Next time you're caught speeding . . . .

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Chat' started by Roger Thorne, May 18, 2005.

  1. Roger Thorne

    Roger Thorne Active Member

  2. stephen2001

    stephen2001 Member

    This country has finally gone mad.
    Tell you what, lets scrap all our traffic laws because you cannot have one law for Police men & women, and another for the general public. That case now means that speed limits mean nothing because a very powerful and very dangerous precedent has been set.
  3. super_sop

    super_sop Supporting Member

    I couldnt believe it when i 1st heard this in the news!!!:mad:

    almost 160 mph, and he gets away with it. no speeding ticket! noe dangerous driving charge, bl00dy outragous! they should have thrown the book at his idiot.

    there are people driving around outside our house at the momoent (only 5 miles from the M54) " if im doing over 159mph then im just trying out my car!" in the back windows. can you blame em!! do over 70 on this stretch of road and the copper's will do you, yet when it comes to one of their own they look after them!

    and as for "wanting to test out his car" there is an RAF station with runways they are allowed to use when neccesary, Why the hell wasnt he using that. They should have thrown the book at him. i cant see this doing any good at all in this area, or any other.

    what would happen if i or any other person had passed an advanced test, when t out and bought a top of the range car and opened it up on the motorway? loss of bl00dy llicence and a huge fine thats what!!!!:mad::mad:

    rant over!!!!!
  4. lynchie

    lynchie Active Member

    just to be a bit of a devil's advocate... there is a good reason for police drivers to be able to drive their cars at that speed on the motorway... because people in stolen cars will go that fast if they can and the police have to follow. No one else has any need to go at that speed for any reason in their job, so it's unreasonable to say that anyone could use that excuse. I'd rather he found out what the car was like on the motorway at 160 on a quiet stretch in the early hours, than when under pressure to catch a criminal.
  5. sterlingsop

    sterlingsop Member

    I agree with lynchie - the police have got to be ready for the unexpected and criminals will drive at those speeds if they are determined to get away. As for practicing at an RAF airbase or something, that's a daft argument. For one, runways are straight and necessarily a lot shorter than motorways. The same goes for practicing on a grand prix circuit too - they are built so that cars CAN go fast and don't have the same exits and sliproads that motorways do. If the policeman really WAS trying to get the handle on his car, then he is right to do it on roads that he would have to do it on if and when the call came. It would have been completely different had he been in a city centre for example.

    And let's face it - if the police force have invested oodles of training into this policeman then they aren't going to just chuck it away are they? Of course they'll support him in public but I bet he's gets a roasting in private!
  6. Di

    Di Active Member

    What it doesn't state is whether he was actually on duty at the time. If he was on duty, maaaaaaaaaaaaybe he could get away with what he said. But if he was off duty, thats a different matter altogether. If thats the case, he's no different to any other joy rider.

    One question I always ask, and I never really get an answer to:

    If we have a law stating maximum a speed, why are cars manufactured that will go more than twice that limit? What IS the point?
  7. lynchie

    lynchie Active Member

    Ok, 2 points to answer I guess. 1st, if he was off duty, he was simply getting used to the car in his own time. I don't mind whether he was being paid for it or not, as long as when he needs to he can respond safely and effectively.

    Secondly, you make a good point about cars being able to do more than the maximum speed in this country. However, a lot of these cars are designed for racing enthusiasts to take on track days. The majority of these people get the whole manic speed thing out of their systems in the safe environment of a race track rather than on public roads. There is a foolish minority who test out their new cars on the road for kicks, and they should be locked up.

    Also, remember that the maximum speed is not the same in all countries, for example, unless the law has changed (I know they were thinking about it) in germany cars are permitted to drive at speeds up to 200mph or something on the autobahns.
  8. Di

    Di Active Member

    We'll have to agree to disagree on that. If he's gonna do it, he does it paid, in uniform within the bounds of the law. Anything outside police time, police uniform, he's a law breaker just like anyone else.

    OK, then make these cars non-taxable and non-usable on the public roads.

