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IMPORTANT SAFETY ISSUE: Driving vintage Military Vehicles on High Speed Roads

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Following recent tragic events on the M20 near Dover involving a WWII Jeep and a foreign van, I would like to urge all drivers of Military Vehicles to consider how they can improve their visibility to following drivers.

This accident is the most recent of a series of similar incidents, and I know that an increasing number of owners have decided to stop driving on motorways with their vehicles. That is an option and their choice.

However, we are entitled to use roads, such as the M20, and many will wish to do so.

But how can we make ourselves less likely to be hit from behind by faster vehicles?

While our vehicles are road legal with their standard lighting; we can take extra steps to make ourselves and our vehicles more visible, both at night and during the day.

Some use orange flashing beacons; some use other flashing lights. I am not making any specific recommendations, but wish to share an option I used on a recent 2000 mile trip across Europe in my Jeep. I simply added a set of modern lights with magnetic bases and a length of reflective tape. The photos (in daylight and with camera flash) clearly show how it improves visibility, and can easily be removed once you arrive at the show:

 

 

I was one of the first people at the scene of the recent accident. I truly hope this message might encourage others to improve their visibility, and help reduce the likelihood of a similar tragedy.

 

 

As I've said, I am not making any specific recommendations, just sharing what I have done: but I welcome other members to adding practical suggestions or photos of how they have improved their vehicle visibility to this post.

 

Thank-you,

John Corden

C.M.I.O.S.H.

IMPS and MVT member.

Jeep visibility-3 (Medium).jpg

Jeep visibility-2 (Medium).jpg

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Remember that triangular reflectors are only for trailers and there are a few regulations regarding flashing lights.

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I, like Rambo have been using two led amber flashers on the rear of my jeep for years. The safety of myself and any passenger outweighs the "legal" considerations. The small original jeep rear lights are not any use in heavy rain or fog, which we get a lot of around here because proximity to the channel. I have also put a fog light on the rear offside. Its all very well for the purists to keep their vehicle lights as original but when your safety and that of other road users comes into play commonsence would dictate that you need to think about being more visable. I have also fitted ex landrover windscreen wipers in the panel below the wind screen.after a very wet trip from Arnhem to Flushing and my wife was very fed up using the hand wipers. If someone points out that this is not original I refer them to a picture of an American jeep in Italy with what appears to be Dodge vacuum wipers in the same place. John.

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Whatever you want to do to try and make your vehicle more visable, you should do your best to comply with the regulations.

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/1989/1796/contents/made

 

After a quick search this is what I found on modern requirements, http://www.dft.gov.uk/vosa/repository/FTA DfT Conspicuity Guide.pdf

 

How about making up a board using standard reflactive markings, additional lights and a "SLOW VEHICLE" sign. http://www.direct.gov.uk/prod_consum_dg/groups/dg_digitalassets/@dg/@en/documents/digitalasset/dg_070568.pdf

http://www.raymac.co.uk/erol/metal-vehicle-signs-from-raymac-signs-uk-2968-0.html

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when they are coming up your chuff at 70-90 mph a slow vehicle sign is not going to help much. You may do as you please and comply with all the regs, me I rather safe as much as I could be.John.

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when they are coming up your chuff at 70-90 mph a slow vehicle sign is not going to help much. You may do as you please and comply with all the regs, me I rather safe as much as I could be.John.

That's great, until some fu**wit runs up the back of you anyway and his smart a*#e lawyer gets him off because he was blinded by your non complient lights.

Do as much as you can to see and be seen, just stay inside the law when you do it.

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That's great, until some fu**wit runs up the back of you anyway and his smart a*#e lawyer gets him off because he was blinded by your non complient lights.

Do as much as you can to see and be seen, just stay inside the law when you do it.

 

sadly croc is right re the lawyers but I do feel amber flashing lights are worth using when you are an unusual load...ie slow travelling, or large or awkward to see....a flashing amber light can be used during daylight hours for the above reasons...it should not be used at night...although I still do in certain places, ie country roads. etc..

