back to article Royal Mail disses runaway post van man

The Royal Mail has taken a less than grateful attitude towards a Bristol man who prevented a runaway post van "careering over a busy main road", as the Times puts it. Dad of two and artist Robert Moore, 63, spotted the Transit rolling backwards after the driver forgot to apply the handbrake, in an incident last September. He …


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  1. Neil


    I will hencefortch boycott the Royal Mail.

    Except when I need to post something. I'm kind of stuck there.

  2. Rob Beard
    Paris Hilton

    He should get a medal

    If you ask me he should get a medal.

    I was in a similar situation albeit it was down to my own stupid fault by trying to push my car to the petrol station when it ran out of fuel. Unfortanately I couldn't catch up with the car to get in and I just managed to steer into a telegraph pole (yes it was the sort of thing that Mr Bean would do). Luckily in my case no one was hurt (although the car was a bit dented).

    Paris because I do occasionally have blonde moments.


  3. Oliver Mayes

    He wrote to them?

    He actually wrote to them asking for 'a reward or compensation'? If he had really done it out of concern for others he wouldn't care about getting money. This is just a case of someone trying to get money for nothing. Sure he probably helped by stopping the van but it's his own fault that he got hurt and I don't see any grounds for him to demand money for it.

  4. Lol Whibley
    IT Angle


    i can't find IT.. must be a hidden level or something..

    reg is beginning to = failure to focus

  5. Nick


    Surely the correct response from the Royal Mail legal team would have been

    'The Cheques in the Post' and never actually send it.

  6. Steve

    Could be worse

    Could have been worse, they could have accused him of theft or of attempting to gain entry by opening the door...

  7. Michael Fremlins


    Couldn't the Royal Mail sent him a book of stamps as a token reward?

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Royal Mail correct for once

    But they really should have phrased it better. The most they should do his put this chap forward for a "local hero" award or some such. They do not owe him a penny.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton


    Wonder what sort of compensation Bruce Willis would ask of the Nakamoto Corporation after trashing their main office.

    If you want to act the hero, accept the consequences of your actions. What about al those people who drown after jumping in the water trying to save someone else? Are their relatives entitled to some sort of compensation? Shouldn't think so. I applaud the man for trying to stop a moving van, and a letter of gratitude would have been nice, but compensation? come on!

    Paris, because she, too, doesn't wear hockey-pants.

  10. Mike Shepherd

    Happier days

    It was all much simpler when the Post Office had Crown Immunity and there was hardly any point having a handbrake at all.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Nothing to see here, move along...

    Typical NuLab sounding response from the RM. Just like the PCSOs who stood around watching some kids drowning!

    Maybe RM felt that he should have phoned a copper who would have duly arrived within in 10 mins. Well if the van travelled slower than a snail, maybe!! But if the f*cking thing was about to hit someone you do what you can to prevent it.

    Maybe RM will give the bloke a book of stamps!

    Thumbs up for the bloke's bravery.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Lawyers Scum

    Blood lawyers! Complete scum of the earth. The world would be a better place without them.

    Paris... cause she knows how to swing her legs in the air without causing bodily damage!

  13. Sir Runcible Spoon


    they are correct. Morally they are bankrupt.

    What kind of lawsuits would have ensued had this selfless man not put his own life at risk for others?

    Let's hope they are properly ashamed and see him right. I expect updates on this one REG!

  14. Paul


    Please remove the adverts which cover half the page with no way to close them (The stupid MS Advert)

  15. Paul


    Did he write to them and royal mail work out who he has, in the past, used for legal advice, or did he get a solicitor to write to them demading money?

    It seems like the second, and he deserves a responce like that. I don't doubt it was a nice act, but he got exactly what I would expect in that situation, the driver said sorry and thank you, and nothing more was said. He has probably got the driver fired now.

  16. Simon Painter

    too right

    Royal Mail are spot on here, they are not liable for his stupidity and if he is so proud of having 'saved' a bunch of kids then that should be reward enough in itself.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Suitably ashamed?!?!

    Not at all. I totally agree with Royal Mail.