    My cute little car has a top speed of 88 (woooooow), and does 0 - 60 in about 5 minutes if its going up hill. ;) Our "other" car is a peugot 406 estate. That has a top speed of around 150. Who the heck is gonna buy a peugot 406 estate to race around a track in?

    Granted, different countries have different limits. God help them if that 200mph limit ever comes into force. That is just totally crazy. No one can possibly have the required responses to handle that kind of speed safely. A maximum of 100 in any car, on any public road should be more than enough.
  9. Brian Kelly

    Brian Kelly Active Member

    I believe that they are considering a 200 mph limit on German motorways because, at the moment, there is no speed limit whatsoever. You can legally drive at 300mph if you want to (though only on motorways).

    Mind you, once you get out of the towns / villages, apparently there is no speed limit on the Isle of Man either.

    2 arguments I have heard for cars which can go much faster than the legal limit:

    1) A car which can go at eg 160 mph has no trouble cruising at 70 mph for long stretches of time, and has less wear and tear than a car with a top speed of say 100 mph (that is an argument for people who regularly travel long distances by car).

    2) Very fast cars need to have very powerful brakes, and so can stop faster than slower cars, thus making them safer than slower cars (an argument I heard on "Top Gear" by Jeremy Clarkeson. That doesn't explain why slower cars couldn't be fitted with very poerful breaks as well. Probably a matter of cost, but if it was made a legal requirement, then car manufacturers would have no choice).
  10. stephen2001

    stephen2001 Member

    Correct. It's why they have a top speed above that of the maximum speed limit to lessen the rate of wear and tear, not just on the engine, but other components like the gear-box, differential, drive-shaft, and all the other components which transfer power and torque from the engine to the wheels.

    The reason slower cars can't be fitted with better brakes is because slower cars are generally smaller cars. This means there is not the space to fit the brakes unless you severely inhibit the front footwells to house the more powerful mechanisms that are required.

    Alternatively, there are better braking materials available such as carbon fibre but they are very expensive. As small cars are generally "budget" cars for 1st time buyers, the manufacturers cannot justify the price rise with the demand for small cars as it is at the moment.

    Another point is that a powerful car with strong brakes may brake faster, but in the real world, it will be travelling quicker than a slower car, so in an emergency situation, it will take a greater distance for the vehicle to stop, especially if reaction time is added to the equation.

    Braking isn't the only thing that is affected by the speed of the vehicle. Steering is, the structural rigidity of the car in an impact situation, the time taken to deploy safety devices such as air-bags and seatbelt pretensioner in a accident. Take all of these into consideration and look at some very gruesome pictures of accidents caused by speeding, then you may realise that the speed limit is there for a reason.

    My beliefs and opinions have come from the Automotive Engineering course that I did at university and are not theories that I have plucked out of thin air! ;)
  11. Rapier

    Rapier Supporting Member

    I'm a bit biased here BUT he had not broken any laws! Police are exempt from the speed limits in any vehicle being used for police purposes. Testing a vehicles performance in a safe manner is a police purpose.

    Now, at the risk of a flaming, the standard of driving of a police advanced driver is beyond the understanding of non trained drivers. Speed is NOT dangerous. Speed in the wrong/time place IS dangerous.

    Now would you rather call 999 and wait, while the police driver sticks to the speed limit? Or would you prefer the driver to crash on his way because he has not been allowed to practise? He was only prosecuted on the evidence of the on board camera, which he had turned on to review after the test drive.

    Please remember that all emergency service drivers are volunteers and drive on their own driving licence, so if they do get a ban whilst driving official vehicles, they also lose the use of their own cars. A risk they take daily on your behalf. I was a Police Class 1 driver for 27 years and never had an accident. Why? Because I was superbly trained and practised regularly when the roads were quiet. The only complaints I ever received, were from the Public who'd say, "You took your time getting here"! Despite my warp speed drive across London!!

