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  #21  
Old 15-09-2016
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Chris Paul m3dic is offline
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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...



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  #22  
Old 15-09-2016
Alison Wheeler (unaligned) AlisonW is offline
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Originally Posted by Greig Gailey View Post
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.)

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Originally Posted by m3dic View Post
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.
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  #23  
Old 15-09-2016
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Greig Gailey Greig Gailey is offline
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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.

Last edited by Greig Gailey; 15-09-2016 at 10:16 PM.
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  #24  
Old 15-09-2016
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Stephen Marquis steve.herts is offline
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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.

-------
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.

-----

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
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  #25  
Old 16-09-2016
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Chris Paul m3dic is offline
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Originally Posted by AlisonW View Post

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 View Post
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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  #26  
Old 16-09-2016
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Stephen Marquis steve.herts is offline
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Originally Posted by m3dic View Post
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.
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  #27  
Old 06-10-2016
Alison Wheeler (unaligned) AlisonW is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steve.herts View Post
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
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  #28  
Old 07-10-2016
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Chris Paul m3dic is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlisonW View Post
(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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  #29  
Old 06-02-2017
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Stephen Marquis steve.herts is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlisonW View Post
(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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