Yet another motorway tragedy - HF
Seven people have died and another two are fighting for life after a four vehicle pile-up on the M56 near Manchester.

Haven't heard any details of the cause/circumstances yet, but the frequency with which I seem to be hearing about incidents like this is very very depressing.
Old Trout.
Yet another motorway tragedy - volvoman
Yes, very tragically there have been a string of such accidents over recent months. Having had very painful experience of a serious rail crash, I can't help thinking that had this (or any of the other incidents) involved a train there'd have been much more of an uproar. This incident will be forgotten in no time - just like all the others that happen.
Yet another motorway tragedy - HF
(sorry, had removed sig from forum options prior to posting as it's inappropriate on a topic like this. For some reason it still appeared though).
Yet another motorway tragedy - J Bonington Jagworth
Old Trout - doesn't seem inappropriate to me; you're just echoing a feeling that many of us older, sadder and more trout-like citizens must share. The trouble is that nearly 10 people die every day on our roads, but this is considered an acceptable cost for the convenience enjoyed by the rest of us. It could be lowered by better driver training, which would also have the benefit of lowering overall congestion, but there isn't the political will, possibly on the grounds that it is worse nearly everywhere else.
Yet another motorway tragedy - HF
>>The trouble is that nearly 10 people die every day on our >>roads, but this is considered an acceptable cost for the >>convenience enjoyed by the rest of us.

10 people per day is a tragically high figure in my opinion. And I find it utterly sick that it's considered acceptable by the powers that be. Acceptable to whom, precisely? The families of those killed?

Not having a go at you, JBJ, as you know, but at the situation in general. If it really is yet another thing that boils down to politics then god help us all.
Yet another motorway tragedy - pdc {P}
10 people per day is a tragically high figure in my
opinion. And I find it utterly sick that it's considered acceptable
by the powers that be. Acceptable to whom, precisely? The families
of those killed?

Accidents are just that. I don't think that anyone starts out their day with the intention of being involved in one. What can the powers that be do? Gaze into their cystal ball and step in when an accident is about to occur. When Minority Report becomes a reality then maybe so.

10 road deaths each day may be a tragically high figure, but then again the death of just 1 person would be a tradegy for their family and friends. You are born and you die, and in between you pass the time. As a great believe in fate I may have a different outlook on death to you.

If you think that 10 road deaths is a tradegy then how about approx 175 each day due to the various cancers. Where is the national outcry over that? Why does cancer research and care have to rely so heavily on public donations? Why doesn't the government step in?

In RTAs at least one of the involved is to blame, and if there is a fatality, hopefully it's not the innocent party. Sure, 6 passengers in the minibus had no control over events this morning, and maybe the driver didn't either. But that's life


ps - maybe I have added a personal slant here due to my mum having been taken by cancer 2 years ago.
Yet another motorway tragedy - Altea Ego
well put Will.
Yet another motorway tragedy - HF
Phoenix - first my sympathies about your mum - I too have personal knowledge of this and the effects that it has on those left behind.

Of course as you say an accident is an accident, and of course none of them are intentional. However they are almost all caused by human error of some sort, and surely if conditions were safer and rules were stricter and more heavily enforced then these errors might be less likely to happen? I don't know, maybe I'm wrong.

I guess no government is ever going to be able to step in and solve every single problem that needs sorting out. The money pot just isn't big enough, and as has been said some causes have more political motive than others. They will never please us all no matter what they do.

Going back to what V said above though, had 7 people just died in a train crash then there would be a major outcry and public enquiry. Since this is *only* a motorway smash-up, most people, as you are doing yourself, will take the 'well it happens' attitude.

It worries me.
Yet another motorway tragedy - Altea Ego
Ok let us seperate this train and car diversion.
Rail travel is an inherently SAFE system of transport - its the nature of the beast. Given enough money it can be made as near 100% safe as is possible. There is a public outcry about 7 railway deaths because its rare (given the passengger miles) and money invested would have prevented it.

Car travel is inherently unsafe. Again its the nature of the beast, cars are not separated like trains, you could spend all the money in the world and you will not prevent car crashes. Given the crowded nature of the roads, the proximity of pedestrains to cars, on the whole I think we do a pretty good job of it. The fact that this crash HAS made the headlines gives an idea of how unusual mulitple deaths like this are on British roads.

As humans there will never be any guarantee that everyone is paying 100% attention 100% of the time, or rogue elements will not behave foolishly. Accidents will happen on the roads, and the fact that despite increasing car use, the death rate has not increased by the same factor indicates to me that we have reached a low statistical "noise" level of deaths, that5 will always be there despite any efforts to lower it*

*tho having said that, without knowing all the details its entirely possible that a modern design vehicle with a high ncap rating might have reduce the toll in this case.

