This is why we can’t have nice things

Industry news roundup: week ended 5 Jan 2015:

This week, I’ve finally figured out why we can’t have nice things here: there are local authorities so incompetent that they’re their own worst enemies.

File this one under ‘this is why we can’t have nice things’: it was recently revealed that waste trucks owned by Braintree Council have racked up more than £150,000 in personal injury compensation damages over the last half a decade. In fact, from 2009 the council waste trucks have been involved either directly or indirectly in more than 500 accident claims against the council’s insurance policies, with at least £200,000 in damage incurred as a result.

The worst part is that the biggest single payout happened just last September when a driving school vehicle was gently pranged from behind by a road sweeper, generating a massive £21,105 in damages. Thankfully most other payouts were less than that, but with more than 500 of them even a little bit adds up to a lot – every £9,000 or £3,000 road traffic accident claim, put together, amasses to a mountain of payouts.

The best part, though, must be how much damage council drivers managed to do to their own vehicles, with Braintree paying out more than £114,000 over the past five years to simply keep their own waste trucks in good working order. In one case, a council driver managed to open the door of his truck as another vehicle was overtaking, causing around £670 in damages to the truck – and probably giving the daft council worker a nice, good scare as the door was sheared off just inches from him.

Braintree Council of course tried to downlplay the figures, claiming that the local authority’s fleet of more than 80 vehicles that spend more than 1.2 million miles’ worth of time on local roads every year – implying that accidents happen. Well, you know what I say to that? If your drivers have so many miles under their belts and they’re so bloody well trained, why are all these damned accidents still happening? You would think these blokes would be bloody experts that know their vehicles inside and out, but apparently that’s not the case.

And another thing – who pays for all these compensation payouts? The local taxpayer, that’s who. Where do you think the council gets the cash to pay its insurance premiums?

 

Road traffic accidents cause trouble for everyone

Industry news roundup: week ended 8 Sept 2014:

Road traffic accidents are one of the most prevalent types of events that lead to accident claims – and it can happen to people from all walks of life.

This week’s news cycle proves that point like none other. Here are two very different types of road traffic accident claims that couldn’t be more different than one another.

First up is the tragic story of how a 94 year old pensioner died in the wake of an RTA with a police car in Clifton. Whilst the accident – which turned fatal once the poor man was taken to hospital – occurred last December, the recent inquest into his death made news headlines this past week, where it was revealed the police car was traveling 25mph over the 40mph limit in the area because it was pursuing another vehicle at the time. To her credit, the officer that had been driving the police car gave her testimony whilst fighting back tears, recounting how there was nothing she could have done to have avoided the accident thanks to the circumstances surrounding the incident.

Forensic investigators said that even if the police car had been traveling at 40mph the accident most likely would have happened anyway and that the elderly man simply timed his manoeuvre wrong and didn’t detect the presence of the oncoming police car. Still, the pensioner’s family is pursuing personal injury compensation from Nottinghamshire Police even though the PC driving the vehicle has been cleared of any wrongdoing. If you ask me the whole thing is just tragic as anything, and my heart aches for both the poor police officer that has to now live with the knowledge that she was involved in this man’s death – and the family of the poor soul that’s passed on.

Meanwhile, here’s the other side of the coin – a 26 year old on benefits who supposedly couldn’t work in the wake of a motorcycle accident claim was caught making money on the side even whilst he was on the dole. The little bastard wasn’t just being sneaky though – he was selling cannabis to his mates to make some extra cash!

And not just a little cash either, according to the police. He was stopped on the street by the fuzz where they found around £15 of the drug on him and some £700 in cash. Then at a later date there was a raid where more than 92 grams of cannabis was found – which had a street value of nearly £1,000! So much for not being able to earn a living because of his injuries!

Meanwhile the little snake avoided jail time somehow. All he has to do is perform 100 hours of unpaid work, serve a suspended nine month prison sentence, and pay the £100 surchareg for his drug rehabilitation. And who says crime doesn’t pay? Cheeky bastard.