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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

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.

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.
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.
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.
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.

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.
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.

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.
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.


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.

As a <member of 4x4 Response> we can't, as an individual member of society, we can.
Unsuitable for motor vehicles. A challenge not a warning
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