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It's not just motorways where other vehciles come up behind you fast.

This is the incident that made me fit flashing ambers;

 

When I go to shows, i'm always at the back and my dad is in the front, we were on our way to a show and was driving along the A30 west of london, it was about 4am.

We were the only vehciles on this stretch of road, and in my rear view mirror I could see a vehcile comming up behind me very FAST.

"he's going to go straight into the back of me" ! thought to myself.

I slowed down, so to leave plenty of room fin front of me, grabbed the steering wheel very tightly and put my hazard lights on.

At the very last moment the vehcile comming up behind slammed on his brakes, I could tell he slammed his brakes on as his headlights went down very sharply and then shot back up again.

The 1st thing I did when I got back from the show was to fit the led's to my landy, they cost me £80, and worth every penny.

TBH, I don't care about smart arse lawyers or the RTA, I do what is safe for me.

Ive had them fitted for about 4 yrs and have never been stopped by the police.

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I've recently taken to tying a large rectangle of high visibilty material across the tailboard of the MW. Very bright, waterproof and £3 off quid off ebay (incl postage). Aware of the law that does prohibit the display of a flashing amber beacon on this type of vehicle (i.e. it does not fall in to any of the categories that can legally have one fitted on to the exterior of it) I have a flashing amber beacon fitted inside the open tilt of the truck. To my mind this works better for the purpose of being seen from the rear, as it makes the light obvious, even on a sunny day, as it is against a dark background. It catches the attention of vehicles behind and doing that job is fine by me. There are no regulations applicable to flashing amber beacons fitted to the interior of a vehicle that I am aware of. Ok, it is a configuration that wont work for every type of vehicle out there, but it works for me.

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Personally, I'd rather risk a fine by the cops then an accident....

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Personally, I'd rather risk a fine by the cops then an accident....

 

cannot imagine them getting too bothered about them if the vehicle is slow moving and old...they may ask you to switch them off but i doubt it...I know the Police do get annoyed with recovery trucks but they move much quicker have modern tail lights and brakes...

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I'm finding it rather funny that the general feeling is i will do what i like to my truck and disregard the law attitude is being applauded here, yet in the is a 432 legal threads anyone who sticks up for keeping their taxed/insured/registered 432 is shot down for putting a track on the road for a vehicle that rightly or wrongly has been considered road legal for a long time.

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http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/1989/1796/regulation/27/made

 

In particular - SECTION. 7 (11)

---------------------

 

 

Warning beacon emitting amber lightUsed so as to be lit except–(i)at the scene of an emergency;(ii)when it is necessary or desirable to warn persons of the presence of the vehicle; and(iii)in the case of a breakdown vehicle, while it is being used in connection with, and in the immediate vicinity of, an accident or breakdown, or while it is being used to draw a broken-down vehicle.

 

NB.. when it is necessary or desirable to warn persons of the presence of the vehicle;

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On our maiden trip from Andover to Doncaster, we had amber led's on the rear of the Reo, a Motorway cop had a good look at us at the services and congratulated us on a our 'safety set up' he did say 'I know it's a big unit but it's green and slow ! just watch out for the 18 wheelers too busy texting on their mobiles !!!!!

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I'm finding it rather funny that the general feeling is i will do what i like to my truck and disregard the law attitude is being applauded here, yet in the is a 432 legal threads anyone who sticks up for keeping their taxed/insured/registered 432 is shot down for putting a track on the road for a vehicle that rightly or wrongly has been considered road legal for a long time.

 

Pop - I'm not sure that "I will do what I like to my truck and disregard the law" is the attitude being applauded here.

 

I would suggest it is more a case of "I will weigh up how I can best safeguard myself and other road users (even if I don't wish to cover my mv with non-original lighting) and yet remain within the spirit of the Law, and where the two conflict I might quite possibly decide that safety is more important than the minutiae of the legal wording - even though it could conceivably get me into trouble with the Law".

