Dangerous driving - Leif

This morning on the way to work, an overcast wet day, poor light, I saw a some lights come round a bend ahead. After a while I realised that there was a car on my side of the road coming towards me at high speed, and I braked sharply. I just missed the car which pulled in to the other side in time. It had two small lights on the front which were alternately flashing. Would this be an unmarked police car? He overtook on double white lines. I'm not happy. The light was poor, it took me a while to realise what was going on, and it was very dangerous.

I intend to report this though I know nothing will come of it. I only have the time and the road, plus a video, but no number plate.

Dangerous driving - RobJP

If you have a dashcam video, then surely it has the numberplate on it ?

Dangerous driving - Leif

Too fast, the number plate cannot be read.

Dangerous driving - badbusdriver

It's unlikely to have been a police car, even unmarked, the lights would have been blue.

My Dad tells this terrifying story from a number of years ago when as a truck driver he was heading from Inverness to Elgin. As anyone who has been on this stretch of (single carriageway) road will know, there are a few very long straight sections. He could see some distance away heading towards him, another truck, but this truck was on the wrong side of the road. It got closer and closer and he was getting more and more alarmed. At pretty much the last minute he had to make a split second decision to go to the wrong side of the road to pass the other truck. As the trucks goet close enough he could see the other driver was either asleep or unconscious slumped to the side, so he blasted his airhorn as he passed and in his mirror, saw the truck veering wildly for a few seconds before straightening up on the correct side of the road. So the driver had been asleep!. Fortunately no other vehicles were involved, but it could just have easily resulted in a very serious accident.

Dangerous driving - Dwight Van Driver

Without positive id of the offending vehicle what can plod do?

dvd

Edited by Dwight Van Driver on 05/09/2017 at 16:18

Dangerous driving - Leif

If this was a police car, then perhaps they have a record of which vehicle would have been on that road at that time? Not being a copper, I have no idea of procedures. If it wasn't a copper, then indeed they cannot do much.

Dangerous driving - focussed

"It had two small lights on the front which were alternately flashing"

What colour were these lights?

Have you uploaded the video to any sharing site such as YouTube?

Edited by focussed on 05/09/2017 at 21:27

Dangerous driving - hillman

I think the OP had seen a guy whose car had a blown fuse on a lighting circuit and he was hurrying home by the light of the emergency indicators, just missing death either of himself or others.

The cars are so complicated now that they have rows of fuses, unlike the cars of yesteryear that had few or none. At that time the average motorist was generally able to do basic maintenance and fault finding, unlike now when cars have become so complicated.

The first time I worked on a car was in 1961 when SWMBOs girlfriend arrived with her latest boyfriend. He had an Austin Somerset that had a lighting problem. I was a motorcycle freak.

The girls did female things while the b/f showed me the problem. It was dusk and the b/f was driving the car on sidelights. When he switched the headlights on there was a rapidly reducing dim glow. When I looked at the wiring it took me quite a long time to find that one of the wires going into the nearside headlight, which I thought was an earth wire was bare red and soft outside the headlight but had full insulation inside. I replaced the wire with a length that my dad had given me and then tried again. The floor mounted dip switch had become so hot that it was distorted and useless.

I took out the faulty dip switch and the g/f and her b/f left driving on sidelights. Next weekend the g/f and her b/f arrived with a new dip switch which I fitted and all was well.

Dangerous driving - jamie745

If the lights weren't blue it's not a Police car, they usually have flashing blue lights in the grill and their cars are normally fairly easy to spot - dark coloured BMW estates usually.

Dangerous driving - RT

If the lights weren't blue it's not a Police car, they usually have flashing blue lights in the grill and their cars are normally fairly easy to spot - dark coloured BMW estates usually.

To avoid being stereotyped, unmarked police cars cover the full range of popular cars - and colours.

Dangerous driving - jamie745

Well obviously. I've seen all sorts of unmarked Police cars - my personal favourite being a Mk3 silver Mondeo which was modded to look like a chavs car, full bodykit and everything.

Dangerous driving - RichT54

Amazingly, you can get kits to make a car's lights flash alternately...

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/12V-Wig-Wag-Car-Alternating-Headlight-Flasher-Kit-/310316030230?clk_rvr_id=1302516902282&rmvSB=true

The advert does say "Suitable for OFF ROAD USEAGE ONLY", but I doubt the typical user of such a mod would care about that.


Dangerous driving - jamie745

There's all sorts of stuff you can fit to your car which isn't road legal - you might even get away with one of those kits as the lights are white rather than blue and the vehicle will still have normal solid headlamps. Only the Police are allowed to show a flashing blue light though - not sure what the law is around the underbody blue lights which are a common modification.

I've seen the Police light kits for certain cars - Volvo V70 and the like - for sale second hand. It's perfectly legal to buy and fit these things but not to actually use them. If you use them you're in big trouble.

The car Leif saw probably was a modded hooligan.

Dangerous driving - bathtub tom

It had two small lights on the front which were alternately flashing

Did you see the lights flashing, or was the flashing just picked up on your dashcam?

Modern LEDs do flash at a high rate that's not (usually) visible to the human eye, but can be noticeable on a recording device.

Dangerous driving - sandy56

An emergency call out for a doctor or senior fire brigade person? Some of them use umarked cars with discrete flashing lights.

Dangerous driving - RT

An emergency call out for a doctor or senior fire brigade person? Some of them use umarked cars with discrete flashing lights.

Doctors' cars use green flashing - fire brigade commander can use blue flashing

Dangerous driving - Andrew-T

An emergency call out for a doctor or senior fire brigade person? Some of them use umarked cars with discrete flashing lights.

I think you mean discreet lights - though I do wonder what use a flashing light might be if it is truly discreet?

