Documentary series following the traffic police as they enforce the law on Britain's roads. The traffic cops are called in to deal with a horrific crash on the busy M1.
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When things go wrong on the motorway, life or death is in the
lap of the gods. This guy here, managed to stagger out of the
vehicle of his own accord. When they go wrong on an estate in Luton.
Why are you driving if you can't see? There's more to things than
meet the eye. But when teenage criminals take the law into their
own hands. You're nicked, chum, for burglary! They're only going down a
In Britain, motorways make up just 1% of all the roads, yet they carry
The daddy of them all, the M1, has been keeping traffic cops in
Bedfordshire busy day and night for half a century now. 'Over the years
the traffic 'on that road has increased dramatically' and
consequently with all that traffic, sometimes things go wrong which we
have to deal with. Traffic cops are specialists when it comes to
dealing with accidents and speeding motorists on the motorway, but
they're also always on high alert for criminals using it as an escape
route. 'Yeah, I can confirm 99 are en route.' It's gone two in the
morning and there's been a report of a burglary in Luton.
suspected burglars are heading for the M1. Vehicle pursuit in Luton,
not sure of the details of the vehicle at the moment. It's on the
perimeter of Luton up near the airport. PC Craig Baker and his
sergeant Tony Richardson are already on the M1 and preparing to
head off the vehicle. Where, where is it now? Right, go up toward
junction 10. 10? OK. Another traffic cop has beaten them to the
chase and is behind the getaway car. Ah, Keith's got the follow. He's
got it? Yeah, he's got it. We got a traffic unit behind it at the
moment - Keith. We probably will pick it up coming down, we'll try
and get it on the motorway and then depending what way we go we can
look at putting some pursuit tactics into place. The traffic
cops are specially trained in pursuit management tactics, PMT,
which they will employ to surround the car on the motorway and force
it to a halt. In case that plan doesn't come off the police
helicopter with its night vision camera has been called for. 150
we're going to hold at 10 and if you get to us, Keith, we're going
to try and push it on junction 10 southbound. 'The idea of keeping
the vehicle on the motorway is, it's a much' more sterile area that
we can deal with. Have we got authority? Yep. Here it comes... Is
it coming this way? No, towards Luton. 'Stand by, we're London Road
towards Luton.' London Road now. But something has gone wrong.
'Unfortunately, instead of coming my direction, 'it decided to turn
towards Luton.' It's just what the cops didn't want. 'It was the worst
route he could take, towards the town centre. 'That's the one place
you want to try and keep it out of cos at that time of night, 'that's
where you're likely to have pedestrians, in a town centre.'
Luckily help's arrived in the shape of the chopper overhead. The crew
have got the thieves on their thermal imaging camera, with a
patrol car of PC Keith Nicholson and PC Chris Naughton right on
their tail. 'They are now passing the police station, 'he didn't want
to stop there.' They're not in any hurry to pull over but unlike some
pursuits, this isn't particularly high-octane, high-risk stuff and
the police are not having any difficulty following them. 'Towards
Telford Way where he's indicating left.' For some reason he just
wanted to tell us where he was going which is uncommon so it was
fairly easy to follow him. And it's been fairly easy for Tony and Craig,
call sign 150, to catch up to what is now a convoy. 'We don't want to
be chasing it forever and ever 'cos the longer the chase goes on the
more likelihood 'there is of someone getting injured, car
crashing or something going wrong.' 150 ARV can you just be aware we
are going to come alongside you in a minute. And 150 we've got a rear
Panda, can the Panda break off as soon as, please. Obviously look for
a decamp but not be directly involved please. We're second in
the convoy. The plan is still to try and box the car in, but it's a
very risky manoeuvre, especially not on the motorway. Ask Keith if
he wants to take over as marked car. 150 to 298, Keith do you want us to
take over as a marked police vehicle? 'Approaching the
roundabout. It's a dual-end. Stand by. Take it afterwards.' Yeah,
we'll take it after the roundabout, copy. The sarge is taking over the
pursuit, it's a safer option than having an unmarked police car
leading the way. 'Tony came along from behind and he's the pursuit
commander so he took over. 'He was in a marked vehicle and then we
just followed, from there.' Chris has been a bobby on the beat for
five years but has only just joined Traffic. Being on a pursuit so soon
is a real bonus. It's not a common thing nowadays, unless it's a high-
Apology for the loss of subtitles for 76 seconds
powered car and they're trying to Pull back, pull back, Keith. OK,
get ready. OK, we've got two occupants. Chris isn't the only one
who's new to all this. They were just two young kids. Really young,
I think he was 15 to 17 years old, he didn't even have a licence.