    It's his fault for leaving the handbrake off in the first place. If he hadn't jumped on to try and stop it rolling back, and the van had injured anyone, he'd have been prosecuted for driving without due care an attention (or similar).

    All he got was a few grazes and bruises on his legs, nothing life-threatening or permanent. I get more than that most times I fall off my mountain-bike (which is also self-induced).

    Good for Royal Mail not caving in to this crap (although the last para implies they have now :().

  18. Dave


    What did he expect a bunch of lawyers to say?

    Or did he expect that his begging letter would be met with open arms?

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down


    Can one of your coder monkeys please take a look at the annoying video ads which keep blocking part of the text instead of sitting nicely in the space left for them?! It's frikkin' annoying.

    I'm using IE6 (work supplied before you start!) so nothing unusual...

  20. Sooty

    what a retarded country

    where someone would, after doing something seemingly brave, then go on to ask for compensation for doing it.

    Royal mail was absolutely right to refuse, his injuries are no-ones fault but his own.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I find this story doesn't quite sit right.

    Who performs a public spirited action like this and then ASKS for a reward? Surely the fact that he saved *all those pensioners and children be reward enough?

    *in reality, the van was rolling toward a parked car and nowhere near any pedestrians.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    What an idiot

    He should have run after it shouting "get out of the way" and waving his hands madly. Attempting to open the door of a transit van whilst its moving is only going to end badly, and it did. Okay unless there was a group of children having a picnic directly in its path or something then yes but there wasn't was there. Probably just a wall or hedge or tree. I stopped a car rolling backwards across the BP garage on the A3 once from hitting the big kerb that divides the lorry bit but I wasn't stupid enough to actually put myself in danger. I'd probably think twice now though, what if I was sued for damaging their paint with my finger prints?

  23. alan

    I am in two minds

    1 - I really hate people sueing for compensation, its just wrong, work for a living and accept your own mistakes and accidents do happen you dont need to blame some one

    2 - Royal mail could say thank you and at least send the guy some flowers. If the van had hit somebody or something then they (their insurers) would have to pay up

  24. Tim Schomer


    but this will be seen a LOT more in the future as companies seek to exclude themselves from any liability. Daft thing is it'd probably cost themless to give him a small reward than to pay the legal team for the letter, and they might even get som positive publicity from it, whereas this will only turn out badly for them.

    It'll be interesting to see if the driver retains his job...

  25. Winkypop Silver badge

    But more importantly....

    ...did the Postman's CAT survive unhurt?

  26. The Fuzzy Wotnot

    @Oliver Mayes

    Sadly I have to agree. Yes it was very brave thing to do, in fact I probably would do the same thing, but actually asking for something afterwards, does seem a little big greedy.

    Whenever I see these stories splashed across the gutter press, that little cynical demon lurking at the back of my mind always makes me think that there is more to this than meets the eye. We never get to the read all the facts only the writers opinions of the facts.

  27. Egons Proton Pack
    Paris Hilton

    Re: He wrote to them?

    I agree.

    I wonder what he hoped the reward would be?

    Paris because she has probably suffered from grazed knees at some point.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Not a Boy Scout obviously

    I agree, he should get a medal, but to ask for money after having done a good deed is a bit over the top.

  29. Chris Thomas

    Compensation Culture or Deserved Reward

    I aint sure about this one, I mean, on the one hand, he stopped one of their vans from possibly killing people, cause lets face it a van moving at 20mph only has to knock you under it and you're pretty much a goner (better if you go over the top, at least you're precious face and skull doesnt get squished).

    But on the other, did he have to ask?

    I think they should have offered him a reward for what he did, but I also think that he shouldn't have asked for it, because by asking, don't he paint himself as a ambulance chaser? It's kinda easy to see their point of view on this, I mean, nobody asked him too and maybe they were going to give him something, then got this letter asking for compensation.

    It's like arriving at a birthday party only to be asked for your present for the birthday boy, when you were about to give it, now doesnt it feel like your purpose at the party isnt to celebrate the birthday, but just to provide presents? If you had given the present from your own hands, it feels better, cause you "gave" it, not "handed it over" because it was asked for.

