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134mph, A50 Stoke, Special Reason
Xde
post Fri, 26 Jun 2020 - 08:50
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I was caught speeding yesterday evening, I was pulled over and the police officer was rather angry. However, my wife has a medical condition that causes violent seizures - her special injectable medicament was at home about two miles from where I was pulled. The officer sympathised and said he’d make a note.

It was the A50 near Stoke, dual carriageway speed restricted to 50 due to lane additions. The opposite side of the road was totalled packed for miles, on my side traffic was starting to build up behind me.

You will ask why I didn’t call an ambulance? The traffic being one reason, my being closer to home than the hospital, additionally ambulances do not carry the drug required to reverse the seizure.

I have no points, no speed awareness courses. Never been caught speeding in 25 years, or points.

I hope you can help.

Sorry, speed was 134mph; being reported for speeding and DWDCA. Police offer was going to do dangerous driving but said he’d make it DWDCA due to the circumstances.
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post Fri, 26 Jun 2020 - 08:50
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NewJudge
post Fri, 26 Jun 2020 - 20:16
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QUOTE (cp8759 @ Fri, 26 Jun 2020 - 20:20) *
From the facts you've described, I think the section 87(1) defence is clearly engaged.

Are you suggesting the court will agree that the car was being used for "ambulance purposes"?

I think there may be a struggle. S87 is headed "Exemption of fire brigade, ambulance and police vehicles from speed limits." This indicates to me that the vehicle must be an "official" ambulance. There is a bit more which may reinforce that:

"Subsection (1) above [which provides the exemption] applies in relation to a vehicle that, although not being used for ambulance purposes, is being used for the purpose of providing a response to an emergency at the request of an NHS ambulance service."

This would seem to suggest that an "unofficial" ambulance would enjoy the exemption only if it was responding to a request by the NHS ambulance service. I don't know if there is any case law but the statute by itself does not look promising.

If perchance that hurdle is crossed I think the OP must hope he is not also charged with Careless Driving. A careful and competent driver of a "genuine" emergency vehicle would, I suggest, not drive at 134mph in heavy traffic with a convulsing passenger by his side.
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cp8759
post Fri, 26 Jun 2020 - 20:40
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QUOTE (southpaw82 @ Fri, 26 Jun 2020 - 21:12) *
QUOTE (cp8759 @ Fri, 26 Jun 2020 - 20:20) *
From the facts you've described, I think the section 87(1) defence is clearly engaged.

Is it a defence to DWDCA?

You know the answer to that already.


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No, I am not a lawyer.
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cp8759
post Fri, 26 Jun 2020 - 21:01
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QUOTE (NewJudge @ Fri, 26 Jun 2020 - 21:16) *
QUOTE (cp8759 @ Fri, 26 Jun 2020 - 20:20) *
From the facts you've described, I think the section 87(1) defence is clearly engaged.

Are you suggesting the court will agree that the car was being used for "ambulance purposes"?

I think there may be a struggle. S87 is headed "Exemption of fire brigade, ambulance and police vehicles from speed limits." This indicates to me that the vehicle must be an "official" ambulance.

There is no such thing as an "official" ambulance, what counts is the purpose for which the vehicle is being used. If a police officer were to commandeer a civilian vehicle in a dire emergency, he wouldn't have to stick to 30 mph in the centre of town just because he happened not to be driving an "official" vehicle.

QUOTE (NewJudge @ Fri, 26 Jun 2020 - 21:16) *
There is a bit more which may reinforce that:

"Subsection (1) above [which provides the exemption] applies in relation to a vehicle that, although not being used for ambulance purposes, is being used for the purpose of providing a response to an emergency at the request of an NHS ambulance service."

This would seem to suggest that an "unofficial" ambulance would enjoy the exemption only if it was responding to a request by the NHS ambulance service. I don't know if there is any case law but the statute by itself does not look promising.

No, that provision was added to cover NHS first responder vehicles because it was identified in Director of Public Prosecutions v Issler & Anor [2014] EWHC 669 (Admin) that NHS first responder vehicles were technically illegal (see para 33). Its purpose is to grant the exemption to vehicles that are not ambulances as such but that are used to convey trained medical personnel to the location of an emergency. It is a seperate exemption, and has been granted only to vehicles that are acting at the request of the NHS, but it does not alter the original ambulance exemption.

QUOTE (NewJudge @ Fri, 26 Jun 2020 - 21:16) *
If perchance that hurdle is crossed I think the OP must hope he is not also charged with Careless Driving. A careful and competent driver of a "genuine" emergency vehicle would, I suggest, not drive at 134mph in heavy traffic with a convulsing passenger by his side.

Careless driving is a separate issue. It's certainly a lot less clear-cut than speeding. The OP will have to wait and see if both charges appear on the paperwork that will inevitably come through.