years ago Chris made more arrests than any other officer in
Bedfordshire. Now he's on the Traffic Department his number of
arrests are lower but his excitement is higher. Well, that's
my first follow in five years so... ..I think that's the best time I've
ever had in a traffic car. They're going to get a Divisional to get
him back. The supervisor's coming down for that. All incidents
involving police cars have to be investigated and if there is any
damage a supervisor will have to be called in and a report filed. But
Tony's confident he won't be getting in any trouble. What way
you going? I was expecting a little bit of damage 'because of the way
they were driving, and if your bringing' a vehicle to a stop like
that you expect a little bit of damage. But extraordinarily there
isn't any... ..apart from a little scratch and a bent mirror. T-cut
minus mirror. See, there you go. T- cut. Done. Tony has now got to be
breathalysed. Every person that we deal with, whether it's police
officers, ambulance, fire, members of the public, everyone involved in
a crash, collision will be breathalysed and that's no
different for me. Put your lips around the tube and blow
continuously until I tell you to stop. Tony's practically out of
gas... ..and air. Zero. Thank you. But he hasn't been drinking. And he
wants to retire soon. He won't go! I tell you what I didn't have a
cool head when I looked over and realised you hadn't filled the poxy
thing up. We're driving down, 26 miles to run. Who says It's my
fault I didn't fill it up? Now it is time for Tony to get tanked up..
Slicing through the heart of Bedfordshire is the busiest stretch
of the whole of the M1. 30 miles of it. Nearly all affected by years of
carriage-widening roadworks. With the roadworks at a 50mph speed
limit so, when things do go wrong they're a lot slower, and therefore
not as many people get hurt and injured, but there's some nasty,
nasty incidents occur. In a small room at Toddington Service Station,
CCTV is being monitored around the clock should any nasty incidents
And this evening, something very A major disaster has struck. A
forty-tonne truck has careered over the central reservation smashing
into the busy traffic travelling in Tony and Craig are rushing to the
scene. They need to get there fast. En route obviously to the motorway.
Just under the Toddington Services report of lorry gone over central
reservation. We've got a unit at the scene at the moment. As far as
casualties, we've got one person at least, and that person is currently
unconscious. They call these crossovers, the very worst kind of
accident on a motorway. If we have a crossover, and thank goodness
they're pretty rare, all I can think of is the worst. Invariably
one of those vehicles, the one crossing over will be a heavy
because, you know, they're the ones that can actually get through the
barriers. 'On every single one of those occasions there will be
carnage 'and it's only a matter of luck 'whether there's going to be
serious injury but most probably death.' Fortunately, the rush
hour's over and getting to the motorway has been straightforward.
The main issue on a major crash like that is making sure that
access is available to the emergency services. So if you need
any more ambulances or fire engines that they're not stuck in traffic.
But access, all of a sudden, is a problem. People are trying to
escape being trapped on the motorway by turning back up the
slip road. What don't help is when you've got people down here doing
u-turns and trying to come back up. Once we've got an agreement we can
do it safely, it's fine, but you got people turning around already.
What they forget is interference with the emergency services coming.
If we've got fire engines coming down it then hinders everything
getting here. But you can see now how quick the carnage... You've got
the whole motorway stopped. 'All three lanes were blocked. Lane
three of the other carriage way was blocked and there was carnage.'
150,000 vehicles a day use this part of the M1, with it at a
standstill the whole region could grind to a halt and literally
millions could be effected. -- affected. But Tony's main concern
is for the people involved in the smash and those helping them.
well not so nice. 'When we first get there it is most definitely the
fire service and ambulance's job 'and we stay out the way and make
it as easy as it can be for those.' Against all the odds, no-one has
been killed. Somehow, the driver of this car a VW Passat has survived
being hit head-on by the out-of- control lorry. And unbelievably, he
isn't badly hurt. The driver of the lorry is being treated in the
ambulance but it's not clear what exactly his injuries are. This guy
here, managed to stagger out of the vehicle of his own accord where
he's lost consciousness just down there. He was unconscious,
breathing at the time... 'The driver of the wagon pretty much
collapsed' at the roadside. The paramedics suspected that he had
spine, pelvis, neck injuries so they were obviously very concerned
about him. 'When we got there, 'Andy went to the lorry driver,' I
went straight to the Passat expecting the driver to be in a
mess and he had a bump on his wrist and it's almost one of those things
where you can't believe it's happening to you. You're looking
around, saying this can't be here, this really can't be here. We just
expected there'd be bodies everywhere. The man's injuries are
negligible but he's off to hospital anyway. 'Just looking at the damage
to the Passat, I was amazed that anyone could walk out of it.' I
know the guy was carried away on a spinal board but as I understand it,
that was purely a precautionary measure and he had virtually no
injuries at all afterwards. thing has saved him. He was wearing
his seat belt, if you look you can see it's still in the same position,
it's not retracted. So he definitely had his belt on. Can you
imagine if he weren't wearing that? I'd be knocking on somebody's door
about now. Looking around, it can be seen that the dividing barriers
were simply flattened by the lorry. For the rest of the lucky survivors,
it'll be a moment they will never, ever forget. All I could see was he
was in the middle lane, as he should be, and all of a sudden he
reared off and then he just took off, and it was like he flew
through the air. It's, it's a really frightening thing... I think
I'll be seeing it for a long time, I'm going to cry now. So yeah,
it's...scary. I dread to think what they were thinking when it was
coming towards them... And knowing that they were going to hit it
head-on and there was absolutely nothing they could do about it.