Given the tragic nature of this event, no offence taken if someone wants to tear this post to bits.

Yet another motorway tragedy - HF
No, RF, all good points, well made, and I tend to agree with you.

Just brings me back to my old theory that motorways should be avoided at all costs. I know they're classified as the safest roads per mile travelled etc, but it's just that if something *does* go wrong it's likely to be a biggie.

Tempted to stick to my tried and tested 'scenic route' philosophy now.
Yet another motorway tragedy - pdc {P}
I think that with rail or air travel, there is an expectation that things are under control by someone else, and that there is a duty of care. After all, large corporations control these systems, and we expect them to get it right.

In the air you are under control of air traffic services when in air corridors. You hope that the pilot and co-pilot know what they are doing. You hope that the maintainance crews got it right, and even that no weakness were built in at the design and manufacture stage. There is an awful lot of paperwork involved in aviation, and if something goes wrong, then usually, though obviously not always, it is due to something in the chain going wrong. The corportation is to blame, and there should be outcry.

With rail travel the train is guided along a fixed path, and one would hope that it sticks to that path and is neither derailed nor collides with another obstruction. With the signalling and block system used in Britain, there should be at least 3 blocks space between trains. Again, when something goes wrong, save vandalism, it is likely the responsibility of the corporation, and once again outcry is justified.

When it comes to private transport, then I think that we are pretty much on our own. How could any administrative body ever regulate us all. Maybe in the future, when sat nav, radar etc can control cars automatically then we would be justified in being outraged when multiple deaths occur in one incident. But while everything is under control of the Mk I eyeball and limbs, then this sort of thing will happen.

None of us yet know how this accident occured, but I will just pass general comment on that stretch of road, which I know quite well living just 5 miles from the airport. Indeed, this is a comment on all motorway driving. Accidents just shouldn't happen on the motorway. All vehicles are going in the same direction, and if drivers all kept their distance, used appropriate speed (not necessarily to the limit), and were aware of everything around them, then accidents wouldn't happen. Instead we have tailgaters, people switching lanes without looking over their shoulder, and those who leave it until the 200 yard marker to get from lane 3 to the exit slip.

The area in which this accident occured requires the driver to have a lot of wits about them, as there are several entrance and exit slips quite close together, and most vehicles, in my experience, leave it too late to get in the right lane. What is wrong with attempting to get over at the 1 mile warning sign?

That is why I am quite apathetic to incidents which occur on the motorway. They are often the cause of idiotic behaviour, and unfortunately there will be an innocent party too. With air and rail incidents you do not expect idiotic behaviour to be the cause.
Yet another motorway tragedy - pdc {P}
As an addendum, as this accident happened quite early on in the day, the road would have been quite quiet, so I guess that it is possible that the driver became ill at the wheel, or a major defect occured on the vehicle. That wont make me more sympathetic though, because as I said, you're born and you die, and that's your fate, and I don't understand why there should be outcry that the powers that be find 10 deaths per day on the road acceptable.
Yet another motorway tragedy - HF
Very very well put Phoenix.

As you say we don't yet know the cause behind this latest tragedy and as such it's inappropriate to pass comment/judgement. But, commenting generally, then the only solution is to find a way to stop the idiotic behaviour of which you speak. And I guess that's about as easy as finding a needle in a haystack.
Yet another motorway tragedy - HF
That was to your previous post. Not too sure about the next one.
Yet another motorway tragedy - pdc {P}
That was to your previous post. Not too sure about the
next one.

Well HF, my attitude to death has changed since the death of my mother. I am much more accepting and less afraid of it now. It's not that I have become hardened and unsympathetic, just more understanding and more realistic. Until we can take control, or lack thereof, out of the hands of the motorist, we should all accept that this sort of thing is inevitable. There will always be people who do not show any regard for the safety of others, no matter how hard we try to educate them.
Yet another motorway tragedy - HF
I know, Phoenix - I very much respect your view, even if I don't share it.

I know it's all inevitable. I just wish it wasn't, and I wish there was something we could do about it. It depresses me no end.

And yes, there will always be those who don't give a damn about anyone else - which kind of brings me back to where I started - it would be so good to get all those types off the road, but sadly I suppose we never will.
"I'm very intelligent really, just got good at hiding it."
Yet another motorway tragedy - Altea Ego
Just to add on that PDC, My father was a train driver. It was always on his mind that a lot of other peoples lives were in his hands. I left school to become an apprentice aircraft engineer. It was driven home to us, that a lot of peoples lives were in our hands. I am sure coach drivers and bus drivers think the same.