 

What sets this thread apart from the 432 one is that this one is based on a real life situation and is important - the 432 one turned from initial simple and sound advice to more of an inane repetitive discussion on points of law and very rude demands for people to justify their actions. Don't let this thread go the same way.

 

I'd like to propose that on this forum we stick to offering 'polite' advice and then let folk decide for themselves what to do.

 

 

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Don't let this thread go the same way.

 

This thread will not go the same way!

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I've recently taken to tying a large rectangle of high visibilty material across the tailboard of the MW. Very bright, waterproof and £3 off quid off ebay (incl postage). Aware of the law that does prohibit the display of a flashing amber beacon on this type of vehicle (i.e. it does not fall in to any of the categories that can legally have one fitted on to the exterior of it) I have a flashing amber beacon fitted inside the open tilt of the truck. To my mind this works better for the purpose of being seen from the rear, as it makes the light obvious, even on a sunny day, as it is against a dark background. It catches the attention of vehicles behind and doing that job is fine by me. There are no regulations applicable to flashing amber beacons fitted to the interior of a vehicle that I am aware of. Ok, it is a configuration that wont work for every type of vehicle out there, but it works for me.

 

You are to be applauded for what I think is a very intelligent approach to this problem, you are hi-vis only from the rear, where of course any potential risks are going to come. Because the flashing beacon cannot be seen from the front or side of the vehicle, it poses no risk of oncoming traffic rubber-necking because they have been attracted by the beacon, preventing a potential hazard on the other side of the carriageway. I suppose that on any other vehicle (Jeeps etc) its a simple matter to fit a shroud around the front and sides, alternatively, stay off motorways, having said that we do have lots of dual carriageways such as the A45 from Birmingham to Coventry, thats always a bit of a race track. Its not us really, its them.:goodidea:

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Safety is something we all need to think about and as Big Ray says this thread should be applauded for highlighting that. Even more modern vehicles (I'm thinking of Land Rovers in particular) have woefully inadequate rear lighting in my opinion, so it's not just for the old MV's. The Law? Personally I would try to stay within the bounds of the law as if the worst does happen you cannot be found at fault for doing something illegal. As always though each vehicle and it's lack of visibility to other motorists needs to be tackled with a common sense approach in each individual case. I have always found my local testing station helpful in advising what is ok or not.

It's not just rear visibility either. When I lived in Sussex people would very often pull out in front of me on leafy lanes where the matt green paint of my Series 2 gave no reflection. Thankfully I was never travelling too fast, but a couple of these were very close calls. I got into the habit of putting the lights on when driving in shady areas after that.

 

It is good to compare notes on what other MV owners are doing though. Looking forward to the rest of the thread. :thumbsup:

Edited by daz76
text added

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In the early 1980's I noticed service drivers of Land Rovers driving on side-lights during the day (Volvo owners had no choice). Thinking about it , NATO green/black dp & driving amongst hedge-backs - I then decided to always drive on side-lights during the day too , that is with a green or green / black Land Rover..

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i always drive ferret with lights on and on dual carriage ways etc going up hill i put hazards on all helps!

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i always drive ferret with lights on and on dual carriage ways etc going up hill i put hazards on all helps!

Driving with hazards on is an offence. The use of Hazards on as moving vehicle is when they are turned on briefly on Motorway or dual Carriageway to warn vehicles behind you are stopping or slowing down because of queueing traffic ahead.

 

Equally hazards should not be used when towing or being towed.

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rather risk an offense than a foreign registered artic smacking into the back of me!

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Another study found It found that in daylight black cars were 12% more likely than white to be involved in an accident, followed by grey cars at 11%, silver cars at 10%, and red and blue cars at 7%, with no other colors found to be significantly more or less risky than white.

 

You might just not have to buy that pink paint after all.

 

So the most common colours of car, Black, Silver and Grey are the most likely to be involved in accidents! Bet someone took a long time to work that statistic out, or have they been corrected as a percentage of cars with those colours?

 

Will repainting my vehicle a different colour lower the insurance premium?

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