Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs has requested they be given the permission to legally break speed limits for the purpose of enforcement operations. Currently emergency vehicle drivers are allowed to drive faster than the speed limit as well as jumping red lights and using the other side of the road but are still subject to dangerous and careless driving laws.
This request was made as the Department for Transport explores the possibility on extending speed limit exemption to services apart from the police, ambulance and fire services. The extension would therefore apply to a range of further services such as the coastguard, bomb disposal and organ transport, mountain rescue and civil aviation fire and rescue. There may also be an exemption for Forestry Commission fire vehicles as well as the Coal Authority when dealing with mine rescue as well as the Blood Transfusion Service.
Fast and Steady
If the laws are changed, emergency vehicle drivers will have to undergo ‘high-speed training’. Furthermore, there have been proposals to allow paramedics not to wear seatbelts so as to effectively administer treatment to patients. The plan here is specifically to allow speedy driving where there people are at risk with Mr. Hammond, Road Safety Minister saying that “Police, fire and ambulance service drivers are highly trained individuals who are at times required to exceed the speed limit in order to save lives,” and that “It is only right that we look at allowing other services whose duties can mean the difference between life and death to exceed the speed limit when responding to emergencies.”
For those worried about having to claim on their motor insurance due to accidents with emergency vehicles they should not be too concerned. Firstly, most accidents involving emergency vehicles is the clipping of wing mirrors or minor damage caused as a result of passing through heavy traffic. Secondly, emergency services normally always take the brunt for such accidents so your mind should be at peace.