    I'm glad he was practising and even more pleased that the Judge showed some sense! Otherwise you might find that Emergency Vehicle Drivers decide their licence is more important than your life and only answer calls at the speed limits!

    Oh, and yes I do have points on my licence for speeding in my own car. All deseved, as I was exceeding the posted speed limits by five or so MPH.
  12. UncleStreaky

    UncleStreaky Member

    I demand a refund for the ticket I got in Norwich last year for doing 64 in a 60. At about the same time In Lowestoft a series of people in a queue of traffic were all ticketed for doing 32 in a 30!

    Okay, all of us at some time have found ourselves over the speed limit at some time or other, whether intentional or not. But what this guy has done and how he has been allowed to get away with it is seriously wrong!

    159 mph on the motorway... This has obviously been the headline grabber but it isn't the biggest problem with what that lunatic copper was doing!

    Even more importantly - I believe he was logged as doing 84mph in a 30 limit!

    Presumably the 30 limit wherever it was, was set because the powers that be felt it was the 'safe' limit for that area, ie somewhere that ordinary folk could quite happily be walking about. And of course if they're quite happily walking about expecting traffic doing 30-ish, they'd probably be quite happy to cross the road thinking that the car they may or may not see in the distance will not get to them until they're safely on the pavement again.

    Or lets suppose it's a child that strays off the pavement...

    If he had mown down a toddler at 84mph in a 30 limit, would he still have got off scot free?

  13. BigHorn

    BigHorn Active Member

    A point that has been missed here - and the reason why the case was dismissed - is that it was the police that bought the prosecution against their own officer.
    The judge rightly saw the irony that the police had supplied him with, and sent him out to test a very powerful car and then tried to criminalise him for doing so.

    Its like if Tesco had instructed one of their casheirs to take out some money from a till and then prosecuted her for theft.

    The judge also made the comment that the police should reveiw how they train their drivers. i.e. this sort of testing / familiarisation should not be done on public roads.

    This case should never have gone to court at all. It beggars belief how the crown prosecution service mindset works.
    For example -
    About a year and a half ago myself and fellow bandsmen caught someone redhanded outside the bandroom actually inside a bandsmans car that they had just smashed the lock off. We apprehended him, the police were called and he was removed in handcuffs together with the screwdriver he had smashed the lock off with.
    Despite 100% rock solid evidence and eye witnesses this has never come to court at all. :mad:
  14. Naomi McFadyen

    Naomi McFadyen New Member

    Crumbs!!.... this dude should be chucked in jail and the key thrown away!.... :rolleyes:

    This guy is obviously a speed freak... practising or not, this should NOT be done on public roads! even at stoopid o clock in the morning....

    As people have said, if he's been caught doing over 60 in a 30 mph zone and then in the future he knocks over a small child, or anyone else for that matter, then he should have his licence taken off him for life!.... and if he gets away with things like this then what example is this setting to the next generation of drivers?

    They have speed limits for one reason, and that is for the drivers safety as well as everyone elses... it isn't often you see emergancy vechicles pegging down the local roads at 80mph plus.... they have a siren for getting us drivers out the way... that should and is enough to get to an emergancy scene quick enough and safely... Havent heard of anyone doing 160 on a motorway, even on a speed chase...

    I cannot believe they've let this guy get away with this.... He could have easily have killed himself if he lost control of his so-called "new toy" that he so despirately need to get used to... I know what it's like to lose someone to a road accident.... IT'S NOT WORTH IT!!!

    If I was local to him I'd certainly be listening/watching out for him!

  15. Rapier

    Rapier Supporting Member

    You people are still missing the point! Police Officers are exempt from the speed limit BY LAW! (as long as the vehicle is being used for a 'police purpose'). I have driven through central London at speeds in excess of 120mph and at speeds of over 150 on chases. I can't say what speeds, because as a very highly trained Class One police driver I didn't look at the speedometer!! You drive by looking at the road and assessing hazzards constantly.

    This isn't the same as you driving over the speed limit and then whinging because you got prosecuted!