traffic all going along here, I suppose is doing about 50mph cos I
think it's in an average speed camera zone. So probably if people
were going faster it would have been worse so you had time to, you
know, just slow down. We had spoken to a few witnesses and once the
initial shock of everything had calmed down for people it became
obvious that there was a fault, probably either with the driver of
the lorry or maybe with the lorry itself. Although no-one's died, the
fact that it could so easily have been a catastrophe means the
southbound carriageway is going to remain closed for quite some time
while investigators find out exactly what went wrong. After
having come across the central reservation, he hit this, the
Passat head-on, and ended up in lane one and stopped and then after
a few seconds moved over to the hard shoulder and apparently, after
a few seconds he got out and then collapsed. There was a suggestion
that he was taken ill at the wheel. If there is a potential for a fatal
or a life-changing, we will pull out all the stops to investigate.
Eventually, when we've made room we're going to spin all of this
around... Superb, OK. I'll take that from you. Yeah, yeah, that's
cool. 'It's a huge decision, when you think about it, to close off a
main arterial route' like the M1 motorway to do your investigation.
It's a big decision to take. Despite the cost, the motorway will
remain closed until the investigation's complete. When
they're not chasing car thieves or picking up the pieces after bad
crashes the traffic cops' stock in trade is enforcing motoring laws.
Even coming to the end of a long shift, PC Shona Gillen is more
eager than most to catch illegal motorists. It can be hectic
sometimes as she's, she buzzes like a bee and she's always after
everything. 'But, she, you know, she gets results, so it's good.'
just think that it's come from years of experience.' It's eleven
years of me stopping vehicles and stopping people, you generally get
this feel and you go with your gut instinct. Coming up to some traffic
lights on the outskirts of Luton, Shona's got that feeling about a
car going past the other way. This car here that's just gone past, I
should come out and patrol round here more often, you know? 'As the
driver came round the corner,' he had this kind of reddish complexion
on his face and just didn't look quite right and initially I thought
he was a drink driver. Under The Road Traffic Act, Shona can stop
and request any driver to produce their documents. 'Something just
clicked inside me, I thought that car needs stopping.' He's done a
left. And there's no time to waste. He's pulling over. The car's
pulling over but suspiciously, two passengers have got out rather
promptly. 'They didn't run away but they, it was like they didn't want
to be 'associated with having been in the car. 'I would certainly bet
an awful lot,' an awful lot, there was something in that car. Is this
your vehicle? Yes, it is my car. The driver seems quite amenable...
I've, I've just been...erm, the hotel. ..if a little vague. Have
you had anything to drink today? OK, you've got a brake light out.
Have I? Where do these, do these, where do these people live? Erm,
they live, I-I...they live... they don't live here? Well, they
asked me to drop 'em, they said they knew someone here. Matt, he
said he lived there he doesn't. was able to go down the road and
just catch up with, erm, well one of the other two. That's her Mum's
house? So where you going now? going round to the back garden.
man's story is a good 'un, but typically Shona hasn't bought it.
'I locked the traffic car and as I've run round the corner' she was
quite a way away up that road so there was no way she was going into
the back garden of that house which is what matey boy had initially
said. What were you going in the house for, then? That's where her
Mum lives. If they hadn't been in such a hurry to disappear they
might not have aroused any suspicion. But now, after all their
flimflam Shona's going to follow her hunch and search their car.
believe there was something in that vehicle that they didn't want us to
find 'so I searched the vehicle under the Police and Criminal
Evidence Act.' Shona's instinct is spot on. They've been on a shopping
spree. It's got the security tag still around it. It's worth quite a
bit of money really, which is obviously why they've just decided
to get out and walk away. There's also some pliers, handy for
removing the security tags. All in all, a tidy haul of toiletries
worth over �200. They've obviously just committed a theft from a shop
which is why they wanted to get away in the first place and why
both the passengers had got out the vehicle to disassociate themselves
with anything that was in that car. I want to blow my nose, can I go
and get a tissue out me car? Oh... OK. OK. What's your name, flower?
