Private ambulance drivers warned not to use blue lights and sirens without authorisation

7 CommentsThursday, 10 May 2018  |  Admin

Here is an interesting article from Avon and Somerset Constabulary

Added on 05 February 2018 at 15:28

Private ambulance drivers are being warned they will be prosecuted if they use sirens and flashing blue lights illegally.

Only companies authorised by an NHS Trust are allowed to use sirens and blue flashing lights in an emergency.

Currently only Bristol Ambulance Service is authorised locally by South Western Ambulance Service NHS Trust.

Only authorised emergency vehicles can use blue lights and sirens

Drivers of private ambulances from other firms are being warned they could be fined and get points on their driving licence if they are found to be using emergency lights and sirens on the public highway illegally.

It comes as the owner of a privately owned medical event company was fined £300 with additional costs of £115 and given 7 points on their driving licence this week.

He had been found guilty of driving without due care and attention, cause use of a vehicle fitted with a blue light, and use a vehicle fitted with a two tone horn/siren.

The charges related to an incident where a private rapid response vehicle was spotted driving through Minehead on July 22 last year while using its emergency lights and sirens despite not being authorised to do so and whilst not involved in a medical emergency.

It follows another case where a private ambulance provider was also prosecuted for road traffic offences by using a car marked up as an ambulance with emergency lighting fitted, allowing him to avoid paying tolls on the second Severn Bridge.

There are clear guidelines and rules relating to the equipping of an Ambulance on the road which includes the Ambulance Deregulation Act 2015.

Superintendent Andy Williams, Head of Road Safety, said: “Unauthorised drivers using sirens and blue lights on public roads can pose a danger to the public.

“Not only that but others have been known to use them for financial gain.

“We’re working with South Western Ambulance Service NHS Trust to ensure those Private Ambulance Service and Event Medical providers operating within the force area comply with the legislation.

“This includes the correct marking up of their vehicles, the incorrect fitting and use of emergency equipment and the driving within the highway code and not in an emergency response mode.

“Those who flout these laws will be reported and dealt with robustly as shown recently.”


Keith Wilson
Tuesday, 18 December 2018  |  11:33

Nonsense - the Deregulation Act 2015 updates the Road Safety Act 2006 and authorises NHS RRVs and paramedic motorcycles to exceed the speed limits in the same manner as ambulances. Read it properly.


Admin
Thursday, 11 April 2019  |  13:06

I was simply sharing an article available to anyone, not giving my opinion. The oprative sentance in tha article is " authorised by an NHS Trust".


The Paraman
Wednesday, 15 May 2019  |  14:38

Wrong, this legislation is misquoted and in actual fact if working in attendance of an emergency blue lights are authorised under current legislation if the vehicle is appropriately marked and lights are fitted correctly an NHS trust has absolutely no ability to authorise use of said road traffic legislation....fake news


Admin
Thursday, 16 May 2019  |  15:40

So, if you are right then all of these are wrong then.

https://www.somersetcountygazette.co.uk/news/15921005.private-ambulance-driver-used-blues-and-twos-illegally-in-minehead/

https://emergency-services.news/?p=989

https://www.gloucestershirelive.co.uk/news/gloucester-news/driver-caught-using-fake-ambulance-1171184


Jack
Wednesday, 20 November 2019  |  18:32

The admin is correct. Paraman, do yourself a favour and read the legislation before making a fool of yourself. As per the Deregulation Act 2015;

(Lamps may be) used for the purpose of providing a response to an emergency at the request of an NHS ambulance service.

Under Definitions, an NHS ambulance service is listed as;

"n NHS ambulance service"
(a) an NHS trust or NHS foundation trust established under the National Health Service Act 2006 which has a function of providing ambulance services;
(b) an NHS trust established under the National Health Service (Wales) Act 2006 which has a function of providing ambulance services;
(c) the Scottish Ambulance Service Board.


Steve
Monday, 25 November 2019  |  20:29

"Only companies authorised by an NHS Trust are allowed to use sirens and blue flashing lights in an emergency."

Incorrect. In simple terms this applies only to RRV types and to responding vehicles. Vehicles used "for ambulance purposes" still have all the expemptions and permissions they already had for the use of blues

Thus a non-NHS approved ambulance (vehicle built for the transport of the sick or injured) can use b&2 for emergency transport as ambulance, but cannot in the initial response phase.

In most instances, the use of b&2 is not governed by the driver, nor the operator of the vehicle, nor the type of vehicle, but the use to which it is put.

If you are going to look at the DA2015, look at it properly "being used for ambulance purposes or for the purpose of providing a response to an emergency at the request of an NHS ambulance service" Or is a very important word.


Neenor
Thursday, 28 November 2019  |  22:37

Precisely.

For examples, at an event on public land (let's say a town christmas market), a private ambulance would be forced to drive to normal road conditions to the patient.

However transporting them to hospital, they could utilize b&2.