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Old 15-09-2016
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Stephen Marquis steve.herts is offline
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Forum Handle: steve.herts
Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: Barnet
Posts: 26

Originally Posted by m3dic View Post
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.

Originally Posted by Greig Gailey View Post
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.
This is a topic that will continue to go round and round
It is nice to see this forum actually active
Unsuitable for motor vehicles. A challenge not a warning
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