Top traffic cop gets speeding warning

#1
From Reuters web site

The country's top traffic cop has escaped serious sanction after failing to stop his chauffeur driving at more than 80 miles per hour, prompting outrage from traffic safety groups.
A spokeswoman for Scotland Yard said that London's Metropolitan Police Service Chief Superintendent Les Owen received a written warning last month "for failing to challenge the manner in which a police officer drove a car in which he was a passenger" in an incident in February 2004.

"This man should be setting an example," said Paul Hodgson, a spokesman for the motoring services group RAC. "If the reports are true they were very dangerous speeds to be travelling at on a public road."

The spokeswoman declined to comment on a report in the Evening Standard newspaper on Monday that Owen's car was travelling at 82 miles per hour in a 40 mph zone, and 86 mph in a 50 mph zone.

Owen, who has launched a series of anti-speeding campaigns in recent years, was running late for a meeting and the driver of the car had used its blue flashing lights and emergency siren to help it get through heavy traffic, the newspaper said on Monday.

Owen's car was travelling southbound on the A12 in excess of 80 mph, Scotland Yard said.

The driver of the car, PC Mark Bradley, was prosecuted for speeding and received a 250 pound fine, but Owen had not received any financial penalty, the spokeswoman said.
Anyone know where in the Road Traffic Act it states that if you are late for a meeting you can use Blue lights and audible warning devices? Might have to use that myself......

It disgusts me that these people think they are above the law. Yet again, it is the bloke on the ground who gets shafted whilst the head geezer gets off scot free.... It really grips my sh1t. Its not very often you'll find me supporting a copper, mind :D but I think this really takes the urine.

Rant over.

Ghost
 
#2
I seem to remeber from my little blue light course that you can claim exemption from traffic regulations (which includes speed restrictions)'when to comply with such a regulation would hinder the use to which the vehicle is being put at the time'

This must obviously include taking coppers to meetings, as obeying the speed limits would be hindering the vehicle from getting him there on time! I suppose that technically its correct, but I wouldn't like to rely on it in court!
 
#5
Mates of mine who have been drivers os Senior Officers before have always said that the unwritten rule was that if they were caught speeding then they would take the points and the boss would pay the fine, but sure if it ever happened though.

Sparky
 
#6
theoriginalphantom said:
I seem to remeber from my little blue light course that you can claim exemption from traffic regulations (which includes speed restrictions)'when to comply with such a regulation would hinder the use to which the vehicle is being put at the time'

This must obviously include taking coppers to meetings, as obeying the speed limits would be hindering the vehicle from getting him there on time! I suppose that technically its correct, but I wouldn't like to rely on it in court!
So, to extrapolate: "...when to comply with such a regulation would mean that you would be late for a meeting, or picking the kids up from school, or when being stuck in traffic is just too damn inconvienient" :roll:

Lets try to quantify the above: If PC Bloggs is in his police car and suddenly realises that he has left the iron on at home, what prevents him from using blue lights and siren to rush home and switch it off? That covers the "hinder the use to which the vehicle is being put...." surely? Or, as I suspect, if he was caught in this scenario he would be ankle-deep in the brown and pungent - head first :?

So what makes this case different?

Ghost
 
#7
thats a quote from my driving course, like many parts of British law its open to interpretation. Untill it goes to a test case, we will never know!
 
#8
theoriginalphantom said:
thats a quote from my driving course, like many parts of British law its open to interpretation. Untill it goes to a test case, we will never know!
I appreciate that point, phantom. I have to admit I am being cynical here.... I am simply pointing out the blatant case of double standards.

It just grips me that the ordinary PC will get shafted over an incident like this (i.e. the driver gets fined, Chief Super gets off scot free)

And before someone says it, I know the Chief Super wasn't driving, but (as in the military) the passenger(s) are just as responsible for keeping the driver on the "straight and narrow"

Again, perhaps just me being cynical..... :twisted:

Ghost
 
#9
When I saw the title of this thread a warm glow of schadenfreude lit up, only to be extinguished and replaced with a familiar feeling that it had been too good to be true when I found that Owen had let the poor sod driving him to take the £250 fine, whilst he got a written warning. Now THAT'S leadership!
 
#10
I imagine that the driver will have been put in a difficult position with the Chief Super telling him to get there on time. I also imagine that the PC won't have had the idea to misuse the blues and twos without the Chief super telling him. Direct order and all that, not that he'll be able to use that as defence either.
 
#11
Lets try to quantify the above: If PC Bloggs is in his police car and suddenly realises that he has left the iron on at home, what prevents him from using blue lights and siren to rush home and switch it off? That covers the "hinder the use to which the vehicle is being put...." surely? Or, as I suspect, if he was caught in this scenario he would be ankle-deep in the brown and pungent - head first
Correct. There are no grey areas here and I'm a police driver.

