Ambulance Driver Petition - Honestjohn
The ABD has got up an electronic petition to support the ambulance driver being prosecuted for speeding while rushing transplant organs to a hospital for a life-saving operation.

To register your disgust, please go to:

www.gmb.org.uk/petition/form.asp

HJ
Ambulance Driver Petition - Thommo
So registered and so disgusted.

Ambulance Driver Petition - Greenparrot
Thanks for this, I've sent the link onto everybody in my address book and am getting a good response.
Ambulance Driver Petition - Nsar
Signed up - the day this broke I went to the Lincs Police website and there is a facility there for writing to the Force expressing your views. As yet I've had no reply...
Ambulance Driver Petition - frostbite
Pleased to have the opportunity to add my name.
Ambulance Driver Petition - Dwight Van Driver
I shall not commend or condone until after 11th June when the Court case is heard. It may be then that the FULL facts will become known. Unless of course you others know different?

DVD
Ambulance Driver Petition - Wales Forester
Have registered my disgust.
Ambulance Driver Petition - Wales Forester
DVD,
Me thinks your attitude may be slightly different if, god forbid, you or someone dear to you was the one waiting for the organ in question?

PP
Ambulance Driver Petition - Dwight Van Driver
PP

You hit the nub of all this.

Just how urgent was it?

If non- urgent what is the point in chancing fate and being involved in an accident through excess speed and may be spoiling the chance of a transplant through loss of organ and maybe taking someone else out at the same time.?

DVD

Ambulance Driver Petition - Marcos{P}
John

Thanks for the opportunity to register my utter disgust.
Ambulance Driver Petition - Marcos{P}
Forgot to mention that whilst going to Police H.Q. the other day I was overtaken by two traffic police doing about 100 on the motorway.
When I arrived at the H.Q. we went to the canteen for a bacon sarnie and the traffic policemen were sitting there with their breakfasts. Apparantly they had ordered their breakfasts by phone and were racing back to get it. They had sirens and lights going and according to maintenance it is becoming a very common practice.
How come this lot can get away with this sort of thing when an ambulance driver on an EMERGENCY can't?
Ambulance Driver Petition - Gen
Marcos

Just because one person does something wrong doesn't mean others can too. Where would we be then?

I assume you are a police officer/police support worker.

It is unfortunate that you are not willing to stick your neck out and report this abuse of position to anyone higher up, who would take the appropriate remedial action. Even an unsigned letter dropped in the appropriate place would probably do the job.
Ambulance Driver Petition - Thommo
DVD,

Understand your reluctance to condemn the police but the facts as reported seem clear, driver called out for emergency organ transport, as he had been many times before, Lincs Police not disputing this fact but prosecuting on the technicality that to exceed the speed limit you need a living person as opposed to an organ onboard.

And please nobody make the point that its not up to the Police to chose which crimes they pursue, they do this all day every day on the basis of 'available resources'.
Ambulance Driver Petition - Gen
Of course the police chose which crimes to pursue, that's why this case is interesting.

We don't know all the facts as DVD says, and he's right to wait for further information.

However there seems to be this ridiculous idea that breaking the speed limits is an on/off issue.

The question is to me, whether it was reasonable for him to do 104. Was 80 really too slow? or 90?

The driver at 104 would be a much more extreme danger to other drivers far in excess of that at 80.

Being on an emergency allows use of lights; fine - can cut through traffic, break speed limits as far as necessary and with reasonable increases in danger.

Again, as I say, I'm working without full facts. But it appears to me that this driver was pushing it much harder than he should have, and if he can't behave responsibly on the road he shouldn't be on it. A speeding ambulance driver on a speed thrill (as opposed to taking the risks absolutely necessary) will kill me just as easily as anyone else.

And please, don't pull the emotional issue 'if you were waiting for the kidney etc'. I wasn't waiting for it, and neither were you; the person who was waiting for it hasn't come forward to say their side and it's not anyone in this boardroom's role to do that.

Police drivers, ambulance drivers, normal drivers; if they take risks on the roads that aren't justified they should be punished and/or banned. Difference is emergency workers will often be able to justify greater risks than ordinary drivers.
Ambulance Driver Petition - Observer
"A speeding ambulance driver on a speed thrill"
Ah!
Ambulance Driver Petition - Nsar
DVD - sufficiently urgent for Cambridgeshire police to decide not to take any action.
Ambulance Driver Petition - Gen
Nsar

More likely Cambridgeshire police were not willing to put up with the knee jerks reactions it would cause.

We should be proud that Lincs police take their job seriously enough to do something that will inevitably put them in the spotlight.
Ambulance Driver Petition - Nsar
>>More likely Cambridgeshire police were not willing to put up with the knee jerks reactions it would cause<<

You're criticising others here for making assumptions without all the facts, so presumably you have have inside knowledge of Cambridgeshire Police's decision not to charge? Please share it.
Ambulance Driver Petition - Gen
No, I'm not criticising others for making assumptions. I am just guessing on the limited information I have what I think may be the case. I'm trying to present the other side.

I don't think it's unreasonable to say that if ambulance drivers or any other emergency drivers go too far, they should be subject to the same punishments as me.

Speed when necessary and appropriate, yes. But if was going at 104 when 80 or even 70 was quick enough for the degree of emergency this posed then that is straight dangerous.

