Magnetic Flag Poles

Discussion in 'Weapons, Equipment & Rations' started by PompeySailor, Mar 16, 2006.

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  1. OK, numbnuts question. I have just been stopped by the MOD Plod for having a magnetic flag holder on the staff car and told that they are now illegal because they are "impaling dangers" and are therefore not legal. They reckon that I should have a flexible one there, but I can't find a stock number, or anyone that even knows if they exist. My Boss is getting fcuked off with lack of marks of respect, and if I have to resort to a flag on the dashboard it's not going to do his blood pressure any favours, or my ears!

    Any other staff car drivers out there, or QMs/MTOs come across this before?
  2. Since when did Mod Plod have authority over road safety matters? Ex OC MT here and never ever had any trouble with it. If anything, have a word with your own MTO or HQ or Master Driver for guidance.
  3. Ventress

    Ventress LE Moderator

    Might be because they are police officers.
  4. Yeah because the MTO has more clout than a Home Office Constabulary? WTF? Where does the MTO get his regs from, the Road Traffic Act, and any bastardisations the Government come up with for the military, but surely safety is paramount?! (possibly over zealous though as most units have 20 mph speed limits or slower)
  5. ViroBono

    ViroBono LE Moderator

    In defence of Mr_C_Hinecap, I recall a discussion here about the enforcement of tax-discs and of drink-driving on MoD property. If I recall correctly, the police opinion was that mil police/MoD Plod can't enforce the Road Traffic Act on base because it doesn't apply on MoD property, and staff cars are rarely, if ever, driven on public roads with flags attached.

    The relevant legislation is Regulation 53 Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations 1986, which states: “No mascot, emblem or other ornamental object shall be carried by a motor vehicle first used on or after 1 October 1937 in any position where it is likely to strike any person with whom the vehicle may collide unless the mascot is not liable to cause injury to such person by reason of any projection theron.”
    Section 40A Road Traffic Act 1988 as amended by the Road Traffic Act 1991 states: “a person is guilty of an offence if he uses, or causes or permits another to use, a motor vehicle.... on a road when.... the condition of the vehicle..., or of its accessories or equipment.... is such that the use of the motor vehicle.... involves a danger of injury to any person.”

    For this reason, some bonnet ornaments such as the Rolls Royce flying lady break off under impact, whilst the Mercedes star folds down out of the way in the event of an accident with a pedestrian. Interestingly, whilst Jaguar no longer fit the leaping jaguar mascot, they can be bought and fitted after registration, and are not illegal - though if they aren't safely positioned the owner could be sued if it injured someone.

    A magnetic flag holder would detach in an accident, so is unlikely to fall foul of S40A of the RTA - indeed, the case against a driver prosecuted in 2004 under S40A for having a bonnet mascot was thrown out because the mascot used plastic bolts so that it would break under impact.

    Consider also, the fact that military bases are not generally 'roads' within the meaning of the RTA. This was a definition given by a policeman elsewhere:

    So, it seems that MoD Plod couldn't prosecute under the RTA anyway.

    As for their authority in matters of road safety, this presumably would only exist where the law is broken (and can be enforced on base), but otherwise they would surely have simply an advisory role, like other police. Much of the Highway Code is recommendation, not law. On a military unit the authority is standing orders - the responsibility of the CO.
  6. Here we go again! So we in the armed forces aren't bound by UK law?

    We are bound by ALL uk legislation, some of which has been tailored to meet the militarys requirements.

    Which comes from his powers given by UK legislation. Regardless of rank, he can't make his own bloody rules up!
  7. ViroBono

    ViroBono LE Moderator

    Yes - we are all bound by UK law - but some of it is inapplicable in certain places. So, the RTA does not apply on military bases (see definition above), though Standing Orders will often reflect it. whether it's an anomaly or a bit of 'tailoring' is moot, but the situation exists. If the service police stop you for speeding on camp, can they prosecute for speeding, with the possibility of fines/bans/points? No, because they aren't on public roads; nor can they breathalyse a driver on camp, for example.

