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


cordenj

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STOP!

Please can I ask that this thread is kept on track.

I've pm'ed a number of posters, some to thank you for your ideas, and some to ask you to keep it on the subject..... but you are all outrunning me....

 

......I might be expecting too much, but really hope this thread is going to be a source of practical ideas to reduce the risk of rear impact on High Speed Roads.

 

Most of us have green vehicles, we are not going to repaint them. If it is of real interest base colour might be a subject for a seperate thread.

 

Thanks

 

John

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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..

 

fair comment paul but all the flashing beacons that i have on my military vehicles are wired into the lighting circuit and come on when you switch side lights on and remain on when you switch to full beams Have i now got rewiring to do on my hands ? to make my vehicle legal for driving at night ?

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fair comment paul but all the flashing beacons that i have on my military vehicles are wired into the lighting circuit and come on when you switch side lights on and remain on when you switch to full beams Have i now got rewiring to do on my hands ? to make my vehicle legal for driving at night ?

No, no need to rewire vehicle, plug beacon it into a trailer socket, connected to the sidelight pin, and just pull out the plug when you don't want to flash it.

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STOP!

Please can I ask that this thread is kept on track.

I've pm'ed a number of posters, some to thank you for your ideas, and some to ask you to keep it on the subject..... but you are all outrunning me....

 

......I might be expecting too much, but really hope this thread is going to be a source of practical ideas to reduce the risk of rear impact on High Speed Roads.

 

Most of us have green vehicles, we are not going to repaint them. If it is of real interest base colour might be a subject for a seperate thread.

 

Thanks

 

John

Absolutely, this is a very serious subject, and needs to be treated as such, lives are at risk.

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I'm going to hang a trailer board over the back. Any objections, well I'd rather be tried by twelve than carried by six.

 

Coming back from the RE musuem, on the A2 Number One Son, following me in a MODERN Discovery was run off the road by a Polish Artic. Fortunatley the verge was low and the Disco coped with it.

 

I've towed 25 pounders with flashing amber beacons, warning triangles on the end of the barrel and a high intensity red light in the middle, still had people go under the barrel, try to go bettween the tows at roundabouts, and ignored the long vehicle warnings to overtake on bends. Drive as if everyone else is out to get you.

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I'm going to hang a trailer board over the back. Any objections, well I'd rather be tried by twelve than carried by six.

 

Coming back from the RE musuem, on the A2 Number One Son, following me in a MODERN Discovery was run off the road by a Polish Artic. Fortunatley the verge was low and the Disco coped with it.

 

I've towed 25 pounders with flashing amber beacons, warning triangles on the end of the barrel and a high intensity red light in the middle, still had people go under the barrel, try to go bettween the tows at roundabouts, and ignored the long vehicle warnings to overtake on bends. Drive as if everyone else is out to get you.

 

A trailer board with modern lights and a standard (not a triangle) reflectors would seem a very good idea, anything to stop a back-ender, and it should be perfectly legal!!

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Frankly mate, I don't give a monkeys about the shape of the reflector. I'd put a *** lighthouse on the wagon if I thought it would help. Though aparently road deaths have gone down in the last year. I try to avoid motorways if at all possible with the Dodge.

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Just my tuppence worth...

 

Trailer boards are dirt cheap - a tenner or so if you shop around. As has been pointed out, their triangular reflectors are really only for trailers, but again a trailer supplier should be able to sell you a pair of large round reflectors for very little money. Fit a modern retro-reflective number plate to the board and connect it to your wiring with a hidden 7-pin socket and you're away, probably for less than £30. Much safer than before, and legal.

 

If your electrics are a little marginal charging wise then you could disconnect your original lights whilst the trailer board is connected. Even if you're running 6v you can get suitable bulbs for a modern trailer lamps. Paul Goff (google norbsa) can even supply halogen stop/tail and indicator bulbs in 6v so you can get high brightness from a lower current requirement if you really need to. I had a halogen 35/35 watt 6v headlight bulb in my old BSA and it was one of the best bike headlights I've ever used.

 

Having driven a pre-war Ford 8 as daily wheels for a while, the benefit of better lighting does not just stretch to MVs!

 

Glen.

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I'm thinking of customisng my trail board by painting the white areas with reflective paint or binding the area with reflective tape. LED or other bright bulbs as well. The other problem with older vehicles is that the headlights are not at the width of the vehicle. There are nasty narrow lanes round here, so what do we do about the front end lads?

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I'm thinking of customisng my trail board by painting the white areas with reflective paint or binding the area with reflective tape. LED or other bright bulbs as well. The other problem with older vehicles is that the headlights are not at the width of the vehicle. There are nasty narrow lanes round here, so what do we do about the front end lads?

Possibly an upright of some description, probably only plastic which could have reflective tape applied. This could be attached to each wing or bumper corner whilst travelling and taken off easily on the rally field. I'm thinking along the lines of the things attached to the front cycle wings on my Scammell

Not much of an idea I admit and I'm not sure how the law stands either?

