One for the Traffic Police - BobbyG
I'm just back from a week in France and its amazing how long it takes to read up on all the threads that have happened in the short space of 1 week!!!
Anyway, some observations I would like feedback , thoughts / advice on?

1. I live near Glasgow so obviously had to do a bit of driving to get to the Tunnel. However, I notice that the areas on motorways for "Police Patrol Cars" only seem to be barriered off at the entrance to them once you hit the M6 etc. Did something happen at some point that meant they needed extra protection? I always thought that the ramps were just the right levitation to launch a car into mid air! Reason I am asking is that in Scotland they still have the conventional access / exit route?

2. Whilst in France I occasionally listened to Radio 2 for news etc and was amazed on the road reports the amount of motorways etc that are closed for hours after an RTA. In France, the police will very quickly clear the scene of an RTA without all the investigations we do here. What is the reason for it here, is it some sort of legal thing that it all has to be investigated. A perfect example was a very sad accident on M8 a few weeks back, a 14 year old boy was running across the Motorway and was hit by several cars and killed at the scene. Although very sad, the reason seemed straight forward - but the motorway was still closed for 8 hours - why?

3. Whilst driving on M25 I was amazed at the amount of skid marks on the outside lane and the fact that the inside lane was hardly used. Far be it from me to start a war, but is part of the congestion problem down there the fact that there are a lot of people who don't actually know how to drive properly? Perhaps the only motorway they have ever driven on is the M25?

Maybe this should have been 3 different threads.........
One for the Traffic Police - Armitage Shanks{P}
I think that the reason roads are closed for hours in UK is that serious accidents, whether involving death or not, are regarded as 'scenes of crime' and forensic experts have to do finger tip searches etc. I am not saying it is wrong, far from it, but the A1 near where I live has been shut twice in a month and on one occasion a 40 mile diversion was in place for over 6 hours.
One for the Traffic Police - doug_523i
A complete disregard for the travelling public is probably high on the list. I've seen small fender benders that a Police Range Rover could have quickly moved to the hard shoulder, but they happily just cone off two lanes and wait for a breakdown truck. There was a crash on the M53 a few weeks ago, the driver had a turn for the worst after going to hospital, and they closed the motorway in the rush hour so they could walk around taking measurements.
One for the Traffic Police - chris p crisps ©
why can't HGV's when gone off motorways be recovered late at night or at least out of peak times, so many times the whole motorway is closed just at peak times to recover such vehicles. The cost to the general population must be immense in comparison to a bit of overtime by the recovery team.
In response to the closure of roads by the police for minor accidents i think they just like their own importance.How many times have we seen a minor hold up made into a major obstruction by the half dozen police cars and traffic cops directing traffic.
chris
One for the Traffic Police - Mark (RLBS)
I think you're right. The police have nothing better to do with their time and really fancy blocking a road and wandering around measuring things for a couple of hours, and they're only doing it out of sheer awkwardness and to annoy you.

The idea that they are taking their job seriously with a combination of the things they need to do and the things that they are told to do is clearly ridiculous - it really is all just to annoy you.

Equally the idea of half the population not driving like complete idiots and therefore not creating the problem in the first place is equally ridiculous.

And the sad thing is that I suspect that you really believe it is just done to annoy you.
One for the Traffic Police - Ian (Cape Town)
Mark, a local plod explained that they now spend longer at accident scenes than ever before, taking EVERY conceivable measurement/paint scrape etc, as the man-in-the-street (aka the man-in-the-wrong) is getting more and more likely to take plod/other people to court to win silly amounts of damages and/or get off on a technicality.
Sad fact of human nature, I'm afraid.
One for the Traffic Police - Mark (RLBS)
That was kind of what I meant Ian, I must be getting more obscure than normal.
One for the Traffic Police - Ian (Cape Town)
No prob, mark!
I ran into my plod friend yesterday, and we discussed this. Here is a prime example:
He was involved in an investigation over the weekend - drunk driver ran through lights, T-boned another car, 2 seriously hurt (not the drunk).
Facts are:
1) Driver was so p***ed he couldn't even get out the car
2) the incident was caught on video. there was a 15 second gap between light changing, and him driving through the red ...
3) Police arrived at scene within seconds - they were 5 cars behind the car which was hit. Two credible witnesses.

