2018 items

select for full details Highways England - Traffic Officer Ride Out
Energy Saving Trust looking at ways of reducing emissions from Traffic Officer Vehicles
By Tim Anderson 6 Nov, 2018

Energy Saving Trust works to helps people save energy when they're at home and on the move. One of our key areas of expertise is working with businesses to help them manage the emissions from their fleet. Energy Saving Trust is working with Highways England to do just that.

We've all seen the ubiquitous Traffic Officer Vehicles, which patrol the motorways up and down the country. These hard working vehicles and their crews are there to keep traffic moving and ensure the roads are safe places for everyone to use.

Energy Saving Trust is looking at ways of reducing the emissions from these Traffic Officer Vehicles. In particular, we are examining whether ultra-low emission vehicles (i.e. electric vehicles or plug-in hybrids) could be deployed to help reduce fuel costs and emissions. But there are some challenges.

Highways England needs a vehicle that does it all. As well as being reliable, safe and comfortable, it needs to be able to tow heavy vehicles off the carriageway, carry large amounts of heavy kit and be all-weather capable. Highways England officers currently use large 4x4 vehicles to meet these needs, but they have fuel consumption and emissions to match. Highways England is committed to investigating alternatives.

As part of the project, I have been working with the Highways England lead, Matthew Leeder, to engage with the Traffic Officer Service team to understand how the vehicles are used. I joined the team at Knutsford outstation in Cheshire at 6am on a rainy morning in November for the early shift to get the full experience. Welcoming me aboard the Mitsubishi Shogun were Traffic Officers Martin Wallace and Dean (Deano) Schnieders.

Once the morning briefing was complete, the vehicle inspection took place with a walk around the vehicle to check all the kit was stowed.

select for full details 'Fake ambulance' pulled over by Swansea police
An "apparently fake" ambulance vehicle was pulled over as it was being driven by a man in Swansea, police have said.
By BBC NEWS 13 Nov, 2018

The estate car, which was covered in highly-visible paint and logos, was stopped at Penclawdd, Gower, on Monday.

The 19-year-old driver was held on suspicion of driving whilst disqualified, with no insurance and other offences.

The Welsh Ambulance Service confirmed it was not one of its vehicles and the driver was not an employee.

Twitter "Male arrested this morning for driving this ambulance in Penclawdd for driving whilst disqualified/no insurance+other offences. Great team work by #team3townhill @SWP_Roads #GowerNPT + @WelshAmbulance.Please note this is not a @WelshAmbulance vehicle nor is the driver an employee"

select for full details BMW driver gets six points on licence after waving arms out of window
'Careless' driver handed fine and penalty points after taking hands off wheel and waving them out of the window - right behind traffic officers
By Shropshire Star 15 Nov, 2018

A 'careless' BMW driver has been handed six points on his licence on top of a fine after waving his arms out of the window - while behind Highways England traffic officers.

Video recorded by a Highways England vehicle show Jeremy Dillon, 51, of Hespek Raise, Carlisle, following close to a car heading a rolling roadblock in place to allow an obstruction at junction 44 of the northbound M6 to be removed.

Officers said Dillon's proximity and lane change during the incident on May 4 gave them the impression he was trying to get past the roadblock. Having followed the traffic officers, Dillon can then be seen taking his hands off the wheel then waving them out of the window.

Interviewed by Cumbria Constabulary, he initially told police officers he felt his driving wasn't careless - before being shown the footage. He then accepted that the distance between his car and the Highways England vehicle amounted to driving without due care and attention.

He said he couldn't recall sticking his hands out of the window, but admitted it was a "stupid act" and couldn't provide a reason other than being annoyed at the roadblock.

He was due to appear in court on November 6 but pleaded guilty by post to a charge of careless driving. Along with the penalty points, Dillon also received a £286 fine.

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America leads the way on Three Strikes Laws

Should the UK follow that lead?

welcome to Prison Officers .Org.UK The state of Washington passed the first three strikes law in 1993. Anyone convicted of three separate violent felonies was then sentenced to life in prison with no chance for Parole. The state of California followed, in 1994, by enacting a three strikes law that mandates a sentence of 25 years to life for a third felony conviction. Unlike Washington, the California law counted nonviolent felonies, such as Burglary and theft, as "strike" offenses. The popularity of the three strikes law in California was pronounced. By 2001 over 50,000 criminals had been sentenced under the new law, far more than any other state, with almost one-quarter of the inmates facing a minimum of 25 years in prison.welcome to Prison Officers .Org.UK Not surprisingly, California's law has drawn the most attention in the debate over three strikes statutes.

Should the UK follow that lead?

Back here in the UK, we have plenty of criminals who are career criminals, so many "catch me if you can" career criminals, simply return to their criminal ways virtually as soon as they are let out of prison (again)

The UK's Revolving Door Justice System serves the public poorly

Spending money to keep society safe is money well spent and that is THREE STRIKES in a nutshell. 25 years have passed since America started the process of introducing THREE STRIKES Laws. Isn't it about time that the UK at least began TALKING about THREE STRIKES?