Private ambulance drivers warned not to use blue lights and sirens without authorisation
8 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.”