Police cars going to accidents on the motorway often pass me at 90 miles an hour in cars which will do 150 (and could probably do it with traffic at the time). They are making an assessment of the speed to arrive and risk they pose. Ambulance drivers must do this too.

I have no inside knowledge of any police force or any other connected knowledge. My last experience with the police was criticising a couple for taking a week to come look at an abandoned car.




Ambulance Driver Petition - GroovyChick{P}
DVD,

Just how often is a transported organ not classified as 'Urgent', the sooner they arrive the better the chances of them still being in a transplantable condition.

GC

Ambulance Driver Petition - Technoprat {P}
PP
You hit the nub of all this.
Just how urgent was it?
If non- urgent what is the point in chancing fate and
being involved in an accident through excess speed and may be
spoiling the chance of a transplant through loss of organ and
maybe taking someone else out at the same time.?
DVD


When is an organ transplant not urgent?
Definition of "Ambulance - eMBe {P}
With regard to DVD's post and HJ's originating post, lets look at the facts, which show that the case is all about whether the driver was an "ambulance" driver or not.

1. >> The ABD has got up an electronic petition to support the
ambulance driver ..... >> HJ


It is not the ABD, it is the driver's trade-union GMB that has the "petition".

2. The petition says >> The GMB Union calls upon the Government to clarify the law with regards to the transportation of human organs. .... We, the general public, understand the absurdity of this legal action and fully support Mike Ferguson and the GMB in their campaign. >>
So by signing the petition, you are FULLY supporting the driver and the GMB in calling upon the Govt to clarify the law.

But surely, the court will do this when the case come up and is taken through any probable appeals.

3. The Linclolnshire Police have already issued statements saying that the CPS is taking the case to court in order to clarify the law regarding transportation of transplant organs, and thereby to clarify the meaning of "ambulance". The driver was in a saloon with blue lights fitted which were active, i.e. flashing, at the time of the "alleged offence". An "ambulance" is allowed to exceed speed limits, but ambulance is defined as "a vehicle to carry sick or injured people".

Definition of - Flat in Fifth
Posted on this in the earlier thread.

There clearly is a case of disjointed legislation.

In one part, to which the Lincs police presumably refer, the vehicle may or may not be considered as an emergency vehicle. Depends upon the full facts which will come out in court one presumes.

Yet the definition of emergency vehicle in the Road Vehicle Lighting Regs clearly includes the following,

(j) a vehicle primarily used for the purposes of conveying any human tissue for transplanting or similar purposes.

In short it all needs sorting out.

Also on that earlier post commented that the journey from Jimmys to Addenbrookes is around 2hrs 50mins acc AA route planner.

A reliable professional source, albeit retired, indicates that "the MAXIMUM transit time is around 8 hours. Nevertheless the longer it takes the less the chance of a successful outcome for the recipient."

However I do agree with DVD in principle, let us await the facts on this case which is still sub judice. Let us not forget that folks, sorry to be boring about this.


Definition of - eMBe {P}
FiF - I too have a number of contacts in teh medical field. They emphasise that the "fresher an organ is the better" - especially as they have to allow for possible delays during the transplant process itself. There is no argument that the organs should be transported ASAP. The GMB petition iste has links at the bottom of that page for their press releases and it is clear that the problem relates to the definition of "ambulance".

To quote the GMB
"When there is an urgent need for an organ and when road and traffic conditions allow, it is normal and routine for experienced and qualified Ambulance Officers to drive at speeds in excess of the speed limit.

Whilst the Cambridgeshire Constabulary issued their standard notice of intention to prosecute, upon receipt of Mr Ferguson?s explanation of his duties no further action was taken.

However, Lincolnshire Constabulary are now considering sending the details of this case to the Crown Prosecution Service in order to clarify points of law relating to the use of non-patient carrying ambulance service vehicles."
Definition of - Wales Forester
Scenarios;
a) Police Traffic car travels in excess of 100mph to reach minor traffic accident on motorway which other colleagues have already reached and are dealing with. Police driver knows he's not really needed but he'll keep going anyway regardless.

b) Ambulance car driver travels at 104mph on dual carriageway in early hours of morning to ensure prompt delivery of an organ for a lifesaving operation.

I know which scenario I'd put my money on as being 'urgent' and therefore warranting excess speed.

PP
Definition of - Marcos{P}
In reply to you Gen most people at the H.Q. know of this practice so it would be fairly pointless of me to try and draw anyones attention to this practice and secondly I would probably lose a very large contract and yet more people would be out of work. By the way check out my profile, I am not anything to do with the Police.

Ask yourself this.

A member of your family is lying in hospital slowly dying and a donor organ is found. The doctor tells you that if they get it quickly then the patient has a much better chance of survival. Would you ring the driver and tell him to slow down as driving at 104mph with virtually no traffic about is dangerous. I don't think so.
The fact of the matter is that in this country we have a major hangup with people speeding. In a built up area then yes slow down as I'm sure the chap would have done but on dual carriageway I'm pretty sure he would have been driving safely.