My name's Charles Hornby. Charles? Yeah. Charles, have you ever been
in trouble with the police before? Ever been arrested? Erm...yeah,
yeah, oh, yeah. Are you well known to us? No. OK. 'He reminded me of
somebody's granddad, really. 'He was very...he seemed quite nervous,
'he was being very woolly about his answers. 'He didn't really know why
he dropped them off or who lived at that address.' And he was kind of
playing a bit dumb. They said to drop them here. 'And all it was
doing was arousing my suspicions even further.' We found some items
in a carrier bag in the car. Are they yours? No. No, they had bags
with them. What kind of bags would they have with them? Erm... I think
a green bag, I think. I didn't really take no notice. Right, OK.
think. Oh, dear, but it's in your car. I take it you're saying
there's something in there that shouldn't be. Well, quite possibly.
OK, yeah, well... I'm asking for your account before we do anything
about it. Yeah, no, it's... They're not my bags. They're not mine.
have they got in the back? Don't wander off, please. BOTH: No, we
won't. A check of the man in glasses has revealed he likes to do
a bit of shopping, but he's not one for loyalty cards. I think he was
wanted for a number of offences in Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire and
a warrant as well. So he was going nowhere. Nowhere apart from the
nick. All three are going to be arrested on suspicion of
shoplifting. OK, what's happening is you two are both also under
arrest on suspicion of the theft. haven't done anything. On suspicion
of theft... Tell him. Tell him, please. You don't have to say
anything but it may harm your defence if... There's little honour
amongst these thieves. It's... It's something that they've, I'm sure
they've sort of prearranged that if they get caught he'll take the
blame. He's just taken full responsibility. At the end of the
day, getting out and running off up the road isn't the actions of an
innocent party. They'll stick together to the point where there's
no return, then they'll just dump each other in it. Their supermarket
sweep has earned them today's star prize... A trip to the police
station. Back on the M1, the investigation into why there was
nearly a disaster on the motorway has begun. The question is, why did
the lorry cross over to the other side of the road? A specialist
accident investigator has arrived to take stock of all the evidence.
'The first walk-through is' let's see what you've got, and then speak
to the people in charge. And you then start to pick out - the
barrier was down, you've then got a mass of vehicles, and in particular
one seriously damaged vehicle. And then, it's sort of then blocked out.
Although the suspicion is that the lorry driver is to blame for the
crash, Bob will do whatever it takes to ensure there weren't any
other reasons for it. You've got to get it right and you only ever have
one chance. 'It therefore has to be done properly and correctly at the
time and... 'and you know, if it takes a couple more minutes extra,
'then that's what it's got... That's what you've got to do.'
though it's the first real big crash he's been to, Chris has been
put in charge. 'Everybody's doing their little bit,' and one person
has to take the investigation on. 'Because there wasn't any apparent
serious injuries and it wasn't life-changing, 'then it's just one
of the officers that turns up,' it becomes their job to investigate.
So it was my turn, being the new boy. The lorry driver's initial
account was that he had begun to feel unwell and had intended to
pull off at the next junction, just a few hundred metres further on.
Another witness, still at the scene, the driver of a southbound lorry
that narrowly escaped being hit, remembers graphically what happened
next. As he came over, he wasn't even in the driver's seat, it threw
him out the seat. He was over the other side of the cab. Because I
could see his high-vis jacket. And so I ran up there and... When it
had all stopped, like, and helped him out. And he thinks he passed
out. So... Yeah, scary stuff. gone from lane one of a three-lane
motorway, 'come straight across, over the central reservation,
'collided with two or three cars, collided with a camper van, then
parked up.' He says he doesn't remember anything, and then he woke
up slumped at the wheel, and then he couldn't open his door so he
climbed out of his... Out of his cab window, fell to the floor and
he was then seen to by a first aider before the ambulances arrived.
But for Bob, something doesn't quite add up. Now, we've got an
impact, the lorry's come through, we've got an impact on this
nearside reservation, and then we've got an oil trail all the way
along here. And then it finishes in lane one when the lorry's moved
across to the hard shoulder. There's a bit of a strange scenario
going on here at the moment. From the evidence, it appears that the
lorry came to a rest, but it then moved again to its final position
on the hard shoulder. You work your way through the scene and obviously
there is then another movement of the vehicle. Is that again
consistent with someone that is ill at the wheel? You know, they've
actually come to rest in lane one, they've got... They've stopped
their vehicle facing the wrong way in a live running lane, I'll move
the vehicle onto the hard shoulder where it's safer. I... I don't know,
I mean, to me, it just... If it's come to rest, it's come to rest.