You may drive using the exemptions when operationally necessary. Going to a meeting isn't operational.

If you take the pi$$ and get caught Traffic will stick you on. And give you a little lecture. Of course, the irony here being that it's a Traffic Police superintendent who is the one who appears to be "getting away with it" thus making life a bit more difficult for the Garage Sergeants who administer summary justice to coppers who fall foul of the (police) driving rules. If I'd been driving him and he'd asked me to put my foot down I would have, quite simply, refused. He's lucky, "Using/ Causing/ Permitting" traffic offences are substantive offences after all.

Being a bit older I'm a "slowish" driver, but I like to think a much safer one.

V!
 
#12
Vegetius said:
Lets try to quantify the above: If PC Bloggs is in his police car and suddenly realises that he has left the iron on at home, what prevents him from using blue lights and siren to rush home and switch it off? That covers the "hinder the use to which the vehicle is being put...." surely? Or, as I suspect, if he was caught in this scenario he would be ankle-deep in the brown and pungent - head first
Correct. There are no grey areas here and I'm a police driver.

You may drive using the exemptions when operationally necessary. Going to a meeting isn't operational.

If you take the pi$$ and get caught Traffic will stick you on. And give you a little lecture. Of course, the irony here being that it's a Traffic Police superintendent who is the one who appears to be "getting away with it" thus making life a bit more difficult for the Garage Sergeants who administer summary justice to coppers who fall foul of the (police) driving rules. If I'd been driving him and he'd asked me to put my foot down I would have, quite simply, refused. He's lucky, "Using/ Causing/ Permitting" traffic offences are substantive offences after all.

Being a bit older I'm a "slowish" driver, but I like to think a much safer one.

V!
Thanks Veg, this is exactly what I was getting at. Operational necessity is all well and good, but don't you think that a written warning for (as you have pointed out) causing or permitting an offence to occur is a little weak?

Anyone else see this as a particularly poor reflection, not only on Ch Supt Owen, but also on those who allowed him to get away with it.....?

Ghost
 
#13
Its a poor reflection on the way it was dealt with as well as the actions of the individuals in the car. still it gives us something to moan about. can you imagine just getting a written warning for doing the same?
 
#14
Email sent to the Home Office & a hard copy sent to the Home Sec. demanding the hypocritical sh1tbag's resignation.
Copied to the Telegraph for good measure.

The self-important git needs binned asap.
 
#15
Oddbod said:
Email sent to the Home Office & a hard copy sent to the Home Sec. demanding the hypocritical sh1tbag's resignation.
Copied to the Telegraph for good measure.

The self-important git needs binned asap.
Quality :D

Hang on whilst I get a link for the Home Office email.............

Ah yes... here it is: public.enquiries@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk

Feel free to express yourself - I have (Many thanks, Oddbod. Inspirational ;))

Ghost
 
#16
Dear Sir/Madam,

After reading the Reuters report on Chief Superintendent Owen’s recent written warning for causing or permitting his driver to drive a Police vehicle at excess speed, I was wondering what further action would be considered necessary should the subject of the incident not have been a senior Police officer?

To the best of my knowledge, causing or permitting an offence to take place is, in itself, an offence (insofar as the Road Traffic Act is concerned). I feel certain that, should the subject have been a regular member of society, consideration would have been given to reporting the matter to the Crown Prosecution Service for the question of Prosecution.

Having considered this fact, it appears, then, that Chief Superintendent Owen has been treated preferentially due to his occupation. I am sure that this can be adequately explained, however I have been discussing the matter informally with some colleagues of mine and nobody can understand why such an occurrence has led to this outcome.

Clearly, the Police Constable who was driving the vehicle was responsible for his actions – that is not debated, and indeed he has been fined a sum of £250 for that matter. However, it is not beyond the bounds of reason that he was either encouraged or instructed to carry out these actions by Chief Superintendent Owen.

It has been stated that Police vehicles can be exempt from the requirements of the Road Traffic Act in certain circumstances 'when to comply with such a regulation would hinder the use to which the vehicle is being put at the time'

I therefore respectfully request that an explanation of the reason that Chief Superintendent Owen has not been reported for consideration of prosecution is made available to the undersigned, in order that an understanding of the legal system may be sought.

Yours faithfully,

Ghostie
 
#17
Oddbod said:
Email sent to the Home Office & a hard copy sent to the Home Sec. demanding the hypocritical sh1tbag's resignation.
Copied to the Telegraph for good measure.

The self-important git needs binned asap.
Nice try, tell you what though if he resigns I will buy everyone on here a donut! :lol:
 
#18
Mind you, - the driver always has the option of exercising some testicular fortitude and telling the man in the back seat to feck off 'it's my licence'.

And don't give me that only following orders crap!!!
 

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