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I know two people who have had showman's living vans driven into whilst behind Classic Commercials. One was a palish Apple green. The other was Maroon and Red, both were highly visible.

 

The main trouble is the vehicle running into the back normally has a driver in a trance like state or totally asleep.

 

I can't think of a plan to wake up a sleeper, so I think rear end shunts will always happen.

 

Best advice is to stay on the slowest, windiest road you can find where the Truck driver is concentrating on getting round the bends. A mental challenge helps keep him awake. Fast straight roads are themselves the cause of many rear end shunts. Rather than trying ti find a way to be safe on these roads, try to find a way not to be on them.

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STOP!

Please can I ask that this thread is kept on track.

I've pm'ed a number of posters, some to thank you for your ideas, and some to ask you to keep it on the subject..... but you are all outrunning me....

 

......I might be expecting too much, but really hope this thread is going to be a source of practical ideas to reduce the risk of rear impact on High Speed Roads.

Most of us have green vehicles, we are not going to repaint them. If it is of real interest base colour might be a subject for a seperate thread.

 

Thanks

 

John

 

Thank you John and apologies on my behalf for not picking up on this earlier.

 

Not very often I go on a rant with regards to posts made by folks but for goodness sake everyone, have some integrity and respect.

 

The hobby has just lost one of its own - a fellow brother for all the right reasons. This is not the time or place to be making flippant and disrespectfull comments. There is absolutley NO room here on HMVF for such bad manners.

 

I would hope - actually I expect apologies made to John - who is someone who has just lost a friend and is trying his best at getting some good out of this tragic event. You should appreciate what John is doing here.

 

Again, my apologies John.

 

Yours,

 

Jack.

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Antarmike mentioned the low line of a Jeep with the top down and there is no doubt that the vehicle has a very low silhouette and a narrow track. The small size makes them look further away to someone not used to them.

 

Those silly little Daihatsus which are often driven by the elderly on motorways at 55mph present a similar problem in that the closing speed is not so obvious. They simply look like a proper car further away. Modern jeeps with similar lines to the real thing are substantially larger than the originals.

 

Personally, I don't take my 50mph cruising speed WD bike on motorways as the speed differential, even if seen by passing traffic is just too great to be pleasant. I'm much happier on single carriageways.

 

Perhaps the permitted use of amber beacons on motorways by vehicles travelling slower than 50MPH (say) is something that the historic vehicle movement should be lobbying for ? It seems strange that a beacon is permitted on a 25mph vehicle in a 30 zone where the speed differential is negligible but not by faster vehicles on the motorway where they could serve a greater need.

 

The risk here of course is that permission can soon change to compulsion.

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Others have pointed out the regulations regarding the use of Amber beacons, but one thing that is worth pointing out regarding their use is that if you are travelling in convoy and the fellow in front has one on, they are pretty frustrating to sit behind!

 

Glen.

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There are some very bright flashing LED lights available for pushbikes.

These could be fitted with relative ease, no wiring required.

 

The reflective tape is a good idea and you could probably fix to the vehicle using magnets/magnetic tape. (unless you have a non magnetic vehicle)

 

You could even use a hi-vis jacket, available cheaply from many places

 

Sadly I feel that no matter what you do most people will still not see you until it is to late, as I believe driving standards have dropped significantly and people are more interested in all the electronic toys in their cars rather than waht is in the road more than 10m away.

 

I have also noticed that my green and black Land Rover is well camoflaged in town (Berlin Brigade Camo not required).

It is amazing how many people pull out in front of you, stop and only realise you are there when you have screeched to a halt a foot from the drivers window and all they can see is a big bumper. Even with lights on.

 

Mike

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Your not going to stop drivers falling asleep or day dreaming, but you can help the situation. As a waggon driver of many years I can speak from experience that using amber beacons does help. When driving an artic or other large truck, when an amber beacon is spotted well in advance a driver (I can only speak for myself here) will start to assess his options straight away. He/she will be watching the rear view mirrors like a hawk waiting for the right moment to pull out into the centre lane/outside lane (dual) so that their progress is not interfered with. Beacons are used for large, wide, heavy, slow loads etc. If the truck doesn't look to be over width or length then a beacon is telling you the vehicle is probably travelling pretty slowly. You then pull out in plenty of time so that you are not slowed down.

 

This might not stop vans and cars from getting too close too fast to your rear end, but 8 out of 10 times if it's a waggon then he will pull out a lot sooner.

 

I only do 40-45mph in my Bedford but haven't got an amber beacon. I was chatting to a mate who is a Traffic Copper for the Met about the use of amber beacons on slow ex military vehicles. He said most if not all traffic coppers will not stop you for making the vehicle more visible dispite the fact it's illegal as they can see that you are doing everything you can to be as safe and seen as possible. Common sense I think.

