Is Road Safety a value for our Police Force?

Dave Moore writes on the motorcycle vs Police Car crash in the  Buller gorge. A police car did a three point trn on a narrow incredibly curvy road to case a motorcycle, and 2 more crashed into him.

There is a systematic safety culture failure that really scares me here.

First – what made the Police Officer think he had a hope in hell of safely pursuing the first bike? It’s extremely hard to speed over the speed limit on that road, and the sorts of bikes these chaps were riding can safely use all of their lane to straighten corners like a car cannot. A Commodore has no show, and even the Subaru Legacy’s that Police used to use would have no show. A pursuit would be incredibly dangerous and involve cutting corners, and in a car that frankly is marginal even in big straight West Australian roads.

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Secondly – the three point turn. There is just no way that was remotely safe, and the Police driver is lucky that a decent sized SUV without motorcycle quality brakes wasn’t the next vehicle to come around the corner.

Thirdly – the attitude after the bikes hit of  “they were speeding”. That’s clearly not taking personal responsibility for lowering the road toll.

The first and foremost duty of everyone on the road it to ensure safety – that of ourselves and that of other drivers.

A Police Officer has an even higher standard. They are held to account for helping everyone increase the safety on the roads – which means reducing hazards on the road and helping us reduce our own idiotic behavior that leads to hazardous situations.

This Police Officer clearly put ticketing before safety. This much we can glean from the above three points.

Through his actions he created a life threatening situation – he was not thinking Safety First. He was not believing or living Safety First.

Note – this all applies even if the motorcyclists were speeding, or even more so as he has a duty of care to help them slow down safely.

So – where was the duty of care? Where was the safety first value?

This is more than just a single Police Officer, but a sign of a system that is placing tickets before safety, at least in one geographical area.

I, for one, want an enquiry as to how this situation could ever occur, and how we can ensure that Road Safety is a value not an afterthought for our Police Officers.

Published by Lance Wiggs

@lancewiggs

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