM-G930F using Tapatalk[/QUOTE]
Liability is the big point. As I understand, usually we operate under the liability of the agency requesting our assistance. To obtain liability cover for an average untrained member of the public in a perhaps standard vehicle to work in live traffic would be exceedingly expensive, if it could even be found. We would have to have national training and livery standards, chapter 8 markings being the bottom line, how many actually want their daily drive looking like a refugee HATO vehicle?

There is also the issue that cropped up earlier, that people may begin to see and treat us as a free professional service. I am for the status quo, that everyone is free to make their own judgement call and operate as a good samaritan and private individual.

Here I agree with Greg to some point. Live lane working is an exceptionally dangerous activity. I will do it at times simply because I have many many years experience of it on a variety of roads from rural lanes to high-speed multi-lane roads. Until it was taken off the road my vehicle far exceeded the requirements for conspicuity of vehicles involved in live lane working. Hazard lights and a cheap LED beacon from ebay just is not enough sometimes.

How many members are aware that donning your hi-viz can actually be more dangerous than not?
That parking there with beacons on can actually increase the danger to other road users?
That there are actually three "approved" methods of stopping at a scene, each with advantages and disadvantages?
How many members who do not have training or experience in live traffic management can safely judge a safe distance to be from an incident and protect themselves, other road users, and a scene?

I am not saying do not do it. I am all in favour of people helping others more, especially as society becomes more selfish. I am saying it is something that requires a lot more thought than "I'll stop and help", and it is not something that should be a national, or even group activity.

AlisonW 06-10-2016 09:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by steve.herts (Post 69209)
How many members are aware that donning your hi-viz can actually be more dangerous than not?
That parking there with beacons on can actually increase the danger to other road users?
That there are actually three "approved" methods of stopping at a scene, each with advantages and disadvantages?
How many members who do not have training or experience in live traffic management can safely judge a safe distance to be from an incident and protect themselves, other road users, and a scene?

(When I read this initially I was on my tablet so couldn't reply effectively ...)

These are great questions, and I can straight-forwardly say that I don't know the answers to them and want to know, especially why my hiviz and beacons might be dangerous. (I can make guesses, but that's not the sensible option)

I would love to see a section on these forums that responders and others could use as a resource for such information and other Responder-relevant questions.

AlisonW

m3dic 07-10-2016 07:48 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by AlisonW (Post 69316)
(When I read this initially I was on my tablet so couldn't reply effectively ...)

These are great questions, and I can straight-forwardly say that I don't know the answers to them and want to know, especially why my hiviz and beacons might be dangerous. (I can make guesses, but that's not the sensible option)

I would love to see a section on these forums that responders and others could use as a resource for such information and other Responder-relevant questions.

AlisonW

From experience (ambulance service) some drivers get dazzled or distracted by flashing lights even more so on fast roads.

Blue was the worst it would feel like drivers would gravitate towards them.

Red I found was the best as people would move away from them but this could present hazards also.

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steve.herts 06-02-2017 03:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by AlisonW (Post 69316)
(When I read this initially I was on my tablet so couldn't reply effectively ...)

These are great questions, and I can straight-forwardly say that I don't know the answers to them and want to know, especially why my hiviz and beacons might be dangerous. (I can make guesses, but that's not the sensible option)

I would love to see a section on these forums that responders and others could use as a resource for such information and other Responder-relevant questions.

AlisonW

I too have been without decent keyboard and screen for some time, hence the rather late resurrection of this thread.

Simply put, people drive where they look. This is known as "Target Fixation", I covered it briefly at the MSAR road search training. At its simplest, this can be a little wandering in lane as a driver looks around, or clipping a junction as the driver looks up the road they are turning into. At its worst, it has resulted in the requirement for "crash cushion trucks", as the more visible roadside vehicles became, the more they were actually hit! It seems counter-intuitive I know, but is rather unfortunate.

As an example, when I last worked on the roads, we were taught some safety concepts that seem to run contrary to common sense, the biggest of which was never stand near your vehicle. By moving away from a conspicuous vehicle you a) become a second "target" giving a driver more to think about, and b) if they do aim for you, you have more space to move in to avoid being hit.

It is part of why I am glad our "official" jackets are orange & blue, Saturn yellow is now so commonplace and even overused it actually becomes filtered out as background clutter too easily.

There is a second side to the coin, risk compensation. The safer we feel with all our reflective markings, hi-viz clothing and flashing beacons, the greater the risks we subconsciously take. That was another part of the never stand by a vehicle ruling, it increased the feeling of vulnerability and thus increased situational awareness.

Dazzle is not normally a problem for vehicles with higher end lighting as they often have a night mode which dims the lighting, and use different patterns for responding (fast flash patterns, very visible) and on scene (slower flash patterns and less distracting).


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