    Although nowadays a company can't admit fault in any way cause then they open themselves to liability from people who are less than honest, so what is a company to do? say thanks, give a gift, perhaps pay for some treatment (thanks for NOT getting us a lawsuit for manslaughter and putting that idiot driver in jail) THEN open themselves up for "HA HA!!! I'm in your bank accounts, cleaning your moneys!!" Cause by giving the gift, you acknowledge the fact that something happened and you feel responsible, some people would just jump all over them, what if the gift wasnt enough for the guy, ok, hire a lawyer to get a better gift.

    So of course the company won't do anything because they, like others, are afraid of people suiing them, which is completely understandable. But at the same time, the guy does deserve something for possibly saving lives

    Catch-22 I think, what you reckon?

  30. Charles Calthrop
    Thumb Down


    What a shitty culture we live in where some guy goes after compensation for doing a good deed, gets a shitty letter from some faceless bastard corporation and then goes whingeing to the papers about old men and kids

    Really no one comes out of this with any credit whatsoever

  31. Bassey


    A real hero would have shrugged it off as all in a days work. You don't see Superman claiming his dry cleaning costs back off the state every time he rescues an elevator full of innocents, do you?

  32. N1AK

    Sod him

    "However, when Moore subsequently wrote to Royal Mail to see if he was "entitled to a reward or compensation", the company replied to his solicitors"

    Where exactly did they find out who his Solicitors were? Oh wait, let me guess... He wouldn't perchance have enlisted a solicitor to write this letter for him? If a company receives a letter from someone's legal representatives requesting payment from them what do you expect them to do? If they admit guilt they are basically setting themselves up to write a blank cheque for treatment. The guy wasn't looking for a thank you letter, he wanted cash and the Royal Mail didn't want to give it to him.

  33. Neil Porter
    IT Angle

    Oliver Mayes - shame on you!

    This guy prevented 1 or more people getting run over or an accident with other vehicles without regard for his own safety. In my book that makes him a "hero".

    Misery guts Oliver Mayes would rather not get involved and let these kids, old people and other motorists be subjected to fate and the incompetence of a royal mail employee.


  34. DZ-Jay

    Re: He wrote to them?

    Actually, it's much worse than that: He did not *write* to them, he sued! From the response letter, at least, it seems that Royal Mail was contacted by Mr. Moore's lawyers, and at the end they advise that the claim--pressumably a lawsuit--be withdrawn.

    Outrageous indeed!


  35. DZ-Jay

    Re: He wrote to them?

    Also, it would have helped if his "adventurous" antics would have, you know, worked. As it stands, he didn't manage to stop the vehicle. It was later on that it was finally halted with the help of others, proving that his stunt was dangerous and not only unnecessary, but useless; which is why none of the other participants were injured.


  36. Simon B

    I succeeded in stopping a run away car, gimme a reward!

    I'm with Oliver. He chose to take the risk by attempting to stop the vehicle. ASKING for something because he tried sounds like money grabbing to me. I don't knock the guy for what he did as it is very possible he has saved lives, but to ask for money for doing so is a bit much!

  37. Jeremy

    Damn right they should tell him to get lost!

    I remember back in the olden days, a better time when the first words to come out of a have-a-go hero's were not "Now where's my money?" and I'm a mere 25 years on this earth.

    What happened to the days of a cheesy photo call with the area manager gushing about how thankful they were in front of the local free rag and that being enough?

    Stupid thing is, if he took it to court, he'd probably win. Britain's personal injury legal system is becoming more and more like the USA's every single week. Coming soon to a street near you: Royal Mail vans with "Warning chasing this vehicle down a hill towards a busy road may result in injury" emblazoned on the side.

    </grumpy git>

  38. Daniel Voyce
    Thumb Up

    @Oliver Mayes

    Assuming he managed to hop into the van and apply the handbrake without getting smashed up in the process - Im pretty sure he wouldn't have bothered asking for compensation.

    However when faced with one of the many retarded people Royal Mail employs and in addition to his own injuries when trying to fix someone elses mistakes I think anyone would have asked for compensation - I certainly would have!