By the way I drove in France the other day with no traffic about at 150mph following a Skyline GTR and when we got to the toll both we were both pulled up because we had overtaken two police cars. Did we lose our licenses? No. Why? Because as the police said we were well in control, we slowed down when we came to other traffic, both cars are capable of these speeds and the conditions were good.
I'm in no way saying we should all speed but for crying out loud he was trying to save someones life. If the French police can take a profesional veiw like that why can't we.
Definition of - Gen
Marcos

I would agree with you fully if it turns out that someone was dying in the hospital waiting for that organ, and every minute counts.

Imagine this situation, if you wish to do it by scenarios.

An ambulance driver has to deliver a kidney, needs to be done quickly but not exceedingly quickly. Would be fine driving at 80. Ambulance driver decides to test out the car on a dual carriageway, driving faster than necessary. He hits a member of your family and kills them. Not so nice that way is it?

As to having a hangup about speed in this country. Is it a hangup to recognise speed kills. Yes, Marcos, you were in nominal control at 150 on the french road, but if an unexpected thing happened you would have serious problems at that speed. Any professional driver would tell you can never be fully in control of a car at this speed, and an event like a tyre blow out would cause much more danger than for example at 70.

I think you were irresponsible driving at 150 on a public road. I'm not being selfrighteous, I've been pulled in france for going at 180 in a 60 zone (km that is) at the toll gate. Just a warning. But then, that doesn't mean I was right, just that france puts different values on road safety.

By the way when you say no traffic I suggest you really mean nearly no traffic. Another car every mile or two in the slow lane, but then if your tyre blew and you spun into them you'd still hit them at more than a 100mph wouldn't you?

Definition of - James_Jameson
Quote from Marcos"...By the way I drove in France the other day with no traffic about at 150mph following a Skyline GTR and when we got to the toll both we were both pulled up because we had overtaken two police cars. Did we lose our licenses? No. Why? Because as the police said we were well in control, we slowed down when we came to other traffic, both cars are capable of these speeds and the conditions were good..."

I just have to say what a refreshing attitude from the French police. Not all is black and white - driving with control and slowing in the vicinity of other traffic with cars that are easily capable. Wonderful! So sad that we have some narrow-minded rules-bound people getting publicity wanting no leeway - even advocating fines for 1 mph over!
Definition of - Flat in Fifth
M.B.

So we agree once again then.
Definition of - eMBe {P}
M.B. So we agree once again then. >>

Of course we do. You have a long memory - I hope you are not the kind that bear grudges!

I am surprised that people are still missing the point and arguing whether the ambulance driver should have been speeding. The case is nothing to do with whether anyone - Police or Ambulance or Fire - should speed or not. Even the Lincolnshire Police don't question that the motives in this case were right.

The CPS are only seeking clarification of the meaning of "ambulance" - and it has arisen simply because a saloon car with flashing blue lights was photographed doing 100mph+. It was not stopped by the Police. It was a clerk looking at photo evidence who nabbed the speeding car. This car was not a Police car, it was not an "ambulance", and so the case was put to the CPS. The CPS (not Licolnshire Police) decided to go ahead and charge the driver to calrify the law.
Definition of - Marcos{P}
What is an ambulance?

If a vehicle is owned by the Ambulance service, has blue flashing warning lights and driven by a trained person then in an emergency it must be classed as an ambulance.
There must be a fairer way to clarify a law rather than to charge an innocent man who was only doing his job. If this is the only way then something is fundamentally wrong with this countrys law system.
Definition of - Cyd
I can't help thinking that what really gets peoples goat about this is that Lincs Police find it necessary to put an honest mans neck in the noose to clarify a point of law. Why cannot this "point of law" be clarified by the House of Lords, an Act of Parliament, the Home Sec or a panel of judges, thus enabling the guidelines to be crystal clear. Why put an honourable man through the wringer?
Definition of - Fullchat
Cyd

Cos it doesn't work like that. I refer to my comments in the original thread.

......What I would say is that the saloon car he was driving does not fall within the normal definition of an ambulance. However it might if you put an injured person in the back.

Now contrary to popular belief Process and Prosecution does not disappear into thin air on a whim, there has to be accountable reasons and justification for it doing so otherwise those dealing with such matters can leave themselves wide open to all manner of allegations. Now I know some high profile 'let offs' have been well aired on this forum but they have run their course and reasoning justified within the law even if you dont agree with it.

I am sure the legal eagles have given this one their utmost attention as it was bound to be high profile. Unfortunately it has got to run its course and legal precedent set for the future. I am sure it will work out OK however the Ambulance Officer is going to be put under pressure until it is resolved.
He has my full support and I am sure the support of all emergency service workers.......

What will come out of this is a suitable updated definition of an ambulance which will be more appropriate to modern day needs. Incidently there are now a number of motorcycles and saloon cars carrying a single paramedic which are dispatched to urgent cases to provide early treatment until a "proper" ambulance arrives. Would these fall within the current definition?



Fullchat
Definition of - David Lacey
What was the outcome of the court appearance a week or so ago?

It's gone kinda quiet!
Definition of - Peter D
Yes I have signed the petition on the grounds the rules/regulations are not clear thus to prosecute would be wrong. However 104 mph was pushing it too far. Peter
Definition of - eMBe {P}
D.Lacey : case was adjourned.

Cyd: >> Why put an honourable man through the wringer? >> Fullchat has given an answer, although I agree with you that ideally there should be a better way of resolving these questions of law.

