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New crackdown on police drivers on the way ?


Kit Reviewer

Reuters said:
Police vehicle chase crash figures rise sharply

(By Matthew Jones)

LONDON - The number of people killed or injured in collisions with police vehicles racing to emergencies has risen 60 percent in a year, prompting fears police drivers don't have enough training.

More than 2,000 people were injured as a result of accidents in England and Wales involving police vehicles in the year to April 2004, a rise of more than 700, the Home Office said on Friday.

The figures showed 31 people were killed, up nine on the previous year.

"The first thing to say is these numbers are worrying," said Andrew Howard, head of road safety at the AA Trust motoring organisation.

"There is a need for more training, but that is not a dramatic cure-all," he said.

The Home Office said it understood the potential dangers involving police vehicles engaged in pursuits or emergency responses, but said chances were necessary to catch offenders.

"The Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) is very aware of the criticisms that have been levelled at the police and fully recognises the need to work to reduce the number of collisions involving police vehicles," a Home Office spokesman said.

Kevin Clinton, head of road safety at the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) said police drivers need tighter management.

"The police have to manage this type of driving through a controller at HQ and not just leave it to the police driver involved in a chase," he said.

Last month a court let off a traffic officer who was clocked travelling at 159 mph because he said he was testing a new pursuit car, even though his bosses knew nothing about his high speed trip.

Nick Hardwick, chairman of the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) said he was concerned about the "wide variations in training and policy" among different police forces.

"I don't think everything that could be done is being done," he told Sky News.
Will the government be tightening up the rules on drivers' conduct or will these deaths and injuries be regarded as 'acceptable loss' ?
HHMMMMMM! A couple of years after the Police Service changed the training the Police Force insisted on for their drivers there are lots more casualties caused by Police drivers.

Let's remind the sad pack of w@nkers who now run the Police that they are supposed to be a force to uphold the Queens Peace, not a service to suck up to the latest little fad oor cost saving idea that comes from the planet Govt.
No no no, we are a Service - as a service we cant cost the taxpayer a lot of many training up drivers now can we! besides they all have a cat b license anyway - surely they dont need anything more.....

And force sounds opressive, wouldnt want any criminals being opressed now would we.
Watching motorists' responses to seeing a flashing blue light gives a clue to why some of these accidents happen.
I have seen them slam the brakes on in the middle of the road, swerve IN FRONT of an oncoming Police vehicle, & actually run into the rear of the vehicle in front of them, whilst staring over their shoulder at an Ambulance going the other way.
No excuses for poor driving or bad judgment by Police officers but the standard of driving by the "average" motorist leaves a lot to be desired, especially when they are confronted by a situation that upsets their coccooned little world.
^ Oddbod makes an excellent point. The average motorist in the UK needs to realise that the small, rectangular object suspended above the centre of the windscreen is called a mirror.

Yesterday I saw a Sky News journo covering this story go out for the day in a traffic car. He attended a serious RTA at 130 mph on a motorway. He said (I paraphrase) "I felt completely safe and the driver was in full control. The main problem seemed to be other drivers not looking in their mirrors and reacting poorly."

Make response to all emergency vehicles a revised, core part of the Highway code beyond "giving way" (which, on a busy Lane Three of the M25 of a Friday lunchtime might not be the easiest thing to do).

Things I'd like to know from this survey:

1. Breakdown of police drivers involved in accidents (i.e. basic drivers/ response drivers/ advanced drivers). That's to say, is it the very skilled ones having the accidents, or the young keen ones driving beyond their skill and classification? If police drivers drive beyond their authorization I personally have little sympathy for them if they kill somebody. We don't give kids guns, why give them cars?

2. Breakdown of incidents where accidents occurred...i.e. response to 999 versus pursuits (etc). The number of 999 calls has gone through the roof and there are aggressive performance indicators to be met, imposed by the (non-operational) management. Is this a factor? (The answer, BTW, is probably "Yes").

3. Who are the victims? That is to say how many of these injuries are suffered by criminals who failed to stop for police and initiated a pursuit? I must admit to feeling little sympathy for them; they are the architects of their own misfortune. Mrs. Miggins crossing the raod and getting mown down by some twenty year old basic driver living out his Police! Camera! Action! fetish is a different matter.

As we can see, this is a complex issue. The Daily Mail and usual police-bashers won't see it that way, so I hope the next time they dial 999 they get a very sluggish response to their little dilemma.

Is it speed or skills? May be difficult to really get like for like but what sort of record do other blues and twos users such as ambulances and fire bde have? Press on cowboys will have accidents at relatively low speeds?
^ The other two "blue light" services have much, much lower accident rates. Saying that, they on the whole drive quite slow-moving vehicles (ambos and fire appliances) and don't get involved in pursuits. There are also, vehicle-for-vehicle, a lot less of them.

These figures were quoted on News 24 as including ''collisions involving police contact'' and not just pursuits e.g. police chasing a driver are instructed (as usual) to terminate the pursuit, and after they are no longer in sight or hearing of the scumbag, he then crashes his car. Police were no longer around when he crashed, but it's still claimed to be down to the police. Fair? is it fcuk!

How about not being as scared to used TPAC(ramming etc) or stopping devices (stinger/stop stick) and stop these cnuts before they hit something.

Or bring in a policy that states if you crash after failing to stop for police then it's tough 'kin t1tty!
^ Good drills, Hogspawn. If these statistics indeed include "Vicinity Only POLACCs" then the figures are extremely skewed and potentially misleading.

For non-police types, a Vicinity Only POLACC would be a situation where, for example, a police vehicle chases a suspect but loses him. Ten minutes later, said suspect piles into a third vehicle causing casualty. It is recorded as a police accident. Another common example is where a police vehicle crosses a junction completely within the permitted regulations using warning equipment and a driver panics and (let's say) rear-ends another vehicle causing injury. That too is technically a police accident.

So caveat emptor when taking this survey on board in my opinion.

Yeah and what about when a police driver clips another vehicles wing mirror in a crowded station back yard causing minor damage, thats a "police accident" as well, which needs to be investigated by a traffic sgt.

My favourite? A pair of police horses stop before turning and entering a station yard. The motorist behind doesn't stop in time and there is what our american friends call a fender bender.

After consultation between various guvners this was declared a vicinity only polcoll. How we laughed writing our reports


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