    There is a difference between a good deed (generally not involving you being battered and bruised from it) and one done out of necessity due to retarded employees.

    I say fair play to the guy - I hope he gets a decent payout!

    @Steve - I agree - I also wouldn't put it past this countries PC culture to do it!

    @Lol Whibley - Its in bootnotes for a reason - stop whining!

  39. Secretgeek

    @lol whibley

    Did you consider the small possiblity that that's why this article's in the 'Odds and Sods' category?

    If it had been a sysadmin chasing down a runaway server then maybe it might have been in one of the other categories.


  40. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Oliver Mayes

    You sir, are a bell-end. A bell-end I say.

    Could it possibly be that he saw a runaway van and the dangers it posed, and instead of just standing there thinking "Well, it's going away from me so I'll be OK, shame for those kids / elderly persons / small kittens etc. though" he actually tried to make a difference.

    Once the van was safe and the adrenaline wore off he realised that he was injured. Because of Royal Mail's negligence (no runaway van no need to try to stop it). I for one would expect him to get compensation if not a big fucking medal and the personal attention of a pair of page three models.

  41. Anonymous Coward


    If you hadn't noticed this particular article happens to be posted under Odds & Sods>Bootnotes. That is generally a pretty good indication that the article in question may not have an IT Angle. If the article did have anything at all to do with IT it would probably be posted under Hardware/Software/Security/etc...

    Your powers of observation = Fail.


  42. Jim


    Bloke averts disaster, demonstrating presence of mind and physical courage. What's not to like ? He deserves appreciation, and a reward is the simplest way of showing that. If he did the same for my car, I would sure give him a present.

    @Charles Calthrop: I dare say the bloke was driven to write by the silence of the Royal Mail. And he wasn't thinking about getting a reward when he acted.

  43. Chris


    I thinks its fair to say that a moving car presents a potentially lethal threat. The employee in this case is negligent and thus the royal mail is also negligent .

    While the man in question has no real claim for compensation it is fact that he helped bring (to his detriment) a very serious situation under control unless that is of course you find it acceptable that vehicles should be allowed to roll around driverless in public places?

    It is my opinion that at the very least the Royal Mail should admit negligence on their part, commend this man for his bravery and for saving their collective asses from a potential law suit and make some form of goodwill gesture.

    Long live email

  44. Cameron Colley

    Couldn't he have warned people?

    Surely the less dangerous, but almost as effective effective, way of dealing with this would be to warn people that the van was coming? That said, I'd have probably done the same in the circumstances -- but only because of the fun factor in playing the hero.

  45. hey_may

    @lol whibley By Secretgeek

    "If it had been a sysadmin chasing down a runaway server then maybe it might have been in one of the other categories."

    Yes, I believe the category would have been BOFH :o)

  46. Anonymous Coward

    Leave it in gear.

    I blame the muppet driver for not leaving it in reverse :-P

  47. Oliver Mayes

    @ Neil Porter & Lee

    I'm not dismissing what he did, he stopped the van and that's a good thing. But I just think It's really arrogant of him to then demand payment for something he did off his own back.

    There's no evidence that there was anyone else around at the time so as far as we can tell from the facts we have, there was no immediate danger to anyone other than the possibility of property damage. (Which would be paid off by the RMs insurance)

    He's clearly entitled to a thank-you from the Royal Mail and at most a commemorative stamp of him, but I don't see any reason to give him anything else.

  48. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Too many RETARDS can't read.

    RETARD <<it's his fault for leaving the handbrake off in the first place. If he hadn't jumped on to try and stop it rolling back, and the van had injured anyone, he'd have been prosecuted for driving without due care an attention (or similar).>>

    Read "The driver came down - he was a young guy - and said, 'Did I forget to put the hand brake on?'." Guess he wasn't the driver, then...

    <<in reality, the van was rolling toward a parked car and nowhere near any pedestrians.>>

    RETARD .Pedestrians move unpredictably. Parked cars (PO van excepted) generally don't.

