Accidents waiting to happen

Mar 14, 2005
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So there was I, travelling north on the M5 in Devon when I came across a Tabbert Comtesse, being towed by a newish (54 plate) Ford Transit and a large Hobby Twin Axle being towed by a Mk 3 Disco, both of which were swaying about dangerously as they were not only doing 75-80 mph (I followed them for a short distance) but also pulling out into the 3rd lane with little regard for other drivers. The only time they slowed down was when they saw a jam sandwich parked on the hard shoulder (who must have seen them in lane 3, but did nothing). I then overtook them, as I'd rather have such idiots behind me, than in front of me. Question is how heavy is a Ford Transit - does it have enough weight to safely pull a leviathan like the Comtesse at a legal 60?, let alone the crazy speeds these guys were doing. Strange that neither van had any rear no. plates??!! The trouble is these idiots tar us all with the same brush.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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I drive a long wheelbase hi top Transit, that just makes it over 3 1/2 tons, presumably anything smaller would not make the weight.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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It was the speed and not the weight that made the Transit/Comtesse outfit dangerous. The Transit has a max. permissible towload of 2000kg which would cover even the largest Comtesse models. As far as I know, the only Comtesse officially imported into the UK was the 540 with an MTPLM of 1600kg max. but there were others up to the towing limit of the Transit and these may have been brought into the country privately.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Hi - Sorry to take this subject off on a bit of a tangent but if when you see evidence of such events again DO try to get it on film ESPECIALLY is you can get evidence of the Police deliberately ignoring blatant rule breaches.

About 4 or five years ago the Fire Brigade in Hampshire decided to let a building burn rather than put it out stating that the company would be able to claim on the insurance company. This they did - no problem. The Insurance company then successfully sued the Fire Brigade for not protecting property.

It cost the Fire Brigade millions (and the Ratepayers of course) but an important precedent was set. That is that the emergency services CAN NOT be selective in how they treat situations.

Thus it is important to build up a database of evidence where we as the "silent majority" are being selected against.

The AA had a fair bit of success that was picked up by a Local TV station when travellers were evicted of an illegal site and it was clear that the vehicles they were using had not MOT, Tax or Insurance. Asked why the Police were allowing these vehicles on the road did not create a "Laughing Policeman". Quite the opposite!

Sadly it DOES seem to be one rule for habitual lawbreakers and one rule for the rest.

Please do not think I am anti Police or any other Emergency service. Totaly the opposite. The guys at the sharp-end just do what the pointy heads above them say they must.
 
Hi, Clive

Couldn't agree more, during the late summer and Autumn our area has been over run with what our local authority calls "travellers". Appearing to treat them with a softly softly protected species attitude. On one occaison quite early in the Morning I was taking my Wife to work, as I approached a set of Traffic Lights Green in my favour,a Massive unit came from the turning on my right causing me to swerve and brake. This was a Huge Tabbert Towed with what looked like a Land Cruiser. No Rear number plate or working Electrics on the rear of the 'Van. As the lights were on Green for me I followed but owing to the size of the van I couldn't see the reg on the Car. The driver, realizing that I was following made off at speed making a near impossible turn into a narrow lane. By now my wife was on the Phone to the Police, first question what's the regisration number? obviously we didn't know, but we did give a full description of car Caravan and direction of travel at this point the controller asked if we thought that they were travellers as the lane led to a newly "aquired" encampment!! End of Conversation.

On my return journey Home there was a Police car and officer parked at the Lane end. I stopped and asked if he was looking for the unit which we had reported earlier "No" was the reply, "that's on a field down there I'm waiting here in case any more arrive". I bet the those alredy on site hadn't tipped their Mates off. A couple of days later a local paper carried a story about how a large number of travellers had taken over some waste land in this very spot. Point is, one of the early arrivers had cropped the lock from the gate and despite many calls to the police from the land owner when ther was only a couple of 'vans on, nothing had been done. I think the final count was about 50 That means that even after everyone was aware about another 40 slipped by. Mind it was a Bank Holiday so Plod was sat in a lay by waiting for a legitimate caravvaner to pass with a number plate light out.

Point of this story is that owing to political correctness or whatever, the Police don't want to get involved. Try driving your unit without a rear No. Plate and see how long it takes to get stopped and warned or prosecuted, thats because we are all registered on the "system" and easy targets for 60 quid. Much more difficult to stop check an "unregisterd" vehicle, after all it is impossible to trace any one with the address "in a field somewhere" which begs the question what of road tax insurance etc. As I said at the begining we have been overun with them this summer with the same local authority that couldn't shift them spending thousands on cleaning up after them, all at our expense. Which reminds me my Council Tax is due, must pay or go to prison.

Eddie.
 