Why move the vehicle? It's been nearly seven hours since the
accident brought the southbound M1 to a halt. Once the barriers are
repaired, it will at last be reopened. The cops' investigation
Long after their shift was supposed to have finished, Shona and Matt
are still hard at work dealing with the suspected shoplifters. 'Once
all three had been booked into custody, I had to make sure 'that
there weren't any further outstanding offences for them 'that
they'd need to be arrested for and interviewed for at a later date. I
was really surprised at the amount of intelligence that popped up for
each of them. It's a possible warrant for this chap. Non-payment
of fines. Warrants have been issued for the arrest of all three of them
for previous suspected offences. There's an outstanding warrant of
�625. So she's not going anywhere tonight. He has a warrant, a non-
payment of fines warrant, erm... For �257.84. So once he's been
dealt with for the theft, he'll be arrested for non-payment. So he
isn't going anywhere tonight, he'll go to court tomorrow. The man in
glasses and the woman appear to be serial shoplifters and have even
been caught on CCTV. It's expensive booze, as well as toiletries that
they seem to be interested in. They just pop it straight into their
shopping bag and calmly walk out. Come out here, please. The man is a
drug user and shoplifts to fund his habit. Most, I would say most
shoplifting, in fact, pretty much most crime is drug-based. You can
see that on the people that we've stopped. They're a pretty pathetic
little group really, when you think about it. But that's their life,
their lifestyle and they won't change until they get off drugs.
Because of the amount of thefts uncovered, the police have got
authorisation to search the suspects' houses. They've gone to
do a section 18 on the property, to see what stolen property, if any,
is a their home addresses. So what's going to happen now is
they'll be kept in the cells till tomorrow morning and interviewed
for the offences we've arrested them today for and their
outstanding crimes. And then they'll be sent to court and then
dealt with in Hertfordshire for Sometimes even minor road traffic
accidents warrant a fast response. News is coming in of another
collision, not on the motorway this time, but on an estate in Luton
where it's reported the driver involved doesn't want to stick
around. That me? Yeah. 1261. 'We do have get there quite quick, cos
obviously we don't want the driver disappearing.' It could suggest
numerously, whether it could be a stolen vehicle someone's trying to
leg it from, or it's just an exaggeration on someone's part that
someone's looking to walk away. You just don't know till you arrive.
'When we got there, there was a number of people in the street,'
all debating about a crash that had occurred. Everyone all right? 'My
initial actions were to find out who was actually involved in it,
'as opposed to who the passers-by and who the onlookers were.' I live
next door to him, yeah? Sorry, hang on, hang on, hang on, hang on. So
you're... You're... His neighbour. Yeah. At number 64? 68. 70.
You're at 68? The driver involved is still here. That's it. Something
happened to your suspension and you smashed into the car? My eyes
are...eyeglasses...little problem. You can't see? I think we soon
discounted that. And he came up with the suggestion that he'd got
on the wrong glasses and actually couldn't see. You can't see? No, I
can't see. You can't see anything? Why are you driving if you can't
see? I'm sorry. I'm sorry. It's no good being sorry, you could kill
someone, couldn't you? No, I'm not driving fast. You're not driving
fast? OK, so you just knock someone down very slowly then. Yes. Yeah,
OK. I think we've got a problem with you, young man, don't you?
Always, I'm just a hard-working person. OK, right. You got a
licence on you? I got it in... got a driving licence? No.
don't have a driving licence? have but not in my pocket. OK, do
you have insurance for the vehicle? Yeah. OK. It's a construction
company. Production company? Construction. Construction company.
Can you come and sit in our car for us, all right? The man with the
glasses has managed to drive into somebody's parked car. Basically,
you've got a parked car here. The guy the sergeant's speaking to at
the moment has... I'm not sure which way he's been going yet, I
think he's been coming down the road. And for an unknown reason
he's gone into the side of him. And it transpires his vision isn't very
good and he's already said he shouldn't be driving cos he can't
see. You're driving but you can't see through your glasses, why?
can see in my glasses. Someone goes in here, a headlight. Yeah... OK.
Right, you need... You can understand my problem. Yeah, you
need to go to the opticians, don't you? Yeah, yeah, I always go to
Space Savers. Getting his glasses from Space Savers could be the
problem. Raminder. 28. Yeah. Yeah. 74. 74? Yeah. The neighbours
have taken a dim view of what's gone on. Just thought I hope his
insurance will cover the damage, that's all. Look at the car, the
whole back end's gone in. Right, let's see how bad your eyesight is
then, shall we? He's going to be made to read a licence plate, a
test recognised by the Highway Code. Tell me what that car registration
number is. With the glasses on. can't see, you know. The spray.