As to why it is important to clarify this definition of "ambulance"; just consider this -
Say in the current circumstances, a driver such as the one here in his dash to deliver life-saving transplant organs - driving safely with full due care and attention - is nevertheless involved in an accident; and a 3rd party is killed in that accident.

In that case, the driver could be charged not just with illegal speeding, but much more serious charges.

Now if the law is changed/clarified, and it is shown to be legal for organ delivery drivers to exceed the speed limit using blue flashing lights, then a driver in the situation I have described would be safe in the knowledge that he has not broken any law and he cannot be be accused of causing death of a 3rd party in an accident due to illegal speeding.

Of course, in the scenario I have described - with or without the clarification of the law - there would be two deaths, the transplant patient and the 3rd party.
Definition of - Reggie
To all of the above who think that driving at 104 mph on a dual carriageway in the early morning when the roads will be generally quiet is dangerous, and cite the possibility of killing an innocent third party, as their main objection, whilst providing a service to "the public", I ask this of them. Do they always abide by the speed limit i.e. never go at 35 mph in a 30mph limit, and never maybe travel at 80 mph for a short duration on the motorway when as we all know that the max speed would be 70 mph. Because if they do, they are being hipocritical.
This ambulanceman will have completed an advanced driving course, will be used to driving under pressure, weaving in and out of tight traffic situations, making split decisions driving a diesel van (an ambulance to you and me )at speeds in excess of 85mph in high pressure situations etc etc etc. Then to suggest that driving this sallon car (probably a Volvo as I know that WYMAS ambulance service use these) at this speed is unnecessary and dangerous is to be very narrow minded.
Although he will probably "get off", why should he be put under this sort of pressure, by a beauracratic pen pusher.
Please get real and cut out the holier than though attitude.
Reggie
Definition of - Reggie
Or should I have addressed that to GEN, not wishing to get personal.
Reggie
Definition of - Gen
Obviously on occasion I have broken the speed limit; we all have as you well know. As a non-emergency driver I would take the speeding ticket without question. The fact I have broken the speed limits doesn't mean we should abandon them does it? (though I wish I had so much influence on the world) Not knowing you I wouldn't know if I'm holier than thou (as oppose to holier than though)

I have not personally taken an advance driving course but would be happy for DVD etc to correct me if it is not the case that even an advanced driver increases the danger exponentially with increased speed.

Driving the saloon car (an Astra I thought?) at 104 is clearly more dangerous than at a lower speed. This is not narrow minded but common sense, and I assume stated on all driving courses. Whether that speed was unnecessary was not stated by me, as I don't have the information to do so. However, if driving at 80 would be sufficiently quick then it was unnecessary. As such the speed was excessive, dangerous and unjustifiable.

I also assume that the handling characteristics of an ambulance are sufficiently different to make an inference that experience in an ambulance gives superior ability in a saloon.

I find it worrying the number of people (again not naming any names REGGIE) who hold the belief that training can make any speed safe. It can't, it can only reduce the risk and danger. But the danger from a driver increases with their speed whoever they are.

I would agree that taking him to court over definitions of 'ambulance' is silly and rather pointless. I just wonder if the real issue isn't that some emergency drivers are not assessing by how much they need break the speed limit and are pushing it much harder than they need to. This is a unnecessary danger to other road users, so you see I'm thinking of you really Reggie as well as myself! I may be hypocritical (as opposed to hipocritical) but at least I'm thinking of your health!
Definition of - Dwight Van Driver
Two items from my old Bible (1) of 1964:

....At 30mph a minor driving error can probably be rectified. At 70 plus the same error can have disastrous consequences..

and

Applicable to all emergency service personnel:

..... Remember that a Police Officer must never be involved in an accident. No Police Call is so urgent as to justify an accident. It is far better that a criminal should escape for the time being than that the crew of a police vehicle and other road users should be exposed to grave risk of injury.....

Sound advice and dsepite its age still pertinent today.

(1) Home Office: Manual of Police Driving Instruction upon which Roadcraft was formed.

DVD

Definition of - Reggie
Gen, the point I was making is, when you speed,how do you justify it when you know there is a maximum speed limit, for a given stretch of road.
Presumably you use many factors such as the road surface condition, how far ahead you can see is safe and clear, is the stretch of road you are on approaching a bend or junction etc etc and of course your personal judgement through experience.
This ambulanceman, who has years of experience driving emergency vehicles will have being doing the same. If he was driving inappropriately for the conditions and purpose of the journey, let him take the full punishment of the law, and I am sure that the court case will do this. From your previous posts you suggest that this person was on "a speed thrill" and by driving in excess of 90mph, was putting other peoples lives in danger.
I agree with you absolutely, that inappropriate excessive speed is dangerous and should not be tolerated and I do know that this does happen.
Without knowing all of the facts, I personally don't think that travelling at 104 mph on a dual-carriageway such as the A1 in the early hours and in a saloon car is excessive, and I feel for this chap, who is being used as a guinea pig.
P.S. Thanks for the spellcheck. It was good of you.
Reggie
Definition of - HF
Calm down boys, calm down!
Speeding? - neil
As far as I'm aware, this case is about whether the vehicle was an ambulance - if the courts decide it wasn't, I'm sure the law is likely to be changed to allow such use by ambulance staff doing transplant runs. I would be more concerned about 'private ambulance services' not all of whom are advanced drivers, but often use the 'ambulance' exemptions...!