I have to say, that I dont thnk that way when i am driving on the motorway, dont have that same awesome level of responsability
of other peoples lives in my hands. I should - the assertion is equally as valid.
Yet another motorway tragedy - pd
One thing I noticed was that the vehicle involved looked like one of the "van with seats and windows" type minibuses.

I must admit that on occassions when I've been loading a van I've noticed that the rear part of these are made of absolutley nothing at all (you could literally open then with a tin opener) and the thought has occured to me that they must offer absolutley no crash protection at all.

Do the mini-bus versions have a different construction to the van or are they just the same?
Yet another motorway tragedy - busker
You're right.To make a 9 - 12 seat mini-bus:
Take 1 large panel van. Cut holes in the rear sides and insert windows. Put plates under the floor and bolt seats to them (with belts, but only recently). Line the sides with sound deadning material. Congratulations, you've just made a mini-bus.
We have strict legislation (Vehicle construction & use regulations) covering most vehicles, but these 'conversions' slip through the net. Hopefully the police report on this tragedy will recommend that tougher legislation be brought in to govern these vehicles.
Yet another motorway tragedy - J Bonington Jagworth
"..the thought has occured to me that they must offer absolutley no crash protection at all"

I often think the same when shown pictures of coach crashes, especially those that have rolled, or had a side or roof torn off. The degree of protection for passengers seems woeful compared to a car, yet in their role as public service vehicles, one should expect a better rather than worse standard.

Vans are meant for transporting goods and should at least have side-impact beams and roll protection when they are converted for passenger use!
Yet another motorway tragedy - Bob the builder
Yes, a tragedy agreed. However there's a risk to everything - a bookie would give odds on the ceiling falling in and killing me as I write this ! Road deaths could be stopped overnight - by banning road travel. The question is : how much risk are we prepared to take, and how much nannying by the government are we prepared to accept interfering in pursuit of that risk ? If all speed limits were reduced to say 10 mph, then presumably there'd be no road deaths. But society as we know it would grind to a halt and would you be prepared to accept it ? If the answer's no, then sadly, ( and I do mean sadly) there's a price to be paid.
Yet another motorway tragedy - frostbite
In the report I heard, the minibus was towing a trailer.

I wonder whether this played a significant part in the accident?

PS Agree with sentiments from PDC.
Yet another motorway tragedy - HF
I'd accept it without hesitation if it meant the saving of just one life. I know I'm in the minority on that.

But it just strikes me as so sad that society has become such that death is considered an acceptable option as long as everyone else can get to work (or wherever) on time.
Yet another motorway tragedy - eMBe {P}
Below are my personal views, I do not expect anyone else to agree.

Safety: I feel the BEST anyone can do is make sure their own driving standards are as safe as can be. The authorities can do their bit in providing safely maintained roads and the infrasrtucture to catch/punish errant drivers.

Karma: Having said the above, I agree with PDC in his views on life. That is the Hindu philosophy of KARMA - i.e. what will be will be, but that you must still do your best for humanity.

Dis-proportionate reactions: Bearing in mind the Karma comment above, I do also feel that there is a tendency for public-service organisations to over-react. I understand fully the need for complete and thorough investigations and for the correct and proportionate response to different situations.
However, the impact on innocent parties (thousands have had their travel disrupted today while the motorway was closed, and in both directions for a few hours). Tens if not hundreds of people missed their flights as a result.
The point about over-reacting was very well illustrated in the "Trauma" real-life TV series shown nightly this week at 7pm on BBC1 . In one episode, the emergency services went into action when a mystery white powder was found in the back of a lorry.
After expensive (though quite necessary) decontamination procedures, it was established that the powder was a residue of CS gas that French Police had sprayed to flush out any illegals hiding in the lorry. Having found this out, the emrgency services still went ahead destroying all the contents of teh lorry and destroying all the equipment used for the de-contamination exercise. Nobody stopped to think that this CS gas is sprayed daily as a routine by the French, and therefore, if the above decontamination process was followed every time, we would be needlessly destroying all the contents of every lorry so treated!!
It is the same kind of over-reaction that means that ever since the Kings Cross underground fire, The Fire Brigade now RANDOMLY carries out inspections and shuts down some tube-stations in PEAK-TIME. The same work could be done off-peak without notice, but that would make life too easy for the hard-pressed commuters.

Rant over.
Yet another motorway tragedy - HF
I actually agree with quite a lot of what you've said, eMBe.

