Magnetic Flag Poles

#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.
 

Ventress

LE
Moderator
#3
Mr_C_Hinecap said:
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.
Might be because they are police officers.
 
#4
Mr_C_Hinecap said:
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.
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
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:

much hinges on the definition of 'Road' under the RTA 88. This doesn't distinguish
between wholly public places and places of work. It simply defines a 'road' as a road to which the public has access. I'm sure you are aware, case law has given this a wide definition, to mean any road (even car parks) to which the public has access in fact. Unfortunately, the definition creates absurdities. If you are able to drive into, for example, a supermarket depot, college campus or hospital site, without overcoming any physical barrier, you are still on a 'road' under the RTA. If, however, you have to overcome a barrier, by showing a pass to a guard or inserting a barrier card, the road beyond is no longer a 'road' for RTA purposes.
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.


On a military unit the authority is standing orders - the responsibility of the CO.
Which comes from his powers given by UK legislation. Regardless of rank, he can't make his own bloody rules up!
 
#7
aes69 said:
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.
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.


On a military unit the authority is standing orders - the responsibility of the CO.

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

nor can they breathalyse a driver on camp, for example.
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.

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.
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)

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.
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
aes69 said:
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

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.
Not the same thing at all. A charge is not a prosecution, but a disciplinary procedure - that would require a Court Martial. It doesn't apply to civilians who live or work on base. I continue to disagree regarding the RTA. If the RTA applies to all 'Government owned land', I wonder why the civ police say they can't become involved in dealing with traffic matters on NHS property, on the grounds that the RTA doesn't apply.


nor can they breathalyse a driver on camp, for example.

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.
I bow to your knowledge. My own experience was that RAFP always had to call civpol to administer breath tests, except in Germany, though we are discussing the UK - I may be out of date.


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.

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)
Your statement said "he can't make his own bloody rules up!" - if you meant laws you should have said so. RAF Fire and Rescue pers do have trg in emergency driving; RAF paramedics do it on their course, and so do first responders. I don't know about service police. The point I was making, however, was to show that there was an anomaly in SSOs, which showed that they did not follow the law exactly.

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.
Again, I responded to your point that COs can't make rules. Things such as strange cav jumpers, sticks and other oddities are often in standing orders so that regtl tradition is perpetuated. Whether they are enforceable or not, particularly where an individual has to spend his own money to comply, is another matter. Whilst not specifying the colour or breed of dog, the rules relating to dogs in officers' mess accommodation and workplaces are contained, where I am now, in standing orders.

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!
I did not claim to be an expert, nor claim to have vast experience of service law; I did not offer legal advice. I merely contributed my own opinion to a discussion thread on a website, just like you. What my experience has taught me is that whilst there are some very good service policemen about, there are very many to whom the epithet 'a little knowledge can be dangerous' applies.
 
#10
aes69 said:
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.


On a military unit the authority is standing orders - the responsibility of the CO.
Which comes from his powers given by UK legislation. Regardless of rank, he can't make his own bloody rules up!
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:
 
#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?
 
#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...?!
 
#16
I would think that the force required for the shaft of a magnetic flag pole to pierce a pedestrian would be greater than that required to break the magnet's hold. However, the matter is probably best dealt with through the CoC. Because you really want to help him with his mission to prevent pedestrians being impaled upon flag mounts, ask plod to write out the law he thinks is relevant, so you can pass the details, with his name and number, to your boss. Mention that this could have major implications, as these things are in use all over, and you're sure your boss will want to speak to his boss to thank him for his attention to detail and concern for pedestrians being hurt by equipment designed to, err, not hurt pedestrians...
 
#17
Thanks. I will approach this in the same manner that Plod approaches it - with a resolute determination to drown the twat in meaningless paperwork, with the eventual winner being decided by who's Boss can piss highest up the wall.

And I bet it's mine.
 
#18
Well - the copper posting on here has been a very bad example of his trade and I'm glad I had something else to do over the weekend than read his shoite.

Use your management chain to reach a pragmatic solution here. Go up yours to whatever your version of the MTO is and ask them to take this up on your behalf. You're a driver and you are not expected to argue with such pr1cks who don't know what 'pragmatic' means. If this is actually a proper legal issue, it has implications for ALL other Staff drivers across the MoD and needs higher visibility. I'm not saying the copper is right or wrong - just that this may need a broader view. It certainly doesn't need MilPol Jobsworth being a stroppy bugger.
 
#19
Let your ADC/FLAG LT know, I had a run in with the 'MOD PLOD' at the Duke of York Bks in Chelsea, somthing about I wasnt allowed to park my staff car in there as it was a TA Bks not an Army Bks, I thought it was the same thing so Needless to say I parked there anyway as I was told to wait for him. The Sgt even came out to tell me to move, which I refused. When the boss got back they complained to him about my attitude and started having a go at him, about treating this as a conveniant car park. Fcuk me what a wrong move I wont say who Iwas driving but the said individuals recieved a right bollokin when the Chief Constable was called.

So what Im saying is get your office involved straight away, You shouldnt be using the flag on public roads anyway as they normally blow off at anything over 40
 
#20
Well - the copper posting on here has been a very bad example of his trade and I'm glad I had something else to do over the weekend than read his shoite

Why? :roll:

I apologise to the original poster if the thread was somewhat hi-jacked, but some of the advice given on here is utter toss! At the end of the day, if you're given an order to do anything (whether written or verbal and as long as it's not something daft like shoot that doris) then do it, as you'll have some top-cover when things go wrong.

If some plod, whether it be RMP, crab or MDP, stops you for having an issue flag pole on, then produce your MT orders that you've photocopied stating your orders for displaying the flag.
 

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