Jan 19, 2008
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There is no doubt about it, they were Irish Tinkers but due to the polital correctness of this country you will notice that the media will not call them Irish Tinkers but "travellers". Hence the local gypsy families get the blame for the tinkers actions. We had a "travellers" camp next to us at the ambulance station. These tinkers moved in after smashing the barriers and drove the local gypsies off. They completely trashed the site within 6 months demolishing the toilet /shower blocks etc. The site was strewn with stripped stolen cars, washing machines, gas bottles etc. They even tied their horses down on the land at the front of the station. When eating our food in the rest room they would walk past our window and go and do their #1 and #2's in the ditch 20 yards away, not a pretty site when the leaves was off the trees. The site was a no go zone for the police. I could go on and on about our experiences with them, even showing the police where one of them was hiding after stealing a car and breaking is leg after crashing it. The police wasn't interested. I took some photos after they left which I still have on my computer and without seeing it you couldnt believe the devastation. Our local council have to now spend millions on rebuilding it because our stupid ass laws say we have to provide so many pitches in the county. We the rate payers will foot the bill. Basically they are the "Untouchables".
 
Aug 28, 2005
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Hi - Sorry to take this subject off on a bit of a tangent but if when you see evidence of such events again DO try to get it on film ESPECIALLY is you can get evidence of the Police deliberately ignoring blatant rule breaches.

About 4 or five years ago the Fire Brigade in Hampshire decided to let a building burn rather than put it out stating that the company would be able to claim on the insurance company. This they did - no problem. The Insurance company then successfully sued the Fire Brigade for not protecting property.

It cost the Fire Brigade millions (and the Ratepayers of course) but an important precedent was set. That is that the emergency services CAN NOT be selective in how they treat situations.

Thus it is important to build up a database of evidence where we as the "silent majority" are being selected against.

The AA had a fair bit of success that was picked up by a Local TV station when travellers were evicted of an illegal site and it was clear that the vehicles they were using had not MOT, Tax or Insurance. Asked why the Police were allowing these vehicles on the road did not create a "Laughing Policeman". Quite the opposite!

Sadly it DOES seem to be one rule for habitual lawbreakers and one rule for the rest.

Please do not think I am anti Police or any other Emergency service. Totaly the opposite. The guys at the sharp-end just do what the pointy heads above them say they must.
Clive,

Re the fire policy: Is this a county policy or a national wide precedent ?. Why I asked is that I projected managed the moving of documents worth
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Hi, Clive

Couldn't agree more, during the late summer and Autumn our area has been over run with what our local authority calls "travellers". Appearing to treat them with a softly softly protected species attitude. On one occaison quite early in the Morning I was taking my Wife to work, as I approached a set of Traffic Lights Green in my favour,a Massive unit came from the turning on my right causing me to swerve and brake. This was a Huge Tabbert Towed with what looked like a Land Cruiser. No Rear number plate or working Electrics on the rear of the 'Van. As the lights were on Green for me I followed but owing to the size of the van I couldn't see the reg on the Car. The driver, realizing that I was following made off at speed making a near impossible turn into a narrow lane. By now my wife was on the Phone to the Police, first question what's the regisration number? obviously we didn't know, but we did give a full description of car Caravan and direction of travel at this point the controller asked if we thought that they were travellers as the lane led to a newly "aquired" encampment!! End of Conversation.

On my return journey Home there was a Police car and officer parked at the Lane end. I stopped and asked if he was looking for the unit which we had reported earlier "No" was the reply, "that's on a field down there I'm waiting here in case any more arrive". I bet the those alredy on site hadn't tipped their Mates off. A couple of days later a local paper carried a story about how a large number of travellers had taken over some waste land in this very spot. Point is, one of the early arrivers had cropped the lock from the gate and despite many calls to the police from the land owner when ther was only a couple of 'vans on, nothing had been done. I think the final count was about 50 That means that even after everyone was aware about another 40 slipped by. Mind it was a Bank Holiday so Plod was sat in a lay by waiting for a legitimate caravvaner to pass with a number plate light out.

Point of this story is that owing to political correctness or whatever, the Police don't want to get involved. Try driving your unit without a rear No. Plate and see how long it takes to get stopped and warned or prosecuted, thats because we are all registered on the "system" and easy targets for 60 quid. Much more difficult to stop check an "unregisterd" vehicle, after all it is impossible to trace any one with the address "in a field somewhere" which begs the question what of road tax insurance etc. As I said at the begining we have been overun with them this summer with the same local authority that couldn't shift them spending thousands on cleaning up after them, all at our expense. Which reminds me my Council Tax is due, must pay or go to prison.

Eddie.
Eddie

Your "In a field somewhere" takes me back some years to when a travelling gentleman came into the showroom to purchase a 4WD Pick Up, cash in full in a supermarket carrier bag, when asked details for the order form he said "The Caravan , The side of the road Nr ?? and wondered why the salesman gave him an odd look and told him he would have to better that to register a new vehicle.
 

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