As far as the disproportionate reactions go, I suppose it is a very subjective thing as to whether emergency services etc over-react or not. I suppose, personally, my heart tends to rule over my head in a lot of things, and to me the fact that all those people were held up on the motorway for hours, or even missed flights, pales into absolute insignificance compared to the feelings I have about those who died and their loved ones.

Your example of the CS gas case is quite extraordinary and I agree it was a total over-reaction if it happened as you say. (not doubting you, just haven't seen anything about it myself). Normally I'd say that in the times we live in now, over-reaction is understandable, because surely that's better than under-reaction and the possible consequences that could have. But if the substance had really been proven harmless then what happened is ridiculous!

As regards the shutting down tubes scenario - don't they do this during rush hour purely because the operation is totally different when jam-packed full of commuters than it would be with just a handful of passengers around?

Yet another motorway tragedy - pdc {P}
On North West tonight last night they interviewed passengers who had missed their flights due to the accident. All said that it didn't matter because the 7 who had died were in a far worse position.

The whole incident brought to mind the BBC's The Day Britain Stopped program. I live 1/4 mile from Princess Parkway, which eventually becomes the M56. Luckily for me I travel it in the opostite direction at the moment, but neighbours were caught in the traffic and said that the police were turning vehicles around and getting them to drive the wrong way down the dual carriage way, to try to alleviate the congestion. The M60 was also snarled, apparantly.

I think it is daft that there are only 3 roads to the airport (that I can think of), only 1 of which is a motorway, and the approaches from Wythenshaw and Wilmslow are not exactly major.
Yet another motorway tragedy - amcluesent
>All said that it didn't matter because the 7 who had died were in a far worse position<

Those people making such daft statements must be just saying what they hope sounds 'caring' for the cameras. No benefit can come to the bereaved relatives ot the injured from their having missed flights or whatever.
Yet another motorway tragedy - HF
Or maybe they just have some human compassion.
Yet another motorway tragedy - Bob the builder
Which seems to me to imply that those who don't expect the world to stop because there's an accident don't have any "human compassion" ? I read yesterday that some 400 people were drowned on a ferry in Asia. Are we sorry this happened ? YES ! Can we do anything about it ? NO ! I haven't noticed a posting in the B/R about that tragedy. Is it less important ? or is it 60 odd times more important because 60 times more people died than on the motorway yesterday? Life goes on ! Our very existence, from the food we eat, to the power in our homes, to the jobs we go to, to our leisure time, all depends on transport. Short of going back to the dark ages we HAVE to accept risk. I am at pains to repeat my heart goes out to the injured and bereaved of yesterday's crash ; it was a trgaedy, but tragedies are part of daily life. Read any newspaper, watch the TV news. When dreadful crimes occur are we all supposed to lock ourselves in our houses and stop our kids going to school etc etc. ?? There has to be a RATIONAL response to these events. Next thing we know is we'll get knee-jerk govt.legislation banning minibuses or something.
Yet another motorway tragedy - HF
Not implying anything. Just meant that at that time maybe those travellers were thinking 'there but for the grace of god' etc and realising what a close brush with death they'd just had. Which would put being late for your holiday into perspective.

I know life has to go on. Doesn't mean I can't take a brief moment from time to time to reflect on the fact that so far I've been one of the lucky ones, and to feel sympathy for those who haven't.

Anyway this is starting to vaguely resemble an argument so I'll leave it there.
Yet another motorway tragedy - pdc {P}
Yes, this has started to move away from motoring, so i will add my final non-motoring comment.

we all react differently to death. in some cultures it is something that is celebrated, not feared. i feared it until my mum died and now my outlook is different. a person never leaves you. you may not be able to see or touch them, but you know how they thought, how they would respond to your situation, so you can still converse with them.

The people who said to me "you know where i am if you want to talk" were the people i avoided because they couldn't cope with what i had to say. I found myself having to comfort them! It was those who didn't offer tea and sympathy that I found most supportive.

A personal thing I suppose, and my last comment on this subject (death, not the accident)
Yet another motorway tragedy - smokie
That's a media problem, always looking for the "on the spot" comment from Joe Public.

Sometimes the media would be better to stay at home, the amount of tactless tripe they propogate, and unnecessary intrusion .
Yet another motorway tragedy - pdc {P}
Those people making such daft statements must be just saying what
they hope sounds 'caring' for the cameras. No benefit can come
to the bereaved relatives ot the injured from their having missed
flights or whatever.

Exactly. I would have been pretty narked had I missed my flight because someone had misjudged an overtake.

Value my car