    Lets try to explain it in a Brass Banding sort of way. Imagine that you have been given a Solo to play with Black Dyke at the RAH, but you won't know what it is until the day. You also don't know what day you will play on and during any practice you do before the Solo day arrives, you are only allowed to play middle G,A,B,C and D. Now, you walk on stage and see the music for the very first time and find the first few bars are FFF allegro triplets on top A's, B's and C's! Can you be expected to cope and play it faultlessly?
    No, but you expect high standards of driving from this policeman but don't think he should be allowed any practice!!

    It's funny how we Brass players are pretty good at knowing our abilities on our instruments, but have no idea of our driving skills, but all 'think' we are good at it!;)

    A conductor can critique our playing and we are fine with it, but sit him next to you when driving and see how you react when he points out that you were in the wrong gear and failed to indicate properly at that roundabout! :)
  16. Darth_Tuba

    Darth_Tuba Active Member

    Until this day, I have yet to kill someone if I split a note whilst practising...
  17. lynchie

    lynchie Active Member

    For a start I find it very doubtful that anyone was done for "32 in a 30" or "64 in a 60" since, due to the limitations of speedometers, the police allow 10% discretion.

    Secondly, the circumstances of the driver doing 80+ in a 30 were not gone into in the report. Chances are he was chasing somebody, or responding to a major incident, since that occassion wasn't in the news.

    As it said in the report, he was a top police driver. This means he's had years of intensive training in judging hazards and risks. This training is not available to public drivers. As someone who was passed the "Institute of Advanced Motorists Test", I still know that my driving and observational ability is not a fraction of that of a top police driver. You cannot compare your driving infringements to how they drive, however bitter you feel about getting caught out.
  18. Cantonian

    Cantonian Active Member

    I was under the impression that Police Officers are exempt when they are on a 'Police purpose' which involves sirens and/or blue lights.

    I get mad when Police cars deliberately drive along a motorway at 70mph and then when they do not catch anybody overtaking them, move away at speeds in excess of this without sirens or blue lights.
  19. sterlingsop

    sterlingsop Member

    If there had been a toddler around at the time of night in question I would have serious concerns about that too. The whole point is that as a trained professional, the policeman used his years of training and experience to choose where and when to do this. As it is he chose the middle of the night on quiet roads.

    There is something that occurred to me today about this case - he claims he was speeding to get the feel for his car for if and when an emergency situation arose and he needed to go that fast. But if an emergency arose where a criminal was going this fast, surely the control room would tell him to pull off the pursuit and send a helicopter instead? Just a little seed of doubt on his testimony, but generally I'm all for what he did.

    We shouldn't lose sight of the fact that he is a trained professional and as such we have to trust he knew what he was doing. It would be interesting to see what arguments would be put out if a member of the public tried to do open heart surgery instead of a doctor - the same argument applies here. Doctors (like the police) are trained professionals in their field and members of the general public don't know enough about what they do to comment. In the same way opening a human body is potentially fatal, so is driving fast on a motorway. Leave it to the professionals!!!
  20. Rapier

    Rapier Supporting Member

    No, sorry it has nothing to do with lights/siren. I mean, some calls you attend without use of the siren as you don't want the 'naughty people' to know you are coming. Same for night time really, I tried, where possible, not to use the Sirens when people were likely to be asleep. And getting mad because they 'deliberately' drive at the national speed limit? Little tinkers aren't they, and then they have the nerve to move away at speeds in excess of this without use of lights and siren? The warning instruments are optional, not compulsory.

    While we are on an Emergency Vehicle theme, when you hear/see one try to get out of its way, don't pull over and stop by a traffic island, don't pull out in front of it, don't try to cross the road until it has passed, you may have right of way on a crossing but their need to get where they are needed IS greater than yours. If you are at a red traffic light and IT IS SAFE TO edge forward and allow it to get by and sometimes you may even have to drive faster to find somewhere to get out of the way, no one will mind! And there may be more than one vehicle so check.

    This plea has been brought to you by the Spare a Thought for Emergency Drivers Supporters Club

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