Right, with your glasses on, tell me what that number is. To pass, he
must be able to read it from 20 metres away. You can't see it, OK.
Walk a bit further, closer. OK? Erm... Yeah. You can see it, where?
Now? J O J. J O J. OK, that's fine. Do us a favour, hold that. Just
there. Because of something on his glasses, concrete spray, he says,
he can only see the number from 10 metres. He's failed the test. If
only he'd gone to Space Savers. 'The test is 20 metres,' and he
could see after 10 metres, this number plate. Which was a bit of a
concern to me, the fact that he was driving in the dark in these
glasses only being able to see that much. Right, that there, providing
you can see it, is details of the car you hit, OK. It's got the
gentleman's name, his insurance company, his address I feel guilty.
I feel shame. But I am only British single guy who is going to work on
concrete bridges. Tall, skinny guy. You can see my arm, you can see
everything. But I feel ashamed. I am not going to any drive more.
is the norm for any road accident, the driver is going to be put
through the procedure of a breath test. Have you drunk any alcohol in
the last 24 hours? No? Good man. OK, because you were involved in a road
traffic collision, OK, we require a specimen of breath. Have you ever
done this before? No. Right. Never in my life. OK, no problem. You
understand what I'm telling you, yeah? OK, seal your lips around the
tube, long continual breath, blow. Keep blowing, keep blowing, keep
blowing, and stop. OK, what it does now, it analyses your breath for me.
And it'll tell me if anything, if you've got any alcohol in your
system. From what you were telling me it should come up zero. But it
hasn't. Even for a seasoned traffic cop like Craig, the reading that
has come up is a complete shock. Have you seriously not drunk any
alcohol? It's well over the 35 limit. You're lying to me. You're
under arrest. OK. The man appears to be blind drunk. You don't have
to say anything but it may harm your defence if you fail to mention
something which you later rely on it court.... Come on. This way.
Nice try. 134. At that reading, you expect to be seeing signs, some
form of sign, be it slurred speech, staggering a bit, not making sense
with your words. Actually, being four times the limit, as he is,
most people wouldn't still be standing. 'I think both myself and
Craig thought the machine might have been a little bit wrong,'
because the guy walked, talked, didn't smell of any alcohol, and as
far as I was concerned he was as sober as anyone. A little bit of
what? Only a vodka and one beer. Vodka and beer? Only. How much
vodka did you have? Erm... ..that much. Just that much, and a beer?
No, beer is fuller. But only that much. OK. So you're telling me
you've only today, you've only had one vodka and one... Beer. And...
Two beer. And two beers? Yeah. I'm not a bad guy. No, no, no, no. No-
one's saying you're a bad guy, but we'll see what your reading is.
Because I can't see. It's concrete spray. I think what we'll go with,
you can't see and you've had a bit too much to drink. Yeah. Yeah, I
think that's fairer... I can understand. It's my fault. I mean,
him himself, he's a very personable guy. But at the end of the day,
he's a potential killer. And that's why we have to get him off the road.
The roadside breathalyser is normally pretty accurate. Even so,
the man who's still showing no outward signs of being drunk is
going to be tested again on a specially calibrated machine.
know, he was walking steadily and he was talking all right, his eyes
looked OK. Everything said that he was sober. For the offence of?
Positive breath test at a road traffic collision. While we're
waiting, can you put everything in your pockets on here for me,
please? 'We took him back to custody, where we booked him in
with the custody sergeant.' He obviously saw the funny side of it,
as well. Cos people just haven't seen it, to get the blind and the
drunk in one go, and especially to be standing like he was. He did
throw a lot of officers. What are they? Equally bizarre is what's in
his pockets. You don't know what they are? After drink. You have
them after a drink. Oh, my God. That could be the problem. What are
they? I've no...I don't know! are in fact poppy heads, used to
make poppy tea, which can contain morphine. Are these poppies?