Dangerous driving - Leif

An emergency call out for a doctor or senior fire brigade person? Some of them use umarked cars with discrete flashing lights.

I do think it was one of the emergency services. The main lights were on full beam (which drowned out the other cars lights making it hard for me realise what was going on). There might have been a series of lights on the front, they were alternating in what looks like a circular sequence, possibly two blue on the right, two red on the left, . Looked like a silver Vauxhall and going 60 mph+ so a head on might not have been pleasant.

Obviously if it was just a maniac then nowt can be done, but perhaps this is a standard setup for one of the emergency services when using an unmarked car.

Dangerous driving - RT

An emergency call out for a doctor or senior fire brigade person? Some of them use umarked cars with discrete flashing lights.

I do think it was one of the emergency services. The main lights were on full beam (which drowned out the other cars lights making it hard for me realise what was going on). There might have been a series of lights on the front, they were alternating in what looks like a circular sequence, possibly two blue on the right, two red on the left, . Looked like a silver Vauxhall and going 60 mph+ so a head on might not have been pleasant.

Obviously if it was just a maniac then nowt can be done, but perhaps this is a standard setup for one of the emergency services when using an unmarked car.

That then sounds like a police unmarked rapid response unit

Dangerous driving - Leif

That then sounds like a police unmarked rapid response unit

Thank you. I shall report it in the hope that they can and will do something though I doubt it. I came back on the same road last night, and he was not far away when he stated the overtake. I had my lights on so he would have seen me. I'll see if I can post the video online, along with my others.

Dangerous driving - Dogfuzz

This is a road you clearly use on a regular basis to get to work. Why not get to that location-or nearby again--at about the same time or perhaps a little earlier--position yourself carefully with "camera" at the ready--and see if "he" comes zooming past again . Once you've got the number plate, you can check tax, MOT, vehicle history etc. You might be even minded to follow "him" .

Dangerous driving - joegrundy

The rules for lights on emergency vehicles are quite closely legislated (though my experience may be a bit out of date).

Generally, the vehicle must be being used for fire, ambulance or police purposes but there are others, such as Mine Rescue, etc.

AFAIK, lights to the front can be any colour except red, lights to the rear can only be red, blue or amber.

When I was working, my car had blue grille lights, alternating main beams and a 'Kojack' magnetic roof beacon (these fell out of favour because they had a tendency to fall off at high speed).

Because of controls nowadays, if this was a police, fire or ambulance car this would be checkable via the authority concerned.

Dangerous driving - Leif

Thank you.

Dangerous driving - joegrundy

I think this is quite an important point. Whilst drivers of ESVs do have some latitude to disregard speed limits, road signs, red lights, etc., all of their training and all professional dictats are that they must always drive with due care and attention, not recklessly or dangerously. 'Blues and twos' do not give you immunity from anything. The best police driving instructor I ever had taught us to drive fast without using them.

There are occasions when police driving can seem to be dangerous when it really isn't - for example in a high speed convoy has a 'pilot' car or motorcycle that is reporting back that blind bends etc. are clear of traffic. But in all circumstances, ESV drivers have exactly the same duty to drive safely as anyone else.

As I understand it, nowadays vehicles responding to calls are closely monitored by their control rooms, so that a fast response is authorised or not. Not a bad thing, IMHO.

Dangerous driving - Leif

That confirms my beliefs. He/she is allowed to exceed the speed limit, and overtake when double white lines are present, but only if it is safe to do so.

My only concern is that before he came round the bend, I overtook a car, and reach 56 mph in a 50mph speed limit before decelerating. So technically I could be done for speeding for a few seconds from my video.

Dangerous driving - Manatee

Cut that bit off, or delete the separate gps file.

Dangerous driving - Leif

Cut that bit off, or delete the separate gps file.

I can't cut it out (the speed indication is delayed by a few seconds, so is not real time and overlaps the important part. And the speed is overlaid on the video. However, I believe they could not do me for speeding (by 5mph for a few seconds) because it is not a calibrated device, and I was otherwise driving with due care and attention.

Dangerous driving - joegrundy

"That confirms my beliefs. He/she is allowed to exceed the speed limit, and overtake when double white lines are present, but only if it is safe to do so."

Yes, exactly so.

Dangerous driving - joegrundy

"My only concern is that before he came round the bend, I overtook a car, and reach 56 mph in a 50mph speed limit before decelerating. So technically I could be done for speeding for a few seconds from my video."

No, I don't see that this is relevant. As an ESV driver, you cannot assume -when making your decision to ignore signs or use speed - that other drivers will be obeying speed limits, etc. Unless your device is specifically calibrated it could not be used to prosecute you for excess speed - yours could be within the bounds of error and in any case is within ACPO nationally agreed limits for non-prosecution.

Just my thoughts IMHO of course.

Edited by joegrundy on 06/09/2017 at 14:44

Dangerous driving - RT

"My only concern is that before he came round the bend, I overtook a car, and reach 56 mph in a 50mph speed limit before decelerating. So technically I could be done for speeding for a few seconds from my video."

No, I don't see that this is relevant. As an ESV driver, you cannot assume -when making your decision to ignore signs or use speed - that other drivers will be obeying speed limits, etc. Unless your device is specifically calibrated it could not be used to prosecute you for excess speed - yours could be within the bounds of error and in any case is within ACPO nationally agreed limits for non-prosecution.

Just my thoughts IMHO of course.

Absolutely right - just as ordinary drivers must not assume that other drivers will be driving within the law - expect the unexpected.

Dangerous driving - Leif
Just my thoughts IMHO of course.

Thank you.

Dangerous driving - joegrundy

You're welcome. Others here may have more recent experience/info than mine (I retired in 2005) but I don't think (and I hope) that the principles have not changed.

 

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