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I am not on the "motorists's side", nor am I on the "police/CPS/council's" side, I am simply in favour of the rule of law.
No, I am not a lawyer.
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NewJudge
post Fri, 26 Jun 2020 - 21:21
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So if I stick a stirrup pump in the boot of my car and set off to extinguish my sister's bonfire which has got a bit out of hand, can I claim to be a "fire brigade vehicle" and thus exceed the speed limit? Yes, I'm being flippant. I get the example of a police officer commandeering a vehicle. But he is a police officer. The OP is not a paramedic. I think a Bench will take a bit of persuading.
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cp8759
post Sat, 27 Jun 2020 - 09:20
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QUOTE (NewJudge @ Fri, 26 Jun 2020 - 22:21) *
So if I stick a stirrup pump in the boot of my car and set off to extinguish my sister's bonfire which has got a bit out of hand, can I claim to be a "fire brigade vehicle" and thus exceed the speed limit? Yes, I'm being flippant. I get the example of a police officer commandeering a vehicle. But he is a police officer. The OP is not a paramedic. I think a Bench will take a bit of persuading.

I think the distinction between your example and the OP is that the OP can honestly claim his was a genuine life or death situation, and will presumably have medical evidence to back up his claim.


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I am not on the "motorists's side", nor am I on the "police/CPS/council's" side, I am simply in favour of the rule of law.
No, I am not a lawyer.
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southpaw82
post Sat, 27 Jun 2020 - 11:53
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QUOTE (cp8759 @ Fri, 26 Jun 2020 - 21:40) *
QUOTE (southpaw82 @ Fri, 26 Jun 2020 - 21:12) *
QUOTE (cp8759 @ Fri, 26 Jun 2020 - 20:20) *
From the facts you've described, I think the section 87(1) defence is clearly engaged.

Is it a defence to DWDCA?

You know the answer to that already.

I do. I’m curious as to why you’re advancing a defence in relation to speeding when he has been reported for DWDCA. I accept the offence proceeded with may change.


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andy_foster
post Sat, 27 Jun 2020 - 12:22
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QUOTE (cp8759 @ Fri, 26 Jun 2020 - 22:01) *
I think there may be a struggle. S87 is headed "Exemption of fire brigade, ambulance and police vehicles from speed limits." This indicates to me that the vehicle must be an "official" ambulance.


IIRC the section heading is merely a guide to enable the appropriate section to be located more easily, it does not actually form part of the legislation.


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cp8759
post Sat, 27 Jun 2020 - 12:59
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QUOTE (southpaw82 @ Sat, 27 Jun 2020 - 12:53) *
I do. I’m curious as to why you’re advancing a defence in relation to speeding when he has been reported for DWDCA. I accept the offence proceeded with may change.

The opening post indicates he's been reported for both, I'm pointing out that there appears to be a valid statutory defence to one of the offences he's been reported for.


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I am not on the "motorists's side", nor am I on the "police/CPS/council's" side, I am simply in favour of the rule of law.
No, I am not a lawyer.
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mdann52
post Mon, 29 Jun 2020 - 20:27
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QUOTE (cp8759 @ Fri, 26 Jun 2020 - 22:01) *
QUOTE (NewJudge @ Fri, 26 Jun 2020 - 21:16) *
QUOTE (cp8759 @ Fri, 26 Jun 2020 - 20:20) *
From the facts you've described, I think the section 87(1) defence is clearly engaged.

Are you suggesting the court will agree that the car was being used for "ambulance purposes"?

I think there may be a struggle. S87 is headed "Exemption of fire brigade, ambulance and police vehicles from speed limits." This indicates to me that the vehicle must be an "official" ambulance.

There is no such thing as an "official" ambulance, what counts is the purpose for which the vehicle is being used. If a police officer were to commandeer a civilian vehicle in a dire emergency, he wouldn't have to stick to 30 mph in the centre of town just because he happened not to be driving an "official" vehicle.


Isn't there an argument the definition in the Vehicle Excise and Registration Act 1994 and Road Vehicle Lighting Regulations 1989 (under “Emergency vehicle”(b) likely relevant here, which seem to require an ambulance to be adapted to carry patients, as opposed to just any old vehicle with a patient in the back? For lack of any better definition under the law this seems to be at least relevant to the courts decision of the definition.

This post has been edited by mdann52: Mon, 29 Jun 2020 - 20:28
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PASTMYBEST
post Mon, 29 Jun 2020 - 20:36
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What would seem relevant to me is that you were pulled over, if a police officer saw your wife having a seizure surely an ambulance would have been called or they would have escorted you to you home to obtain the medicine. So what would the officers evidence likely be in that regard?