However, as far the 'reasonableness' of the speed is concerned - for a driver of an emergency vehicle (ie fire/police/ambulance etc) if keeping to the speed limit would 'hinder the purpose for which it is being used' it is EXEMPT from that speed limit.

Note - not 'to the extent that is necessary for it not to be hindered', or 'to the extent that some people might regard as a reasonable speed, having no (lawful!) experience of speeds over 70 in this country, let alone over double that and therefore perhaps not best placed to offer a valid opinion'

Just exempt. All the driver has to show - on the balance of probabilities - is that adhering to the limit would have hindered the purpose.

However, they are not exempt from driving w/o due care, or due consideration for other road users, or dangerous driving. Speed may be a factor in those offences, certainly - but I don't think that is the issue here, or those offences would have been utilised!
Definition of - NorthernKev {P}
I fully agree with you Reg, not wishing this to be an 'us versus you' idea.
Firstly, I take a liberal attitude to speed [the scalar, not narcotic!], I admit I drive faster than the speed limit when conditions are good [by this, clear, quietish, decent road/motorway] and slower than the speed limit when conditions are bad.
Such as when it was ahem, raining very heavily, I slowed down to about 40 [most others did the same] as this was a sensible speed.
My question is, is driving to the conditions safer than driving to the speed limit?

Secondly, if you hit anything at 70, you're going to cause a mess. If you hit anything at 80, you're going to cause a mess. Surely it is better to drive at any speed concentrating fully on your driving, than driving to what it says on little round signs whilst eating your lunch?
Which is safer? Concentrating or driving at the speed limit?

Many thanks if you clarify this.

Kev
Definition of - Reggie
Going off slightly at a tangent, obviously whilst concentrating.
I personally observe all speed restrictions give or take 10%, but once I am in open countryside and on a "national speed limit" road, I drive or ride at a speed that I consider safe, taking into consideration road surface, amount of traffic, how far I can see is clear,approaching road junctions, farm entrances on my left or right etc etc
Reggie
Definition of - Mark (RLBS)
>>Concentrating or driving at the speed limit?

If you are unable to do both, which is worrying, then drive slower and then you won't have to worry whether you are driving at 70 or 80.
Definition of - Rudolf
>>If you are unable to do both, which is worrying.

Indeed it is; driving along at the Castle Creep on a motorway in good conditions, with a competent car and driver, is indeed soporific.
Rudolf
Definition of - GTLK
Gen

You said \"And please, don\'t pull the emotional issue \'if you were waiting for the kidney etc\'. I wasn\'t waiting for it, and neither were you; the person who was waiting for it hasn\'t come forward to say their side and it\'s not anyone in this boardroom\'s role to do that.\"

Well, the receipient did come forward (to the Daily Telegraph I think)and did express his support for the driver.

The situation is very plain. Speed limits were brought into law for fuel economy reasons and only after did safety become an issue. An organ transplant is a matter of life and death - literally no more no less. Do you want your relatives to die for the sake of a few mph. I would agree if the speeding took place at 5pm on a wet crowded motorway, but it didn\'t - it was late at night on an empty flat, straight and dry road, so no safety issue, only life.

Please think about the others in this story and not about the plain law.

GK
Definition of - Marcos{P}
Gen

It's seems you have strong veiws on speeding so you probably hate me but I can tell you now that if people have been trained correctly and can drive at high speed safely then they will drive much more safely at 120mph than an awfull lot of people can at 70mph. They will be aware of traffic conditions, weather, road condition and will be able to see what is happening 1km up the road and not just in the 10m zone that surrounds their car.
I don't know how well trained this chap was but I should think he was a damn sight more alert and aware than the average motorist.
I know this case is about the clarification of laws but a lot of people seem to want him hanged just because of the speed issue.
Not fair.
Definition of - J Bonington Jagworth
"Speed limits were brought into law for fuel economy reasons"

Temporarily, too, we were told! Mind you, so was Income Tax...
Definition of - NorthernKev {P}
Mark, you miss my point! I thought you so bright as well!
I am fully capable of doing both.

My point was in retaliation to the thought that if you drive at the speed limit, you are safe, you will not hit anyone/thing, inrespective of any amount of concentration [how does a speed camera know if you're paying attention?].
And my point was, surely this is obserd, as you can do a lot of damage at any speed in a car, so surely better to concentrate on your driving.

Sorry if that still makes no sense, I'll have another go after my exams!

Kev
Definition of - J Bonington Jagworth
"It is far better that a criminal should escape for the time being than that the crew of a police vehicle and other road users should be exposed to grave risk of injury....."

You wouldn't think so, given the number of high-speed chases that the police get involved in.

They have only themselves to blame over this bad publicity if they use flashing lights to clear the way when they are simply late for breakfast...
Definition of - HF
>>They have only themselves to blame over this bad publicity if they use flashing lights to clear the way when they are simply late for breakfast...

Hmm - I made way for one just now, only to see him subsequently appear from the doorway of the local shop clutching a bottle of Sprite...
Definition of - eMBe {P}
>>They have only themselves to blame over this bad publicity if they use flashing lights to clear the way when they are simply late for breakfast...
Hmm - I made way for one just now, only to
see him subsequently appear from the doorway of the local shop
clutching a bottle of Sprite...


