Are the Police just tax collectors? - Alfa Romeo Forum
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(Post Link) post #1 of 31 Old 25-07-07 Thread Starter
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Are the Police just tax collectors?

My next door neighbour was driving along yesterday in a 30mph, going past a well known mobile speed camera area. After passing the offending white van at 30mph, he saw a car coming towards him and decided to flash the driver as he thought he was going too fast. The driver duly acknowledged... He flashed another. Then an unmarked Police car pulled him over, and he now faces a charge for 'inappropriate use of headlights'. It seems one cannot warn another driver of a potential hazard by flashing headlights. So what would you do if you wanted to warn an oncoming driver of a herd of cows around the next sharp corner?
Was he wrong to flash and warn other drivers? I know I've done it before.

Martin
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Re: Are the Police just tax collectors?

Unfortunately this has always been the risk of flashing
oncoming traffic to warn them about cops.
 
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Re: Are the Police just tax collectors?

How about using your hazzard lights? Is that elegal?
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Re: Are the Police just tax collectors?

If their aim is as stated - to get people to slow down, then your friend was assisting them in their duty.

if their aim is to catch as many people as possible and make money, then they may disagree with his actions.

Perhaps he should point this out to them.
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Re: Are the Police just tax collectors?

The highway code has only two points on the flashing of headlights:
90: Flashing headlights. Only flash your headlights to let other road users know that you are there. Do not flash your headlights in an attempt to intimidate other road users.

91: If another driver flashes his headlights never assume that it is a signal to go. Use your own judgement and proceed carefully.

So the only thing not allowed according to that is intimidation. I honestly can't see what the police can charge his for specifically on the headlight issue.

If they choose to go for obstructing the police in their duty, that's another matter - but that then raises the question I pointed out above.

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Re: Are the Police just tax collectors?

As Nev says, its always been the case that warning another motorist of a speed trap is an offence - however, it does seem a bit harsh given there's pleantly of signs up warning motorists that there are speed cameras around...
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Re: Are the Police just tax collectors?

Thinking about it, the unmarked police car was positioned in such a place as to be looking specifically for 'flashers'. The white van couldn't have seen the flashed lights, only the officer in the unmarked car. Sneaky eh?
Let that be a warning. I won't be warning would-be speeders again.!!
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Re: Are the Police just tax collectors?

I'm going to take this to another forum which has a few policemen and lawyers on it. I'd be interested to know exactly what the offense is.
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Re: Are the Police just tax collectors?

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Originally Posted by bazza View Post
I'm going to take this to another forum which has a few policemen and lawyers on it. I'd be interested to know exactly what the offense is.
Nice one Bazza.!
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Re: Are the Police just tax collectors?

Here's the link to the other forum. Nothing from the policemen members so far:
http://www.honestjohn.co.uk/forum/po...tm?f=2&t=54288
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Re: Are the Police just tax collectors?

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I'm going to take this to another forum which has a few policemen and lawyers on it. I'd be interested to know exactly what the offense is.
I think the offence ( with appologies to the USA ) is obstructing the police.
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Re: Are the Police just tax collectors?

Hi Gary
Yes, I realised my typo earlier, and have been writing it correctly since then, sorry

The person I was hoping for has now posted in that thread. DVD is a retired policeman, and usually very clued in and informative on things like this.
He thinks the headlight thing is bunkum, and that any offence should have been along the lines of obstructing the police.
My guess is that the police are just trying to put the wind up him to stop him doing the same in future. If they were seriously thinking of charging him, why threaten him with a made up charge, why not go straight for obstruction?
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Re: Are the Police just tax collectors?

They've got to pay for their donuts and coffee somehow.

Anyone see this on Pistonheads: http://www.pistonheads.com/news/defa...?storyId=16499
 
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Re: Are the Police just tax collectors?

I think it's just a classic case of the Police getting a bit peeved at this chap pointing out the camera.
There may be grounds to charge him on, (obstruction) but it's such a trivial offence, it's not something you'd see happening often, if at all.