    Of course he can! Standing Orders can include all sorts of rules made up by the CO - for example, at one unit I was at the Stn Cdr decreed that flags were not to be hung in the windows of single accommodation. On another unit, SSOs said that fire and service police vehicles in emergency could exceed the station speed limit; there was no mention of ambulances. Indeed, an over-zealous snowdrop once pursued the ambulance as we responded to an emergency and tried to have us for speeding. There are many units where the whims of COs are reflected in the rules they make up - the wearing of bizarre jumpers, for example, or officers carrying riding crops.
  8. Yes they can! What's a charge if it's not a penalty with implications of fines? Service police do not have constabulary powers but are provided for by many other Acts. The RTA doesn't cover private property, ie Lord Farqwars mahoosive estate. It does cover Public highways and government owned property. A CO cannot place a 70mph speed limit through quarters at a whim, because it would contravene UK legislation.

    Once again, you're incorrect. As a service policeman, I can, and have done on many occassions, breathalyse service personnel.
    The Lion Intoximeter and it's big brother have done the rounds through many a service establishment.

    Since when has draping flags contavened UK law (unless done so with racial implications)? The CO has powers which instill discipline, if he wants a tidy uniformed unit, then so be it. Fire, police and ambulance personnel do not receive 'blue light trg (as a rule although some of us have). But like our civilian counterparts, anything you do needs to be justified if legal procedings take place, so an amubulance or fire tender driver can speed if he can justify his actions (ie safeguard of life)

    I think you'll find that there are regs that will fall under service law, and others that go unchallenged because our genious officers have their careers in mind. What bizarre jumpers did you have in mind? Certain Regts officers carry riding crops, Blackthorn sticks etc, that could be Regt tradition. Where does it say that an officer can have his chocolate Lab in his office or single accommodation? It doesn't, but no-one challenges it so it goes on.

    Spend some time reading military and civilian law, just being able to find one article from a civilian act doesn't make you an expert. In fact it makes you even more dangerous. You could offer someone some advice through your vast experience of service law, and then the recipient could really end up in trouble!
  9. ViroBono

    ViroBono LE Moderator

  10. Just a thought, if we are bound by ALL uk legislation, how come we are allowed to have and use firearms :?:

    Even our olympic teams had to go abroad to practice :roll:
  11. The same reason civpol are allowed to carry firearms!

    I give up, good luck to all you barrack room lawyers!
  12. ViroBono

    ViroBono LE Moderator

    Incidentally, my quote in re the RTA not applying on mil land came from a posting on ARRSE by another RAF Policeman - so one of you is wrong!
  13. So - where do I get a flexible magnetic flagpole...? It's bad enough getting stopped for a car search by the MGS Car Parking Attendents (when I have the 2* sat in the backseat!), but I don't want to have to stand and row with the Plod when I have a job to do. Do other drivers simply attach the rigid pole and get on with it, or any there any other ways of getting around this problem?
  14. Surely the whole point of the flagpole being magnetic, is that it comes of if it's hit in an RTA it comes off anyway? The same as the mercedes star et al.
  15. I tried that argument, and was told that it was "eff all use if it comes away inside someone, is it?" I can't help but think the Plod was being spectacularly difficult, and that maybe I should just forget about it and carry on until I actually spear someone. Pompey dockyard worker, hopefully......

    It's all to do with marks of respect, in that with no flag on the bonnet, no bastard notices a staff car with lights on (deliberately, I suspect). Some of the other drivers have taken to full beam driving, and light flashing, and a suggestion was that we start picking up the miscreants and delivering them to justice, but I can't help but think it will only make my working day even longer and will involve more paperwork!

    Had a suggestion that we get one of those England flags that goes attaches to the window, but the bright spark Officer that came up with that one was laughed out of the room - exactly how many cars did he imagine would be in the dockyard with the World Cup coming up...?!