Before we judge such apparent actions, we should ask whether the police car in question was originally on a call but was then told that it was no longer required to attend. I have seen many incidents where this happens - the patrol car could be jsust starting off or may have reached its destination or be anywhere in between when the call comes to stand down.
Definition of - HF
Fair point, eM.Bee, as usual.
Definition of - J Bonington Jagworth
I was referring back to Marcos's item earlier in the thread: "..Apparantly they had ordered their breakfasts by phone and were racing back to get it." Anyway, if the call came to stand down, they shouldn't be pretending it's still an emergency...
Definition of - eMBe {P}
JBJ - I am only saying that we should not judge as fact without hearing all the evidence. The incident alleged by Marcos says, uses the words "apparently" - albeit mispelt. I take that to mean, as per OED, "seemingly - as opposed to real".


eM.Bee.{P} - the {P} after my username indicates you can view my profile.
Definition of - J Bonington Jagworth
MB - Thanks for the reply. I think Marcos meant 'apparently' to mean that he believed it to be so, rather than to imply disbelief, as it is sometimes used. I know it's a semantic point, but my COD defines 'apparent' as "manifest, palpable" which both imply a degree of reality, so I guess it depends on your dictionary.

Marcos's story does have the ring of truth about it, though...
Definition of - Dwight Van Driver
My goodness you aren't half critical.

There are many instances when a police vehicle is seemingly belting along for no apparent reason. Simply it could well be initially responding to a shout which is subsequently cancelled. So back to normal and maybe time to HQ for refreshments and a bacon buttie. Unless of course you were in the car and know otherwise.

As to JBJ and his motorway fast plods. I've been hunting in the cupboards for my old Motorway Policing Notes but it looks as if they have been binned. Our first bit of M Road up here was the A1(M) Barton to Aycliffe (upgraded A1 actually). Our three 3.8 black A.1.Jags with 60,000 on the clock were pulled in and painted white for use on the new Motorway and crewed by only Advanced Drivers. One of our briefs was now and again to go down the offside lane at great speed, sometimes with the blues and twos, sometimes without. The purpose of this was two fold. One to instill lane discipline in other road users and secondly to keep well honed our driving skills at speed (anticipation, observations etc).

It was not, as was reported from research in the late 60's that travelling at speed (except on early turn) had an aphrodisiac effect.

DVD
Definition of - J Bonington Jagworth
DVD - I don't meant to be overly critical of the police. I wouldn't want their job and I don't mind admitting it, but a few people join for the wrong reasons and spoil it for the conscientious ones. The recent emphasis on clear-up rates, targets and thus 'measurable' crimes (e.g. speeding) don't help, IMHO.
Definition of - Marcos{P}
Sorry about the spelling I'm a bit fik.

With regards to the story I posted about the traffic police, it is most definitely true as most people at the site will tell you.
Definition of - Dwight Van Driver
UPDATE ON COURT CASE.

The case against the Ambulance driver was down for hearing on 11th june 2003. I have been trying to monitor the progress and now find that on 11.June it was further adjourned to 20th OCTOBER 2003 at Grantham Magistrates Court.

Either there is some midnight oil being burnt and dust being blown off old Law Reports by the wigged ones or they are hoping the interest will wane.

Quite rightly, the Drivers Union is not amused.

DVD
Definition of - Pugugly {P}
DVD,
When you say hearing was this a trial or the first time round for
pleas etc.
Definition of - Dwight Van Driver
P.U.

I understand that the first appearance was on 28th May 2003. Then followed an adjournment to 11.6.03. I take this first appearance as Plea taking. On 11.6.03 it was again further adjourned to October.

Sorry I cannot be more precise. As an interesting case I am trying to monitor from afar.

Any news of the YORKE appeal at High Court on the unsigned name and shame?

DVD
Definition of - RichardW
Safespeed has the date of the Yorke ruling down as 2nd July. Should be an intersting day!


RichardW

Definition of - Mark (RLBS)
From the GMB website...

"However, Lincolnshire Constabulary are now considering sending the details of this case to the Crown Prosecution Service in order to clarify points of law relating to the use of non-patient carrying ambulance service vehicles"

Seems quite a reasonable action to me, given the reasons, rather than the outrageous vilification of an poor innocent driver by the evil police.

How else would they get it clarified short of waiting a million years for some statute to appear ?

Trouble is, a reasonable course of action doesn't sell many copies of the Sun.
Definition of - Dwight Van Driver
Mark

As I understand it and FC /MLC will correct me then following an offence like this, the file,from the outsetis submitted by Police to CPS, who view and decide whether or not to run in. No longer, as in my day, do the Police instute actual proceedings, except of course when they charge a person following an arrest and even after then it is up to CPS whether or not they take to Court.

Cannot understand why there is all this dithering - simple decision to be made.

DVD
Definition of - Fullchat
DVD

Did some digging today to answer your point. Normal routine process is submitted to a Police Decision Maker who within guidelines recommends prosecution/caution/NFA and then passes the matter on to an admin unit which lays the information and summonses are issued.
In case which perhaps like this where public interest is at stake or wether the case is not straightforward then the CPS would be consulted.