Despite being in his pockets, the man doesn't seem to know anything
about them. Hang on, they're in your pocket. Not my jacket. It's
not your jacket? No. My friend's jacket. It's your friend's? After
we drink, I wear it. And then drive the car. It was quite comical, the
way he come out with everything just to try and push it all the way,
and no, it's nothing to do with him. Right, come on then. Go on, keep
going, keep going, go on, go on, go on, keep going, keep going, keep
going, keep going, keep going, go on, lovely. We've done it. All
right. OK, do you want to sit down before you fall down? Right, well
unfortunately you're just over the limit by a little bit, sort of,
about four times the limit. Yeah? Yeah, four times the limit.
reading backs up the initial roadside test. He's going to need
some real tea to help him sober up. 'He had a wife and he's got
children as well. 'And he did state the day after, he was going up
north with his family, 'and he'd be under the influence of alcohol with
those in the car.' So it's just a... In Luton, Shona is back on duty,
and on the lookout for more bad drivers. She doesn't find it hard,
because for some reason she's got a knack of being in the right place
at the right time. 'Being on traffic gives me a chance to do
what I enjoy doing best really, reacting to circumstances 'and
being able to go hunting. 'Nine times out of ten you're bound to
come across something.' And that unfortunately, or fortunately for
me, just happens to be my way, that things come to me without me having
to look too hard. Already something has caught her eye. What are these
two getting up to over here? 'My attention was drawn to two guys at
the side of a quite nice Jaguar car parked up. 'It just looked like
it'd been dumped, just literally driven in and stopped.' Hello! Yeah,
who's car's that then? This? Yeah. It's mine. It's yours, is it?
Are you driving it? Yeah, well not at the moment, no. Why? What's the
matter with it? It's got something wrong with it underneath. Oh, has
it? Yeah. Oh, heavens. Where have you driven from this morning then?
We went from our home. Which is where? In Bray. Right, and where
are you going to? We've got to wait here now. My dad's coming. Right,
what's wrong with it then? Let's have a look. It's got a problem
under here. Golf Alpha Seven, is there any unit that can come and
assist me, please, on Dunstable road, next to the ESSO garage?
'Yeah, we're behind you.' You do learn how to read people, and you
do know how... When they're lying to you, you can pick it up pretty
quickly, cos they...they waffle. And they're a little bit woolly
with their answers, so to speak. So did you drive here, then? No.
did you get here? Here? Yeah. How have you got onto this forecourt.
My...my friend come and drove us here. And now he's gone. Have a
look. Step away. Step away, just step to the back of the car for me.
Just go and step to the back of the car. I'm not going to bend down if
you're that close to me. Just move away and I'll have a look. Have you
got the keys to your car? What's the...? Nothing, they're
both...hang on. Can I have the keys to your car, just two seconds?
Just... Sorry, he's searching this guy's jacket. Right. Which made me
think, has he got something on him? He's seen all the police cars and
wants to dump stuff. So I pulled up. They're being cagey about how they
got here. They said there's something wrong with the car and
someone's collecting it. So I want to check it and get some details.
Is that all right? Sorry. Enough to give us a search? The man in the
baseball cap's story really doesn't add up. It's his car and he had the
keys, yet he says somebody else, who's not there, has been driving
it. Well, no, that's why I'm wondering how your car's got here.
I told you, my friend. And then it bloody went kaput underneath.
there's nothing hanging down. well, I don't...I don't... I don't
really see... So who? Is it your...? That's all right, no, it's
fine. Yeah, but I don't really see why all these police cars are here.
You know, what for? Nobody was driving it when you come here.
that's fine. You know that, so... was get... I think I was getting my
jacket out of the back. So it's your car, is it, Paul? Yeah, it is
my car but my brother's the one on the log book. Oh, right, OK. Paul
has got an explanation why he wasn't driving his car. It's very
annoying. I mean, I can't drive because I'm... I've had a crash in
2002 and I mean, it was a stolen car, and, you know, my girlfriend
died and because of that I'm... I think I've changed my life. And,
you know, I loved her and so to drive, for me, would just be stupid
and I wouldn't do it. Paul is a disqualified driver. Thank you, I
appreciate that. See, I haven't had... Haven't no bad dealings with
the police for quite some time now. I used to be a real bad one, you
know. Yeah, but I'm not any more. Without any proof he was driving
today, Shona's going to have to let him go. But it really rankles.
though he'd come up with his story, I still believed that he'd been
driving. He'd seen the amount of police vehicles in the area, and
had thought, actually I'd better stop driving before I get caught
driving, and then leave the car and then come back when all the police
cars have disappeared. That's what I had in the back of my mind. But
there is a glimmer of hope for Shona. She's going to check the
garage's CCTV system to see if anything might have been caught on
one of their cameras. And it has. And the CCTV showed the chap with
the baseball cap getting out of the driver's door. So this story of his
mate driving him onto the forecourt, having broken down and left it
there and waiting for recovery was clearly just that. From just a
little bit of police work and some questioning, we've got a
disqualified driver who we've not even seen driving but he's been
caught on CCTV driving. It's the end of the road for Paul. Even
though his driving ban from 2002 was up, he had never bothered to
retake his test and become a legal driver again. So you know, like
it's driving whilst disqualified, ain't it? Yeah. Yeah. When were you
disqualified? A long time ago? Yeah. Was that me that got you
disqualified? No, no. Unless you was there when... Paul's looking at
a further disqualification from driving and will have his Jag
seized. A bitter pill for him to swallow. It is pretty bad, because
it's going to be quite horrific for him to not only be in an accident
where somebody's died, but to have lost a loved one. It does make you
think, oh, it must be quite hard for him to even get back in a car,
let alone consider driving it, especially when you've been
Following the terrifying crossover accident near Toddington on the M1,
the traffic is running normally again, and Bob's side of the
investigation is all but over. He's discounted there being any
mechanical problems with the lorry itself. Using the plan, we can plot
the vehicles through, identifying impact points and vehicle movements.
