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  #16  
Old 20 Apr 2008
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what do you expect from a third world country?

Whilst I agree with some of the critisism of a traveller not knowing the laws of the land I'm afraid the way the police dealt with this person is indicative of the authoritarian almost third world nature of policing in this country. If this happened abroad it would cause all manner of outrage and contempt for that country.

This man was not a criminal and a little common sense on behalf of the police could have sorted this out in minutes.

On the list of the world's countries the UK has to be one to avoid. Unless of course you a Chinese government thug attacking UK residents in their own country in which case you get full police protection.

United Kingdom = Third World Country
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  #17  
Old 20 Apr 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by craig76 View Post
Are you sure this is the British Police and not the Stasi or Gestapo we're talking about here?

So to sum up, we've got a uninsured, unlicenced driver who thinks it's everyone's fault except his own that his trip has been ruined and his car was seized and will probably be crushed. Is that about right or have I missed something here?
To you first question, Craig76; at least I am sure that it was neither Gestapo nor Stasi. First of all since they do not exist any more and second since none of those organisations task was some sort of trafic-control. Third, nobody except you brought the "methods" of the British Police near to the other two organisations you have mentioned. But I must admit: I have no experience with the British Police and cannot comment on their "methods".

You sum up / I comment:

A) Correct; he did obviously not have an insurance which was valid for UK.
B) I cannot confirm that he did not have a drivers licence. Cannot imagine that he could have crossec that many countires with out a drivers licence.
C) Nobody mentioned that it was "everybodies fault than his own". A fact remains that he obviously could not solve the problem in UK. And this is a pitty - if he was wrong or not!
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  #18  
Old 20 Apr 2008
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Originally Posted by Fastship View Post
United Kingdom = Third World Country
Personally I do not like the expression "Third World Country" in context with any country in the world. Let us better say that each country has its speciaities.


Two more statements from my side:

Now, Marc is acused from many sides because he was wrong. I even got the impression, that some posters think that it is right, if the UK Authorities crash his car. Is this the same forum, where people were seeking for and receiving advice for ways to avoid the guide (who is mandatory by law) when travelling Libya (for example)?

I met Marc in Libya last year. We had lng discussions, about his car. How to bring it in - and then later back to Egypt. So; I could not confirm that he was just a careless traveller at all.

---

I would say that something went wrong in UK. And soemhow I cannot avoid the impression that the UK Authorities could have provided a little bit more help / advice to make it possible that he could have continued his journey (to the Americas).

---

Had just recent experiences with two Embassies. The one of an important country belonging to the EU was just doing, what one could prove they had to do. The other one of a not so important country appologized that they were not allowed to do what was requested but gave helpful information on how to solve the problem properly. Case A took 6 weeks to be solved and a similar case B took 4 days then.
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  #19  
Old 20 Apr 2008
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Kuno2
Despite your spirited defence of your pal, following your initial post, I still stand by the first line of the first reply - mine. Look back and re-read it. Just the first line says it all

The guy has been exceedingly stupid, naieve or arrogant in my view. Possibly all three.

Whatever happens in NZ, did he really think it was acceptable to wander into countries around the World where transport systems and judiciaries may be more developed (for better or worse) or at least different, without ever taking the simple steps to enquire what are the legal minimum requirements to enter and use their roads?

The simplest of Google searches for 'UK' plus any 2 or 3 of the following words would give him plenty of information. Importing. Visiting. Vehicles. Insurance. Driving. Legal requirements.

You say the guy was 'waved through by Customs and went on his merry way'. That suggests he chose not to declare or enquire, thereby implying he accepted he was aware and responsible for what he was doing, and was doing nothing wrong. Using the Green Channel (or not stopping) means exactly that. If in doubt he should have asked then - but he preferred to put his 'merry way' first.

The report within your initial post seems highly and unreasonably biased and critical of the UK and/or its Police, Judiciary, and punishment/deterrant processes. Even the title you gave to your thread was less than gratious.

As is the view of the other posters here, I find his/your attitude unreasonable. The guy went to the UK without any regard to the Laws there or finding out about them. Now, it seems from your last post, he/you think others should have informed him - but surely the onus is on a traveller is to learn rather than be taught. Or are my values too old fashioned?

I can understand him smarting from having been found out,and not liking the consequences, but to start 'slagging off' the working of the host country he has chosen to visit, following an almost total disregard of their conventions and rules, really takes the biscuit.

I feel I can contribute nothing further to this thread.
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  #20  
Old 21 Apr 2008
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The bureaucracy (see Marc), the inefficiency (Heathrow), the food, the weather, the cost, the scruffy hotels, the arrogant natives, the terror politics ... why would anyone travel to that backwards developing country anyway ... ?

Sorry for being sarcastic, but Marc's story is a good eye-opener about the double-standards in our "richer" home countries.
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  #21  
Old 21 Apr 2008
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Hi Tony; my first post was clearly defined as a quote of a message which had reached me. I do agree that it is the travellers obligation to find out about the conditions, rules and laws of the host country BEFORE he enters, if he wants to avoid trouble with the host (for example; we must be aware that the British are driving on the "right" side).

I can understand as well that the British have tightened their traffic law. If it is true that UK is somewhat like invaded by Polish and a mass of cars which are not according to the regulation - they had to do something (and honestly; all those cars were destined for scrap anyway. Only; the former owner avoided the cost, sold it away to Poland and they bring it to UK now :-)).

But you are right. I am biased a little bit since I do live in a non-european country. I have learned here that the law is the law and that means it is what people make out of it. If people have the good intention - then most of the cases can be solved in a proper manner without big difficulties.
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  #22  
Old 21 Apr 2008
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Upon reflection perhaps my characterisation of the UK as a "Third world country" was a little unfair. On Third world countries! Banana republic would be more accurate.