Fullchat
Definition of - Chris TD
Question: Does anybody know if the driver has been suspended from duty pending the outcome of this case at all? I had a hunt around but couldn't find any info to say what his current
situation was...

Chris TD
Definition of - 3500S
Myself and my father were discussing this at the weekend, his best friend is a traffic cop and a very good one. He'd mentioned it too saying as the law stands there is plenty of scope for this not to come to trial.

He found it very difficult to understand this action brought against this ambulance driver. His job is hard enough and he feels made worst by things like speed cameras that have eroded support from the public to very low levels. The police rely on the public to assist them in reporting suspicious activity etc, etc. As it stands now he couldn't think of a single act that could annoy the public more.

Duly signed the petition.
Ambulance Driver Petition - Wilco {P}
Reviving an old thread here - the first of the "mercy" speeding cases comes to court today. See link below for the Sky news item.

www.tinyurl.com/qa3v
Ambulance Driver Petition - John Shelton
On the subject of what the definition of "ambulance" is....... Im a police support worker and a few weeks ago came across an injured motorcyclist who had been in collision with a car. His injuries were bad enough for an ambulance to be called, BUT who do you think was first on the scene?(after us in our liveried support van who came across the accident, followed by a local police car)? It was a doctor in an ordinary saloon car fitted with flashing blue lights and a siren and he was going for it. Clearly not an ambulance by any reasonable definition but a very welcome site and someone who you would wish to see on the scene. If a doctor in an ordinary saloon with no markings, but fitted with blue lights and siren can speed when going to save someones life then It opens the way to other "non passenger carrying ambulance cars" doing the same.
Ambulance Driver Petition - Wales Forester
Doctor cars around here seem to still use green flashing lights and I've never noticed them with sirens.
Is this a new thing or are we just behind the times in North Wales?!

PP
Ambulance Driver Petition - John Shelton
This one was metallic grey and was only marked with the word "Doctor" it had blue lights and a siren Im from the East Midlands I dont know anything about Wales.
Ambulance Driver Petition - Dwight Van Driver
PP

Interesting point as Green Doctor light can only be used on a vehicle used by a Medical Practioner registered by General Medical Council (Reg 11(2) (m) RV Lighting Regs, but a blue lamp can be fitted to an Emergency Vehicle (Reg 11(2) (k)) which is defined as a vehicle used for Fire Brigade, Ambulance or Police purposes. Likewise under Reg 37 MV Con and Use Regs a siren or two tone audile warning device can be similarly used.

DVD
Ambulance Driver Petition - Dwight Van Driver
John

When at work go to your Filing system and pull out a copy of Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984

Look at and read carefully Section 87. Where does it say Ambulance?

DVD

Ambulance Driver Petition - Honestjohn
This guy's case came up on Thursday 9th, but I can't find any reports of the verdict in today's papers. Has the case taken two days? If not, does anyone know the verdict?

HJ
Ambulance Driver Petition - Wilco {P}
Case adjourned until November 13th - I'll try and find the link.
Ambulance Driver Petition - Wilco {P}
Here it is - from the BBC website

tinyurl.com/qfdn
Ambulance Driver Petition - Honestjohn
Many thanks, Artful. What kind of a country do we live in that at this late stage adjourns the case so that prosecutors can consider the evidence, thus torturing the poor driver for another month?

HJ
Ambulance Driver Petition - Wilco {P}
Interestingly, another newspaper article quotes West Midlands Ambulance service as receiving around 3000 NIP's a year as a result of their drivers tripping camera's on emergency calls.

Takes 1 staff member 1 day each week to fill out the paperwork to sort them!

Given that they deal with 400,000 emergencies a year, their "hit" rate seems surprisingly low?
Ambulance Driver Petition - Vansboy
Another example of where number plate recognition might be helpful.The databasecould recognise emergency vehicles, previously notified & delete (but still record ) the NIP.

& as an ambulance is identified as such at DVLA, some more cross checking could be done, without a person needing to become involved. Then when we get an anomily, like this, it would be more obvious if somebody was pulling a fast one.

VB
Ambulance Driver Petition - flatfour
Ambulance drivers should be exempt from prosecution as they are saving lives, either by carrying organs or by taking seriously ill patients to hospital. I'm sure the chief constable of the Lincs police wouldn't want to die en-route to hospital because the ambulance driver was observing the speed limit.
We're talking emergency here, not a couple of coppers late for tea break!
Ambulance Driver Petition - GJD
Ambulance drivers should be exempt from prosecution as they are saving
lives, either by carrying organs or by taking seriously ill patients
to hospital.


This might be what you meant flatfour, but ...

They should be exempt from prosecution for *speeding* but not for dangerous driving. They still have a responsibility to drive safely, even if they are exceeding the limit in the line of duty. The individual case should be judged on its merits. If the conditions at the time were such that, given the driver's training and experience, his driving was safe and considered, then the numerical speed and the numerical posted limit are irrelevant.
I'm sure the chief constable of the Lincs police
wouldn't want to die en-route to hospital because the ambulance driver
was observing the speed limit.


Neither would he want his children killed by an emergency vehicle driver who wasn't taking due care in their driving. I think they achieve a much higher standard in that than most of the rest of us.

