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PostPosted: Sun Jan 08, 2012 13:52 
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The Scotsman here
Also another 140mph article here
The Scotsman wrote:
Tayside force officers caught speeding 199 times since last April
Published on Saturday 7 January 2012 00:50

A POLICE car was caught driving at 149mph on a dangerous stretch of road to reach a caravan that had broken down.

The Tayside Police vehicle was travelling at 149mph – more than double the legal speed limit – on the A90 Dundee to Aberdeen road last year. But far from racing to a crime scene or the location of a serious accident, the officer was simply responding to a broken down caravan blocking a single lane of the A90 near Brae of Pert, Brechin, Angus.
The incident, which happened last year, was revealed as part of figures released under Freedom of Information legislation.

One road safety group said the speed could “never be justified”, while a prominent road safety campaigner said the speed was “extreme” and that it would be “hypocritical” of police to defend it.
Tayside Police said an inquiry is taking place into the incident but that no action has been taken against the driver.

The stretch of the A90 where the officer was clocked has been the scene of numerous accidents in recent years. It is the second time a Tayside officer has been caught driving at 149mph on the stretch of road. The previous incident happened in 2006.

Last July, a woman died in a single vehicle crash between Forfar and Brechin, while in November 2007, Dean Grilli, of Dundee, died following a two-vehicle smash near Stracathro services.
Figures released by Tayside Police showed that their vehicles had been caught speeding 199 times since April last year.
The statistics also revealed one vehicle attending a crash elsewhere on the A90 in 2010 was spotted doing 140mph.

A spokeswoman for the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents said officers should only break the speed limit during a “genuine emergency”.

She said: “We do not know the exact circumstances of this particular incident, but we do not believe that speeds of around 150mph, as has been suggested in this case, can ever be justified on public roads.
“Police have to respond to emergencies and in doing so they may have to exceed the speed limit. But we believe they should only do that in a genuine emergency or during properly managed training.
“They must have proper risk management procedures to ensure high-speed driving only takes place when absolutely necessary and is always under the control of a manager in a control room.”

Claire Armstrong, co-founder of the road safety campaign Safe Speed, said: “We have to trust police officers to do a good job. But it seems hypocritical when on the same stretch of road members of the public would be accused of speeding if they drove at more than 70mph.
“We have to have in mind that every time we all go out we should use the appropriate speed so we know we can stop in case we need to. I would question whether at almost 150mph the driver would at all times be able to have reacted appropriately.”

A spokesman for the Association of Chief Police Officers in Scotland said police often had to break the speed limit because of the nature of their duties.
“If they think it is a life-threatening incident then they will take the decision to drive and break the speed limit to get there as quickly as possible.
“If a motorway lane is blocked, somebody could be in really serious danger. But it is really down to the force in question to look into it to see if the officers actions were justified.”

A spokesman for Tayside Police said there were a “range of reasons” why an officer might break the speed limit.

He said: “There will be occasions when police officers are required to drive in excess of the posted speed limits and this is recognised by the availability of the statutory exemption which can be applied in appropriate circumstances.

“There can be an entire range of reasons why officers might find it necessary to exceed the speed limit.
“In such instances, officers are expected to exercise all necessary care and their training emphasises the importance of being able to do so safely.”
Linked to Media article here.
Now we do not know for how long he travelled at this speed it was thought to have been recorded by a speed camera.
It is a 'good quality' road but is usually busy to very busy. We do not know the time of day nor the time of year.
However, if a road can be suitable for a trained (and one assumes very experienced) driver to travel at these speeds, then who is to say that a similarly trained driver cannot also travel at speed higher than 70mph perfectly safely?
How far over 70mph is 'acceptable', or is any speed perfectly safe in experienced and trained hands ?

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 08, 2012 20:07 
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He'll have been "honing his driving skills"... :wink:

...or maybe "hooning" his driving skills? :coat:


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 08, 2012 23:15 
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Well if he is capable of high performance driving, which one can only assume that he is, as he didn't crash (on this call out anyway). We would need to see his/her whole driving record to know of the total ability.
Do we not require the emergency services to travel as fast and as safely as possible when there is a need.

Whilst on the face of it this does not sound like a great 'need' to go at this high speed, how can we judge with so few facts.
I would add that at night this would be foolhardy, but with good dry conditions in good daylight, and the right stretch of clear road, it may just be possible for a short distance. We also know that speed cameras tend to be located on long straight sections of road.

If we have emergency vehicles too scared to travel fast how many lives will be lost. I have often observed emergency vehicles travelling at the speed limit yet with blues and twos on, which makes little sense. This is when they have a clear road ahead and good conditions. Are emergency drivers becoming too scared, (for their jobs), to go any faster when the need arises?

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 09, 2012 17:50 
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Double the posted limit on a dual carriageway seems rather excessive. Exactly how much time would be saved? There has to be some risk analysis done here. Roadcraft is explicit on not becoming another accident statistic either. I'd have said more than 80% of the top rated speed of a vehicle was into risky territory anyway. 150 mph in many police cars would be maxed out.


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