    RETARD BLoad <<'Mr Moore has been summarily dismissed and we are reviewing our recruitment procedures to ensure we don't employ any more lemmings.'">> He wasn't employed by PO.

    Or maybe they're using a different version of English.

  49. Anonymous Coward

    the only difference

    between a have-a-go hero and an idiot, is the outcome and police prosecution.

    Why wasnt he charged with being in charge of a vehicle without permission? no insurance etc, trespassing (he wasnt a RM emlployee, no right to enter the van)

    come on Royal Mail, just telling him he shouldn't have wont stop others from saving kids being killed by runaway vans.

    No wonder no one wants to get involved nowadays, if this is the thanks they get for saving lives, but then the courts only value killing at 18 months probation and a holiday abroad at taxpayers expense

  50. Martin Lyne


    If he hadn't asked for reward, he should have been sent one.

    Couple of hundred quid, less than it would have cost in legal fees if it hit somoene and the van needed replacing/repairing.

    As it stands, he asked for compensation, negating the heroism somewhat.

  51. Stevie


    The Post Office should pay for his medical care and sanction the negligent driver. Fair, responsible and a near miss on a potential landmine of cost. More, they should have *offered* to do so at the time the incident was reported.

    Of course, that assumes the driver filed an incident report. If the responses in this comment section are typical for the rest of the country, it would suggest he probably omitted to do that on the grounds that the only person hurt was injured because he wouldn't mind his own business.

    Where do you lot think the bloody money would come from to settle the lawsuits that would arise had the van entered a busy cross street with no-one at the controls?

    Azathoth on a bike!

  52. Steve


    If the guy had been sitting in a car and the runaway van had hit him. then he would doubtless be due for some compensation. If he had suffered any losses due to time off work, torn clothing, etc. then that would all be included in an insurance claim.

    As he was a pedestrian, evidently without personal injury insurance, he has no alternative but to sue for uninsured losses.

    Regardless of this guy's case, the P.O. have a duty of care and should be held accountable for their negligence by the HSE or similar. I fail to see how they can deny their liability. Actually, that's not true. I can see. It's their policy to deny liability until they are led by the nose to it.

    Now, there's a lovely image!

  53. Anonymous Coward

    They were just stalling for time

    The response from Royal Mail was just an attempt by them to stall the claim, before Mandy sells them off and they don't have to worry about it anymore...

  54. Anonymous Coward

    Commentards = EPIC FAIL

    What the hell is wrong with everyone here??

    If your kid/wife/puppy had been killed by a runaway PO van while people just stood round and watched would you:

    a) Be quite happy and relieved that nobody else had sustained minor injuries saving said kid/wife/puppy

    b) Be pissed off that everyone just stood around and did nothing in case they got hurt or sued for being involved?

    If he had used lawyers, then that kind of response is expected, but if he had just written to them, the least they could do is send him a get well card!

    Bah. ODFO you miserable lot. Hope nobody tries to help you when you're drowning

  55. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    @Oliver Mayes 13:55

    To say he "arrogant" and "demanded" is rather disingenuous as well as not being based on any provided facts.

    As to there being no-one around to injure, again we don't know this for sure but mainly I think if you saw something like this happen, and were inclined to do something about it then you wouldn't waste time checking the trajectory and possible hazards before trying to stop the van.

    But put it like this, say you saw a runaway pram with a baby in it coming towards you at speed. You would, I assume, try to save the baby and stop the pram. Assume, for me if you can, that in doing so you break your arm.

    If it turns out that the runaway pram ranaway through "just one of those things" you would shrug (painfully I reckon) and get on with life.

    However if it turned out that the pram ranaway because it was, say, nudged by a car through the driver's negligence, you would probably try to gain compensation off said driver for the consequences of said negligence.

    If their insurance company then told you to fuck off because you could have just let the baby die and so ensured no injuries to yourself then you would likely be less than chuffed with the response.

  56. alan

    Re Lee

    But in todays society if you try and stop said pram and fail, knock the pram over and injuring said baby, you will be sued yourself, or possibly added to sex offenders register for trying to kidnap a baby you sic peado :)

  57. Fluffykins Silver badge

    It would be nice to READ THE BLOODY ARTICLE!

