Six ridiculous excuses for risking your life on the training estate

Last week we looked at some ways to risk your life on the Defence training estate. When we catch people ignoring the rules, they use a variety of excuses for their actions. Here's a countdown of some of the more ridiculous we’ve come across (number one is a classic):

6. Coming in at number six, “I didn’t see the signs.”

One of the many warning signs all over the defence training estate. [Crown Copyright, MOD]
One of the many warning signs all over the Defence training estate. [Crown Copyright, MOD]
There are signs like this all across the training estate. They’re easy to spot. Don’t ignore them!

5. At number five, “I’ve been coming here for over 20 years. I've never had a problem.”

You’ve been lucky then. But it’s not an excuse to ignore signs, flags and byelaws and put yourself and others at risk. Sometimes a site which hasn’t been used for a while will suddenly be in use. Training patterns can change. Just because it’s been that way for a period of time doesn’t mean things can’t change. Don’t put yourself or others at risk.

 4. Not trying hard enough, in fourth place, “My mate’s in the military, he said it was OK.”

You’ve been wrongly advised. It’s not OK!

A runner is surprised by the sudden appearance of a Foxhound armoured vehicle. [Crown Copyright, MOD]
There are many dangers on the training estate, whether you're in a vehicle, on foot, or on a bicycle. [Crown Copyright, MOD]
3. At number three: an off-duty soldier who was in the Danger Area said: “I’m in the military; I know what I’m doing!”

Military personnel and their dependants are members of the public when off-duty so need to follow all the rules and be alert to the dangers too – no one is exempt from following the rules. 

2. Just missing the top spot: having driven around a barrier with a sign saying Danger. Keep out: “The Greenlaning app says this is a public right of way”

Not for the first time, the internet is wrong. Many Rights of Way on MOD land are permissive, which means we have the right to close them when we need to. Once you’re on the training estate you must adhere to the signs that you see. The physical signs prevail. No app invalidates what you see on the ground.

A Byway Open To All Traffic sign on Salisbury Plain. [Crown Copyright, MOD]
1. At number one, the single most ridiculous excuse ever: “Yes, I saw the red flags, but they were pointing in that direction”

Flags generally do point in the direction that the wind is blowing. However, whenever they’re flying it means no entry!

Red flags and red lights warn of danger - do not enter. [Crown Copyright, MOD]
Red flags and red lights warn of danger - do not enter. [Crown Copyright, MOD]
Ignorance isn’t an excuse, so please follow the rules to stay safe on the military training estate.

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