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‘Common sense’ plea as East Midlands ambulances receive £450,700 worth of speeding fines

By Peter Gudde

Ambulance Service
Ambulance Service

The East Midlands Ambulance Trust emergency vehicles were issued with 4,507 speeding fines worth £450,700 by police forces over a five year period.

A Freedom of Information request by the BBC to all ambulance trusts in England showed they received 23,227 speeding tickets between 2009 and 2014.

The full run down of what the FOI found
The full run down of what the FOI found

But, only 400 of those tickets were upheld, a Freedom of Information request by the BBC has found.

Carl Rees, from the Association of Ambulance Chief Executives, said “common sense should be applied” and “notices should only be sent out if no blue lights can be seen flashing”.

“After the appropriate checks have been made the PCN (penalty charge notice) should be waived. We understand that this is what happens in the majority of cases,” he said.

Assistant Chief Constable Stephen Barry, from the National Police Chiefs’ Council, said: “When an emergency vehicle clearly displaying blue lights triggers a camera, but the police can see that it was being driven safely in accordance with the law with blue lights displayed, they would generally stop notices from being sent out.

“This has been made more difficult with the introduction of average speed checks in recent years, which usually capture the speed and number plate of the vehicle but not necessarily an image.”

Section 87 of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 states: “No statutory provision imposing a speed limit on motor vehicles shall apply to any vehicle on an occasion when it is being used for fire and rescue authority purposes.”

“If blue lights are displayed, then police will assume, in the absence of any evidence to the contrary, that the exemption is valid and no further action will be taken. No paperwork will be sent to the organisation concerned.”


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