Emergency services speed limit proposal published for consultation
Police, fire and ambulance services are already allowed to exceed speed limits in the course of their emergency response duties and this is not changing.
The three-month consultation exercise will examine the possibility of extending the exemption to other services including those carrying organs for transplant, bomb disposal units and coastguard vehicles.
The consultation will also look at amending road safety legislation so that emergency drivers would be required by law to complete high-speed training before exceeding the limit. But this will not place any additional burden on police, fire and ambulance services which already run an effective voluntary training scheme.
Road Safety Minister, Stephen Hammond said: ‘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. 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.
‘It is also time to look at the legal requirements of emergency vehicle training so we can build on the rigorous standards the police, fire and ambulance services have already applied through their code of practice,’ he added.
While emergency service drivers are not exempt from the offences of dangerous and careless driving, the current legislation allows drivers in some circumstances to break speed limits legally as well as exempting them from certain traffic regulations.