Britain’s ambulances have been regularly fined for speeding even when answering emergency calls, the Health Department disclosed on Friday.
Emergency vehicles are of course exempt from speed limits but the ambulances have been caught by a growing army of speed cameras that automatically issue speeding tickets.
The problem is so big that ambulance services say they have been spending up to one million pounds a year employing staff whose only job is to prove that ambulances are responding to genuine emergencies.
However a solution has been found: the Association of Chief Police Officers is writing to all police forces telling them speeding tickets should only be issued if blue lights cannot be seen flashing in the photographs.
Richard Diment, Chief Executive of the Ambulance Service Association, said: “We’re delighted that this bureaucratic nightmare has been resolved. It will save the NHS a lot more time and money, freeing up ambulance trust resources.”
Revision date: July 3, 2011
Last revised: by David A. Scott, M.D.