Smoke gets in your eyes

Posted on April 17th, 2012 by James Luckhurst

POLICE OFFICERS patrolling the UK’s motorways are used to dealing with all kinds of incidents. So when two patrol officers from the Central Motorway Policing Group spotted a van that was belching white smoke, they calmly positioned themselves in front of it, illuminated their ‘Follow Me’ sign and escorted the driver off the motorway.

Finding a safe place to pull over proved a challenge. The junction connected them straight onto the busy A34 that would take them into the centre of Birmingham. But luckily they found somewhere off the road where they could get the van to stop safely. A call to control ensured the fire brigade would attend.

Once the van’s engine had stopped, the smoke disappeared… until the driver lifted the rear door and released a whole load more that had been building up behind.

While waiting for the fire brigade, the officers were able to complete checks on the vehicle… and they found the driver had no insurance. He said he had just bought the van and had not been able to organise a policy… a much-used excuse that did not work. So, the officers seized the van, arranged for it to be recovered.

Driving with no insurance can often be dealt with by police at the roadside, using a fixed penalty ticket. This puts six points on a driver’s licence and leads to a fine of £200. There is also a charge for recovery of the uninsured vehicle to a secure compound, plus a daily storage charge. Drivers can only reclaim vehicles once they can prove there is insurance in place.