And although his sketches tell the story of how it all happened, they
can't begin to tell why it happened. However, there's been a discovery
that could help answer the question. In the cabin of the wagon that he
was driving, we found various documents that related to him and
his driver's history. Whenever people drive heavy good vehicles
professionally, they must keep a tachograph, which is effectively a
record of how long they've been driving, how fast they've driven
and how far they've driven. There were a few discrepancies over the
course of a few months. On a few occasions he'd exceeded his daily
driving allowance. He'd failed to take breaks and so forth. He had
worked the previous night, finished in the wee small hours, and then
had a telephone call from his drivers' agency telling him that
this particular company were a man short and that he would be required
to work. That left him a fairly short amount of time between shifts.
We worked out he'd been without food for 17 hours. And we just
couldn't believe that. 'There's always a cause to an accident.
'Whether that be a mechanical failure, whether that be someone's
poor driving, 'there's always a cause to an accident.' We obviously
need to find out what his version of events are. Three weeks after
the accident, they are at last going to hear his side of the story.
In order to do it formally, he's been summoned to the police station
to be arrested, on suspicion of dangerous driving. We need to
ascertain some detail from him that we're not able to just talk to him
about. We need to do it formally so that we can gather his version of
events as evidence. He remembered passing the services, and as he
passed the entrance to the services he remembered feeling a bit woozy,
sweaty, clammy and generally unwell. He considered moving to the hard
shoulder, but that was coned off. He then thought that he could make
it to the safety of the junction, and that was the last thing that he
remembered. However, he also revealed that when he was in
hospital, it was discovered that he had a pre-existing medical
condition that could cause him to lose consciousness. As a
consequence, the Crown Prosecution Service decided it could not
proceed with the case, despite a lack of sustenance also being a
possible cause. I presented the evidence to the CPS to say, 'this
is what the hospital have said, this is what we BELIEVE might have
happened.' Andy and I think he had low blood sugar, he's passed out at
the wheel, because of the amount of time that he has gone without food.
And because of that, the CPS said we can't run it, purely can't run
it. Because if a credible medical expert comes up and says, yes, he
had that condition, it would be thousands of pounds wasted at court.
The driver of the crushed Passat who survived the impact with the
lorry, Nigel Sweeney, has been left feeling frustrated, but lucky to be
alive. Jeez. This... Seeing it like that is... Understand why, you know,
the damage was done. As soon as I got into hospital, I thought to
myself, well, how could that have happened? What...what was...? Why
did the lorry swerve? It's the first time he's seen the pictures
of the crash. See, even now, I can't remember it like that. I
can't... I just... Just remember walking away. It's actually quite
horrendous. It's worse than I thought it was. Took a time for the
lorry to hit me and I keep thinking to myself maybe I could have
avoided him. Could I have done something to... To have stayed out
of his way? Huh...Jeez. Oh, God. I'm glad I've seen it now because
it... It's actually different to what I remember, and now I can
actually piece it all together, to be honest. I felt that I cheated
death, basically. I really thought I was going to die when I saw the
lorry come bearing down on me. disqualified Jag driver who wasn't
so lucky when he was caught in the act on a garage's CCTV, was banned
from driving for a further three years and given a 12-week suspended
prison sentence. The man Shona thought was
somebody's granddad was fined a �100 and given six points for
driving without insurance or a valid licence. He wasn't charged
with shoplifting. His two passengers were though, the male
was given a four month suspended prison sentence for two counts of
theft and his accomplice a community order for a number of
different offences. The young driver chased and caught by the
cops turned out to be only 16 years old. He wasn't a burglar after all,
but he had pinched his mum's car, for which he was given a three-
month Youth Referral Order. And the tall skinny guy didn't only
lie about the amount he had drunk, he also lied about his identity. He
The traffic cops are called in to deal with a horrific crash on the busy M1. Usually, on the motorway, accidents are confined to a single direction, but on this occasion an out-of-control forty-tonne lorry has careered over the central reservation straight into oncoming traffic, with terrifying consequences.