Police issue EMAS with over 4,500 speeding fines in five years

More than 4,500 speeding fines were issued to the trust which runs ambulances in Lincolnshire and the East Midlands in a five-year-period.

Figures released under a Freedom of Information request have shown that 4,507 penalty charge notices (PCNs) were issued to East Midlands Ambulance Service NHS Trust (EMAS) between 2009 and 2014.

The cost of the tickets would have amounted to £450,700 had they not been appealed by the trust.

The highest recorded speed for an EMAS vehicle in this period was 98mph in a 50mph zone.

Only Yorkshire Ambulance Service Trust with more than 7,000 tickets received more PCNs than EMAS in England.

A total of 23,227 speeding tickets were issued to ambulance trusts across the country in the five-year-period.

A spokesperson for EMAS said:

“A member of our Fleet Administration staff spends roughly two hours every week appealing speeding fines.

“We recognise that cameras which record a vehicle’s average speed do not capture images and that this makes it difficult for the police to waive the penalty charge notice.

“However, we would welcome any measures that can be taken to reduce the number of speeding tickets that are issued to us.”

The minimum penalty for speeding is a £100 fine and three penalty points added to the driver’s licence.

John Siddle, Communications Manager at Lincolnshire Road Safety Partnership, said: “The process for reviewing speeding tickets for emergency vehicles is the same for any other vehicle.

“Once the vehicle is flashed by the camera, the log is sent to police HQ who look to see if the driver was responding to a 999 call and if the blue lights were authorised.

“If it is an authorised deployment we then check that the driver was authorised to use blue lights, as in the police’s case, some officers are not qualified for pursuits.

“Following this, we still look and determine whether the speed was appropriate. A driver who is authorised but has driven through a 30mph zone at about 80mph would be classed as driving with excessive speed – there’s making progress in an emergency and there’s crazy driving.

“If it is authorised and the speed used is reasonable, no further action is taken. However, if this is not the case, the driver is prosecuted as an individual and appeal to the court like any member of the public caught speeding.

“We’ve also prosecuted private ambulances in the past as the drivers are not trained, the vehicles are not prepared, and there is no agreement with the county for them to use their flashing blue lights.

“On one occasion, we prosecuted a driver of a private ambulance after he had been clocked doing over 100mph on the A1 in Lincolnshire on his way from Cambridge to Newcastle – for a non-emergency organ delivery.”