 

I'm thinking of getting one for the truck dispite what the regs say.

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Your not going to stop drivers falling asleep or day dreaming, but you can help the situation. As a waggon driver of many years I can speak from experience that using amber beacons does help. When driving an artic or other large truck, when an amber beacon is spotted well in advance a driver (I can only speak for myself here) will start to assess his options straight away. He/she will be watching the rear view mirrors like a hawk waiting for the right moment to pull out into the centre lane/outside lane (dual) so that their progress is not interfered with. Beacons are used for large, wide, heavy, slow loads etc. If the truck doesn't look to be over width or length then a beacon is telling you the vehicle is probably travelling pretty slowly. You then pull out in plenty of time so that you are not slowed down.

 

This might not stop vans and cars from getting too close too fast to your rear end, but 8 out of 10 times if it's a waggon then he will pull out a lot sooner.

 

I only do 40-45mph in my Bedford but haven't got an amber beacon. I was chatting to a mate who is a Traffic Copper for the Met about the use of amber beacons on slow ex military vehicles. He said most if not all traffic coppers will not stop you for making the vehicle more visible dispite the fact it's illegal as they can see that you are doing everything you can to be as safe and seen as possible. Common sense I think.

 

I'm thinking of getting one for the truck dispite what the regs say.

 

When flashing LED lights started to become available for pedal cycles, their use is obviously illegal, since tail light on a bike must show a steady red light. However one Police superintendent is on record as saying if any of my Officers are daft enough to book a cyclist for having a flashing light, I will pay the fine myself.

 

Clearly most coppers are happy to see any improvement in safety.

 

Maybe something as simple as these flashing LED rear cycle lights may help.

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Interesting thread here. I'm sure that a vehicle traveling on a motorway or duel carrigeway has to be able to maintain 30 miles an hour minimum speed......I would never take my scammell on such a road its just not worth the risk.

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Others have pointed out the regulations regarding the use of Amber beacons, but one thing that is worth pointing out regarding their use is that if you are travelling in convoy and the fellow in front has one on, they are pretty frustrating to sit behind!

 

Glen.

 

I would respectfully suggest that it should not be the fellow in front, but the last vehicle in the line. Assuming that we are talking about motorways and dual carriageways, then you are unlikely to be holding people up behind you. Most of this is about having someone in charge who has the good sense to attempt to do the appropriate thing in the appropriate situation. These actions that we adopt may not only save lives and serious injury, but may even determine the future unmolested continuance of this wonderful hobby of ours. So anything that improves matters has got to be good.

I wish you all safe,and happy motoring.

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Interesting thread here. I'm sure that a vehicle traveling on a motorway or duel carrigeway has to be able to maintain 30 miles an hour minimum speed......I would never take my scammell on such a road its just not worth the risk.

 

Good,sound intellegent common sense, thats all that we need in this hobby of ours. If you operate as a group, then appoint some responsible individual to organise the route, and the safest manner in which to travel the said route.

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I had a useful thing , bought I think from a pound shop. It was a large pice of orange reflective plastic with a warning triangle printed on and BROCKEN DOWN VEHICLE in large letters. It suckered completly over the back of a Safari Land Rover, wish I knew what happned to it. a similar sized sheet over a canvas tilt whilst moving? I like to travel with the tilt sides up, as the Dodge is a LHD it improves my visibility at staggered junctions. Sat navs can be proggramed to FORBID motorways. Something that has come to mind is a couple of high intensity push bike lamps clipped to the outer edge of the bumper at night.

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When I bought a Green Goddess a few years ago I was very concerned about the risk of motorway rear end collisions.

 

It almost seemed irresponsible to take a vehicle designed to go at 20 or 30, and not happy much over 45, on high speed roads.

 

Equally the Green Goddesses (now have 2) and other old Bedfords like the police truck have old fashioned brakes which won't allow you to stop in a couple of feet when a boy racer or juvenile delinquent cuts you up on a roundabout blissfully unaware of the stopping distance and relative weights involved.

 

The solution may seem drastic but it has worked for me: I bought an ex police Omega and got it kitted up in recognised Escort colours with plenty pf orange lights/ On motorways it sits behind the old vehicle giving masses of early warning visibility. On smaller roundabout-infested roads it goes first.

 

It seems to me to have solved the rear end risk. It reduces the boy racer problem by perhaps 50%, although it's amazing how they still assume they can cut in and that braking technology of c 1955 will accommodate their wishes.

 

Hope this may be useful in the discussion.

 

All the best

 

Graham

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In some ways the European regs are ahead of UK, must carry light bulbs and first aid kit, warning triangles and now you must carry Hi Vis vests for all in the car. It's something I've done for a long time but I'd recommend it. Emergency vehicle sservices also sell a relay kit to alternate the headlights. Though that one may upset the local law men. I've noticed funeral convoies using the American purple couolur flashing lights. Does anyone know if any legislation covers flashing beacons other than red, blue and amber?

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