GJD
Ambulance Driver Petition - kithmo
Typical plod nonsense, easy prey, I've registered my disgust
Ambulance Driver Charges Dropped - eMBe {P}
DD: May I boldly suggest that this thread and the other
www.honestjohn.co.uk/forum/post/index.htm?f=2&t=13...3
(somewhat mis-titled) could perhaps be joined up to prevent duplication?


I\'ve moved the recent posts but left the older ones on the original thread as it would have made this one a mite unwieldy. Thanks for bringing it to our attention. ND.
Ambulance Driver Charges Dropped - Honestjohn
Thanks eMBe, a bunch pof Backroomers have been posting in the wrong thread. It seems that today the CPS dropped its case against the abmulance driver. More at

news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/west_yorkshire/3199638...m

So the CPS has had the man sweat for all this time only to drop its case at the last minute, possibly to avoid criticism of its actions by the judge, who would be obliged by the law as it stands to convict the ambulance driver. That is not what anyone needs. What we need is a change in the law that gives drivers rushing donor organs and blood the same exemptions as anyone else driving emergency vehicles. Maybe they should all have specialist driving courses. But it\'s clear that they must be allowed to drive at whatever speed they safely can to deliver the organs/blood in time to save a life.

HJ
Ambulance Driver Charges Dropped - Hugo {P}
What a relief for him and his family!

Common sence prevailed in the end, not before public funds were completely wasted on a futile exercise

I suggest we all write to our relevent MPs to demand an explanation of this from the goverment.

Hugo
Case Against Ambulance Driver Dropped. - Godfrey H {P}
Just heard the CPS have dropped the case against the ambulance driver prosecuted for speeding whilst delivering a transplant organ. I wonder how much public money the CPS wasted on this one that could have been spent reducing the NHS waiting list.
Case Against Ambulance Driver Dropped. - Ivor E Tower
You've beaten me to it! Just seen this as the headline story on BBC's internet site.
Now we wait for the law to be clarified/changed.
Case Against Ambulance Driver Dropped. - Chicken Madras
Common sense prevails for once. I share your concerns about the amount of wasted money.
Case Against Ambulance Driver Dropped. - J Bonington Jagworth
Not to mention anxiety suffered by the accused. Does anyone in authority ever pause to consider the effects of their actions on ordinary folk and their families? (That's a rhetorical question, BTW.)
-------------------------------
Illegitimi non carborundum!
Case Against Ambulance Driver Dropped. - Mark (RLBS)
That's a pity because it leaves everyone in a fog.

They should have taken it to court to see what the decision was.
Speeding Ambulance Driver charge dropped - SjB {P}
news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/west_yorkshire/3199638...m
Speeding Ambulance Driver charge dropped - Sooty Tailpipes
I remember a video on TV of an 'organ dash' made by the Police in the 1980's. They used multiple vehicles, motorcyclists, a Rover 3500 V8 Vitesse, zooming through rush hour streets of London, V8 roaring and two tone horn going. It was in the very early days of on-borad cameras, but was very exciting to watch. Obviously the face of London has completely changed since then and they wouldn't have time to help the health service out nowadays. The risk to safety was much much higher on that organ dash, than this one which has caused a storm.
Speeding Ambulance Driver charge dropped - Dwight Van Driver
I am with Mark (RBLS) on this. Pity they did not run it to establish the true facts. Now, every bit of organ being carried, irrespective of urgency in delivery will have drivers claiming this case gives them carte blanch reason for speeding.

My understanding of the case was that it was a middle of the night run with nobody on the operating table at the other end and the journey could have been made at normal speed. If this is correct the guy WAS speeding.

DVD

Speeding Ambulance Driver charge dropped - buzbee
Just heard the news. Case has been dropped.
Speeding Ambulance Driver charge dropped - cockle {P}
Mark(RLBS) & DVD, you might yet get your wish to see this type of situation tested in a court of law.

From the UNISON website, deja vu, anyone?

PRESS RELEASE

09/10/2003
Speeding Blood Service Driver - UNISON Reaction
UNISON, the union which represents blood service staff, has today called for balance between ensuring the safe delivery of urgent blood supplies to patients and prosecutions for speeding. The call comes in the wake of the case of UNISON member Paul Stockbridge, who was in court today accused of breaking the speed limit. Mr Stockbridge pleaded not guilty on the advice of UNISON when he appeared before magistrates in Stafford. He had been caught on camera doing 41 mph in a 30 mph zone, in the early hours of the morning.

Karen Jennings UNISON Head of Health said:

?I can?t help thinking that if it was my child or loved one that was urgently in need of a lifesaving supply of blood, I would want the driver to get there as quickly as possible.

?The National Blood Service puts drivers through an advanced driving course and they are taught defensive driving. They are trained not to cause risk or danger to road users.

?Surely there must be a balance between ensuring urgent blood supplies get to patients as quickly as possible and the safety of road users. Only if a driver is recklessly causing danger to other users should a prosecution even be considered.?

The case has been adjourned until November 13.

ends



Cockle
Ambulance Driver Charges Dropped - Dynamic Dave
HJ wrote:-
Thanks eMBe, a bunch pof Backroomers have been posting in the
wrong thread.


Er, actually those bunch of Backroomers had all started individual new threads, so I moved them to the "Madness - de'liver'y driver banned" thread. I forgot that this thread was also in existance.

DD.
 

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