But then again, these trivial offences are the easiest to prosecute, and each one adds up to a good statistic, so at the end of the month/year, they can show that they have lots of prosecutions, and look like they are actually doing their proper job!
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Re: Are the Police just tax collectors?

yeah, sod preventing a 'crime' ya prevented the cops catching someone commiting a 'crime'... its political bull**** if you ask me.

a friend recieved a caution a few years ago for 'intention to speed' when he was revving his engine at some lights to keep it running... says it all eh. sorry, that was slightly off topic
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Re: Are the Police just tax collectors?

Ah middle england we the law abiding people who only do minor things get found out, the no tax insurance no licence 50 quid fine and on you go. Middle england just has to pay for these w**kers
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Re: Are the Police just tax collectors?

Its all about stats though
I work on an IT helpdesk, and at the end of each month, we produce a sheet for everyone to see that shows how many faults we've fixed on each system.
On the paper, it looks like we've been really busy, fixing many issues, what they dont realise that probably 80% of those numbers are for such trivial things as unlocking someones account, or changing printer toner.
Its the small easy things that add up to a bigger picture that makes us (and them) look good...
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Re: Are the Police just tax collectors?

Similar thing happened to a work colleague a couple of years ago. He simply stated that he had been trying to wash his windscreen and accidently pulled the wrong lever (pretty quick thinking!). He only had the car a few days which may have given his story a ring of truth - anyway he got away with it but he didn't really feel the police were going to take it any further, just trying to scare him.
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Re: Are the Police just tax collectors?

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Originally Posted by MartinGuitarMan View Post
Then an unmarked Police car pulled him over, and he now faces a charge for 'inappropriate use of headlights'.
By charge do you mean he was arrested and will be charged with an offence, or did they just have words with him. The only 'charge' that could come out of an incident like this is 'Obstructing an Officer in the course of his duty.'

If your friend was given no paperwork, not arrested etc etc I'd tell him to forget about it. He's probably just had a finger wagging moment.

Rob
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Re: Are the Police just tax collectors?

Theres a nice 30mph zone near where I live, that should be a 50 really, but anyways I was driving down there (at xx mph ) and a dark blue Mondeo coming towards me, flashing his lights, and has his hand out of the window, giving and up and down motion. I take it this means slow down, so I do, and just as I round the corner, Volvo parked up, police man pointing a speed gun at me.

Thank you Mr. Mondeo man! If I ever drive past a speed gun, I always flash and wave hand up and down to warn cars of police speed traps.

One time, on the same stretch of road, there was an old fella, with a white sign saying "speed trap ahead" stood by the edge of the road, giving the thumbs up. Everyone was beeping, flashing lights and cheering
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Re: Are the Police just tax collectors?

I'm not going to stop flashing people because some jumped up snotty copper might tell me off for inappropriate use of my lights - I'm hardly quaking in my boots. I'll take a rollocking if it saves someone else getting 3 points and I'd hope others would do the same for me.

There's a camera van on my regular cycling route over the motorway. So many times I ride by thinking I could hop off, out with the pen knife and have his tyres. He won't be able to drive and I can ride hell of a lot faster than he can run. To make sure my plan would work, I asked at the 'Safety' Camera stand at a motor show how many people staff a camera van. He told me "It only takes one" and then got sh1tty with me for not telling him my reasons for asking . I left by saying "Well, it would be a shame if anything were to happen to him whikle he's on his own"

In the words of Public Enemy: "Fight the power!"
 
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Re: Are the Police just tax collectors?

Tyres are suprisingly hard to slash with a knife, Dibby..
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Re: Are the Police just tax collectors?

Victorinox sharp enough to shave with and a lockable blade - it'll get through a tyre sidewall no probs
 
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Re: Are the Police just tax collectors?

My heart wholeheartedly agrees with you, and I know you're only joking, but you really need to be wary of what you're posting. Making threats to commit criminal damage is an offence!!

Rob
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Re: Are the Police just tax collectors?

You all seem to be forgetting the fact that if you flash your headlights at the majority of motorists, they will start to panic, have no idea what is going on, and lose concentration.

It is dangerous. It's not assisting the officer in his duty. The person shouldnt be speeding in the first place.

I agree speed enforcement is ridiculous and wastes a lot of peoples time. It doesnt appear to drastically reduce accidents etc.

Please remember though, it's not a statistics game. Crime figures published by police forces do not include speeding offences.
 
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