There here are two stories here; the naivety of a traveller in not understanding the need for insurance and the authoritarian, draconian way in which the police chose to deal with the crime. This outsider’s view puts the modern UK into some perspective and shows what it has become which we living here do not always realise.




Let us turn this around and suppose that that person did indeed have insurance and then had all his hard earned worldly possessions stolen, a highly likely probability in this thieving country. The very most this person could expect from the police would be a crime number for his insurance claim. In asking what the police might actually do to recover his stolen property he might meet the same response I did when the third of my bikes was stolen from me in as many years and told (and I quote) to “piss off and stop wasting our time”. Pressing further for some real investigation, three weeks later I myself got a visit from the CID and was investigated for stealing my own bikes. Un-bloody-believable.

Third world country or banana republic? Not really, it’s not like we will have corrupt arms deals, mandatory identity cards, internal borders, mass surveillance, DNA databases, internment without trial etc etc etc…not for a couple of years at least!
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  #23  
Old 21 Apr 2008
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Red face

@ Fastship. Which is the country you are talking about?

(My bike was stolen once as well - not in UK!- and thanks god, our police has catched the thief just shortly afterwards. I got it back in best condition even with a filled tank!. Months later, at a weekend which was also a religious holiday, I entered our lovely country from "outside" at a lonely & remote border control... I had to spend quite a good while with them, since the police had failed to delete the case from the books...)
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  #24  
Old 21 Apr 2008
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no insurance

I just cannot believe some of the attitudes expressed on this thread.....and these are supposed to be from seasoned open-minded travellers.....KUNO2...you have come on to slag the U.K. and defend your mate with NO INSURANCE....I would have loved to see your attitude if you were say, in the U.K., driving home on your new 1200GS just collected from the dealer and Marc whacks it and bends the frame with his un-insured car...!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!
The whole point of this website is for info on traveling away..how much effort does it take to ask a question on here about U.K.insurance...anyone with some sense..( actually quite a few on here) can see that your friend has just GONE FOR IT...ie lets see how far I can get with no insurance= good tale to tell in the pub at the end of it all.....only his luck has run out in the U.K. and NOW you come on the HUBB to bleat about it.
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  #25  
Old 21 Apr 2008
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I'd like to point out that if he travelled through France, and had been stopped he'd have had pretty much the same treatment. The French are clamping down hard on uninsured cars and will confiscate them too. They'll either then be sold or crushed depending on their market value. They recently impounded something like 50 uninsured Jersey orwned cars which were parked in the long term car park at Dinard airport and were being used by Jersey residents when they flew over. Bye bye cars.

Also Marc would probably have had a harder time as he would have had to communicate in French.

Kuno2 - I guess you can answer this, did Marc's journey take him through any other European countries or did he ship directly from Africa to the UK?

So as has been said over and over the moral of the story is check the rules of the road before you drive in the country, ignorance is and never has been any defence under law.

Oh and Fastship I'd suggest you emigrate, mate, I did.
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  #26  
Old 21 Apr 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobbyrandall View Post
Inew 1200GS
@bobbyrandall; the first time a see a picture of the "new 1200GS"!

Hey, come on; I think I made it quite clear that I am fully in line with that each vehicle has to be insured. That's out of question. I even have a full insurance for my old Landrover although the local legal requirement would be satisfied with some sort of a proforma insurance to the cost of a few local crackers.
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  #27  
Old 21 Apr 2008
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Originally Posted by Alexlebrit View Post
I'd like to point out that if he travelled through France, and had been stopped he'd have had pretty much the same treatment. The French are clamping down hard on uninsured cars and will confiscate them too. They'll either then be sold or crushed depending on their market value. They recently impounded something like 50 uninsured Jersey orwned cars which were parked in the long term car park at Dinard airport and were being used by Jersey residents when they flew over. Bye bye cars.
But this story must have happened centuries ago; yes?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Alexlebrit View Post
Also Marc would probably have had a harder time as he would have had to communicate in French.
Oh, yes, definitely! Although some people may doubt that those from NZ speak English ;-)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alexlebrit View Post
Kuno2 - I guess you can answer this, did Marc's journey take him through any other European countries or did he ship directly from Africa to the UK?
As far as I know, he crossed GREECE, SWITZERLAND (ooooooooooooook, that is not really Europe) and GERMANY as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alexlebrit View Post
So as has been said over and over the moral of the story is check the rules of the road before you drive in the country, ignorance is and never has been any defence under law.
Correct. Nothing to be added.
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  #28  
Old 21 Apr 2008
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Originally Posted by Kuno2 View Post
@ Fastship. Which is the country you are talking about?
I am talking about the United Kingdom

In London not so long ago two policemen held down a Brazilian man on an underground train whilst a third emptied and entire clip from his Glock into the back of the man's head. The Chief of Police later attempted to lie about the facts and stop any independent investigation. No one was ever prosecuted. The Brazilian's crime? He looked foreign.
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Last edited by Fastship; 21 Apr 2008 at 11:57.
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  #29  
Old 21 Apr 2008
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Originally Posted by Alexlebrit View Post

Oh and Fastship I'd suggest you emigrate, mate, I did.


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  #30  
Old 21 Apr 2008
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Why was this guy handcuffed?
Was he offering resistance towards the policemen?

BTW, how is it possible that nobody asked him about insurance when stamping his passport when entering the EU or the UK (border passport control, not customs)? (It even seems that when entering the UK -not a Schengen country- his passport was not stamped, which means they allowed him to enter the UK illegally -unless they were very busy, which is the only exception which justifies not to stop him and stamp his passport under the EU regulations-)

Last edited by qwer1234; 21 Apr 2008 at 14:26.
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