So it seems cut-and-dried. But according to the rules, ALL measurements, markings, evidence gathering, paint scrapings etc had to be done, and a multiple of forms filled out before the vehicles could be moved.
"Because otherwise," says the wise plod, "his brief would get him off on a procedural error."
So what SHOULD have been 5 minutes work (tow cars away, sweep road) took 3 hours.
One for the Traffic Police - Flat in Fifth
Recognising above post is t-i-c, technical comment follows.

Some years ago a computer system was brought out whereby it was no longer necesary to make a complete survey of a crash site but using a combination of digital / video cameras, and some measured reference points the whole scene could be rendered into 3D courtesy of Intel's finest.

Downside was that it cost a gazillion dollars though and not totally sure what happened to it since. Must confess never seen it in action since, maybe TRL have one?

Increasing use of various coloured paints to mark out vehicle paths I note.

One for the Traffic Police - steveb
I saw this - fortunately I was going the other way !

Wondered what the problem was.

S
One for the Traffic Police - Nortones2
Perhaps if you had to account for the reasons for skimping an investigation a. to the coroner, b. to the family, c. to the other authorities involved, you might better understand that serious accident investigation, where death may result, takes time to carry out properly. The French have a far worse road accident rate: I wonder if that is linked to their laissez-faire approach? On the other hand, perhaps their travelling public prefer a trade-off of less inconvenience against a lower standard of accountability? Minor accidents are another matter however, and I'm with you on that.
One for the Traffic Police - Obsolete
Usually when I find myself in slow traffic due to a crash, I see an air ambulance either arrive or leave, suggesting that the crash is pretty recent. I s'pose they could fly in a bulldozer to scrape the mess onto the verge but I don't think that would go down well with most people.

I'm with the others when they blame the poor drivers who crash, and I have sympathy for the poor devils who drive well and find some idiot crashes into them.
One for the Traffic Police - volvoman
The reason the police and, indeed, all such organisations are increasingly (and sometimes annoyingly) meticulous has a lot to do with our increasing litigation culture. I agree it may seem like a waste of time but it has to be done and with limited resources this all takes time. As regards minor incidents, I have some sympathy with the emergency services also. What started as a minor shunt only needs a single moron to turn it into a major accident and, let's face it, the roads are full of morons. Can you imagine the resulting headlines and lawsuits were the police to leave the motorway at the scene of a relatively minor accident only for a pile up to occur ? I think that blaming the police for this is a bit like blaming insurance companies for premium increases - the truth is that it's the selfish, moronic and downright dangerous actions of people which cause most of the problems, the police and others just have to be there to pick up the pieces and then take all the flak with a smile on their face. If every driver had to do a week in a motorway patrol car I think most would have a very different opinion of
the traffic police.
One for the Traffic Police - volvoman
That should read:

"leave the motorway at the scene of a relatively minor accident OPEN only ...."
One for the Traffic Police - Fullchat
Hear hear!!!!!
One for the Traffic Police - Steve S
"The French have a far worse road accident rate:"

Nortones2,

Is that per head of popn, deaths per numbers of drivers or accidents per miles driven?

These stats always confuse me.
One for the Traffic Police - Nortones2
SteveS: I suppose it's more accurate to say "deaths" but major injury rates are lao important. This link sets out a number of intresting comparisons: www.cfit.gov.uk/research/ebp/key/01.htm It says "We have the second lowest number of deaths when measured against total distances driven. On average, one person is killed on British roads for every 8.1 billion kilometres driven, less than half the level of deaths in France." and goes on to discuss some of the other aspects e.g. pedestrian safety which is often omitted from standard journo' comments about the UK having the safest roads.
One for the Traffic Police - Dave_TD
3. Whilst driving on M25 I was amazed at the amount
of skid marks on the outside lane and the fact that
the inside lane was hardly used. Far be it from me
to start a war, but is part of the congestion problem
down there the fact that there are a lot of people
who don't actually know how to drive properly? Perhaps the only
motorway they have ever driven on is the M25?


It most probably is! I find the whole mindset of drivers on the M25 to be completely different to that on any other motorway in the UK. The skid marks you would have seen in the outside lane would be fairly recent, too - they get scrubbed off by the passing traffic after a few hours. Whenever I see an assortment of skid marks in the outside lane, no matter which lane I'm in, I take it as a sign to look that much harder for any hazards ahead or any sharply slowing traffic that other drivers may not see in time. Another good patch for this phenomenon is the outside lane of the southbound M1 down the hill towards J9 at Redbourn, for about half a mile there are little heaps of glass and plastic every 50 yards along the central reservation.

 

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