    Unfortunately there is a company that thinks so bloody little of the prople reading El reg, that it sees fit to put it's BLOODY SHOCKWAVE ADVERT on top of part of the text and doesn't bother to give it a CLOSE option.

    Who else but bloody Microsoft in it's server room ad?

    On the other hand, El Reg could have been a sight more aware whast they were carrying.

  58. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Too many RETARDS can't read.

    If you read the local rag version that was published yesterday and not just The Register version you'll notice this intriguing statement from Mr Moore;

    "It wasn't going very fast but there was a parked car it would have hit."

    So, judging by his own remarks from his own words, no-one was ever in any danger. No matter how unpredictably pedestrians move.

  59. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    What adverts?

    Geeze Firefox and AdBlock Plus ffs no more adverts

  60. Anonymous Coward Silver badge
    Anonymous Coward

    technology angle

    Long ago, a then roommate hopped out of his car without setting the handbrake. He got just enough steps away that he couldn't quite catch up as it rolled gently toward his girlfriend's car. Another roommie who saw the incident (say 10 mph, bent metal only) commended its comedic qualities but alas I didn't get to see it; there were no cell phones to whip out & record with.

    The moral of the story: if a vehicle is rolling toward a parked car, with no prospect of injury to persons, don't skin yourself jumping in, get a video and post it to You Tube so the rest of us can enjoy it.

  61. Robert Moore
    Thumb Up

    Had to post here

    I wonder if I am related to him.

  62. pctechxp

    Money grabbing old git

    Hate to say it but am on the side of RM here.

    It should have been others that contacted them demanding he be rewarded not him going to his solicitor and instructing him/her to write to Royal Mail asking for compensation (and I would probably be one of them)

    I have a lot of time for older people but not the ones whose only motivation for doing anything is compensation.

    If anyone high up in RM is reading this, don't pay this self centred old git.

  63. Julian
    Thumb Down

    A sign of the times!

    'nuff said.

  64. Anonymous Coward
    IT Angle


    he doesnt deserve compensation for this. remember the TV adverts. "Had an accident NOT YOUR FAULT?"

    was quite obviosuly his fault for jumping in

    but he should have been given something. an letter thanking him at least.

    but as he asked for it. i kinda retract that statement. i dont think he should have asked.

  65. raving angry loony

    @Paul re adverts

    Get a real browser you wonk, because the advertisers here and elsewhere definitely aren't going to listen to your whinging about how their adverts make the site unusable and irritating to visit. They don't give a shit, because they somehow think they have a fundamental right to control MY screen, MY sound, and MY viewing. Screw that attitude.

    I use firefox+Noscript+Adblock. Browsing experience is pretty good, and the only adverts I see are those that show respect for me and my viewing.

  66. James Hughes


    People seem to think he is demanding compensation for stopping the van, but the Reg article indicates he had a broken rib, and presumably other injuries. So he stopped a run away van and was injured whilst doing it. The runaway van was the responsibility of the PO. Surely that would be worth compensation?

  67. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Hero? What was on Superman's last wage slip?

    He is taking the piss in asking them a letter via a lawyer.

    I wonder how something like this would stand up in a court of law though?

  68. Anonymous Coward

    @James Hughes

    Good idea, I'm going to run into the path of runaway cars now and demand they pay out...

  69. Anonymous Coward

    If this happened in America...

    ...and he had not tried to stop the van, any ensuing injury to humans, dogs, or property would have clearly been his fault! His only option for the good of his kids (It is for the CHILDREN!) would be to throw himself in front of the rear of the careening van hoping for a clean kill so that his sprats have a nice financial cushion for their partying.

  70. Lionel Baden


    I think people actually trying to help should be commended and rewarded.

    they should look at the average cost of a lawsuit of that van slamming into a car killing 1 or more occupants or seriously harming them, then give him a small cut of it.

    Oh hang they couldnt give a shit because they're insurance would pay.

    Personally if i was the driver i would take him out for a decent lunch / dinner for saving my job !!

This topic is closed for new posts.