Chris Dance

Road traffic incident

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Travelling North on the A34 dual carriageway South of Newbury.  Just pulled out to overtake the lorry when a piece of 4 x4 timber about 4 to 5 foot long fell from the rear of the lorry. The timber "bounced"  in the road and headed towards our car. Thank goodness the Prius has excellent brakes and is a very stable car as I had to swerve. To stop and try to warn the lorry driver would have been dangerous and could result us being hit by other traffic. To stop in a lay by farther on and try and stop the lorry did not seem logical as the driver would probably not pull in for two people waving their arms. When I got home I checked on the PC to see if any other car had crashed into the timber on the A34, no incident was reported. I tried to contact the Thames valley Police on 101 but was informed they were too busy to answer my call and to go "on line". Trying to fill in the on line form was difficult and did not cover what I needed to say so abandoned that idea. I have the incident recorded on dash cam. 

I would like members views on what you should do if you were involved in an incident similar to this. The whole incident was very scary. 

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The A34 is busy at the best of times, if memory serves correctly!

If you have a webcam footage you could identify the firm and contact them - they should be making sure their load is well secured - it's a valid H&S issue.

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To be honest, with reduced police budgets and reducing services, I doubt whether the police would do anything as they have other priorities. If you know the name of the company and reg. no of the lorry, I would contact them 'for information',. 

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If the timber was still in the road I would ring 999 as it could easily cause a serious collision. I’ve done this twice in the past year and they’ve always taken the reports seriously. Last time it was a bike in the middle of the fast lane on the A34 that had fallen off someone’s bike rack!

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Thanks for replies: I think your idea Chris of phoning 999  at the time of the incident seems to be a good one as that means you get through at the time of the incident and you are certain to get a reply. My neighbour suggested contacting the Highways Agency!!. I will think about contacting the lorry company but it was two days ago now that the incident happened. I have found out that dialling the police on101 is a waste of time.

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Thanks Chris for the link to the police advice.  I hope another incident like that does not happen to me again but if it does I will phone 999. If the incident occurs on the motorway I now have the Highways agency number stored in my phone.

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I was on the M40 last summer and the motorway signs said obstruction on road lane 1. I slowed but some carried on regardless. A couple sitting on my tail. In the road was a pipe that looked like it was off a tanker. Flexible tube with brass screw on connectors about 6” diameter. I was able to swerve out into lane 2, a couple of cars that were almost tailgating me hit it and I saw bits of car flying off. Further down the road three other cars were on the hard shoulder, one looked like the radiator was holed water dumped behind it. 

You get a warning and people ignor it, too many sheep driving these days!

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It really is a sad state of affair when common sense has taken second place to economics. The police weren't able to respond due to lack of resource. Lack of resource due to lack of budget, Lack of budget due to budget cut. Budget cut  due to politician hankering after re-election. News papers/ journalists have their place. Adverse publicity persuades politician hankering after re-election to see common sense and forces  politician to stop their easy fix budget cuts in favour of actually doing the country some good.

 So we see lumps of wood falling off lorries and police unable to respond in the manner they would like to.... we have a chat with a journalist. There's nothing quite so daunting as the phrase "questions will be asked in the house". It shouldn't have to work that way but unfortunately , it does.

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But does that even mean anything these days....Questions will be asked, and lessons will be learned - Increasingly they're just soundbites.

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Trouble in my case Philip was that there was no warning; just a large timber falling from the lorry onto the carriageway. I do agree a lot of drivers do not heed warning signs.

I was also shocked that ringing 101 was a waste of time as the police were too busy on urgent calls. I think their Online web site has been designed to deter folk from reporting an incident or crime. 

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Chris

True, I my case they had the warning and ignored it. Driving with proper stopping distances between vehicles might have saved them, but in your case not much chance at all. I was following a builder with 8x4 panels in a trailer, on my bike. I noticed they were lifting, and pulled back. Sure enough two took to the air and fortunately went towards the pavement. I stopped and gave him a piece of my mind, he just shrugged and said it was the wind. It could have been decapitated bodies on the pavement, he was retrieving! More police on the road might have pulled him and given him a ticket, then he probably would  have secured the load next time. We just have to be aware and hope to luck, the place is full of idiots and getting worse. 

Drive safe.

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On 11/2/2018 at 9:34 AM, altocumulus said:

But does that even mean anything these days....Questions will be asked, and lessons will be learned - Increasingly they're just soundbites.

Not when the press get their teeth into it. Journo propaganda wins or loses votes.

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