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4hS6TcBkX
post Mon, 29 Jun 2020 - 20:57
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QUOTE (PASTMYBEST @ Mon, 29 Jun 2020 - 21:36) *
What would seem relevant to me is that you were pulled over, if a police officer saw your wife having a seizure surely an ambulance would have been called or they would have escorted you to you home to obtain the medicine. So what would the officers evidence likely be in that regard?


If you read the remainder of the thread you'll see that an ambulance was called and his wife taken to hospital.

QUOTE (Xde @ Fri, 26 Jun 2020 - 20:10) *
The ambulance was called as soon as I pulled over, it arrived in under five minutes.

No, she was not “ok”, she was in a deep, violent, seizure. In seizures like this the chance of serious co-morbidities increases every minute and can lead to a stroke, heart problems, organ failure, and death.

Considering it took the ambulance five minutes to arrive, five minutes to get my wife in the ambulance, 10 minute drive to hospital, five minutes for booking in, she was taken to resus and medication administered within five minutes. If I hadn’t been pulled over I would have been home and administered the injection in around five minutes.



This post has been edited by 4hS6TcBkX: Mon, 29 Jun 2020 - 21:48
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Logician
post Tue, 30 Jun 2020 - 00:01
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QUOTE (mdann52 @ Mon, 29 Jun 2020 - 21:27) *
Isn't there an argument the definition in the Vehicle Excise and Registration Act 1994 and Road Vehicle Lighting Regulations 1989 (under “Emergency vehicle”(b) likely relevant here, which seem to require an ambulance to be adapted to carry patients, as opposed to just any old vehicle with a patient in the back? For lack of any better definition under the law this seems to be at least relevant to the courts decision of the definition.


It would be rather a poor argument, it is not suggested that the OP's became an ambulance, and entitled to exemption from VED and to display blue lights, but that it was being used for an ambulance purpose, ie transporting a patient, which is what the section requires:

No statutory provision imposing a speed limit on motor vehicles shall apply to any vehicle on an occasion when it is being used for fire and rescue authority, for ambulance purposes or police purposes, if the observance of that provision would be likely to hinder the use of the vehicle for the purpose for which it is being used on that occasion.

[/i]If the section was only intended to apply to ambulances it could simply have been said to apply to "an ambulance as defined by VERA 1984" instead it appears to have been deliberately drafted to apply to a wider range of vehicles.



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Durzel
post Tue, 30 Jun 2020 - 15:28
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QUOTE (cp8759 @ Sat, 27 Jun 2020 - 10:20) *
QUOTE (NewJudge @ Fri, 26 Jun 2020 - 22:21) *
So if I stick a stirrup pump in the boot of my car and set off to extinguish my sister's bonfire which has got a bit out of hand, can I claim to be a "fire brigade vehicle" and thus exceed the speed limit? Yes, I'm being flippant. I get the example of a police officer commandeering a vehicle. But he is a police officer. The OP is not a paramedic. I think a Bench will take a bit of persuading.

I think the distinction between your example and the OP is that the OP can honestly claim his was a genuine life or death situation, and will presumably have medical evidence to back up his claim.

Would he be able to convince a bench that it was reasonable that they kept the only vial of this critical, potentially life saving medication at home, rather than having several caches of it for emergencies, in the car, in her handbag, in the OP's jacket or whatever?

I do wish the OP well, as it seems on the face of it that the prevailing circumstances were such that he felt compelled to do the speed he was doing. It is fair to say that the difference between doing 134mph and 50mph when you're two miles from home is measured in <3 minutes, but that's with a rational mind, and it's not as if you're going to slow down as you get to the last 2 miles, the inferrence is that the OP was doing this speed for considerably longer.

That being said having this vital medication at home and nowhere else, not having any surplus of it, for exactly this sort of critical event, doesn't inspire confidence in the defence.
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cp8759
post Tue, 30 Jun 2020 - 17:30
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QUOTE (Durzel @ Tue, 30 Jun 2020 - 16:28) *
That being said having this vital medication at home and nowhere else, not having any surplus of it, for exactly this sort of critical event, doesn't inspire confidence in the defence.

As someone who suffers from a chronic condition I can tell you that, no matter how much you plan and keep spare supplies and whatnot, at some point sooner or later you end up getting caught out and need to rush home / to the pharmacy / to hospital.


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No, I am not a lawyer.
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mickR
post Tue, 30 Jun 2020 - 17:36
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QUOTE (Durzel @ Tue, 30 Jun 2020 - 16:28)
Would he be able to convince a bench that it was reasonable that they kept the only vial of this critical, potentially life saving medication at home, rather than having several caches of it for emergencies, in the car, in her handbag, in the OP's jacket or whatever?

Aiui some medication has to be kept refrigerated so not always possible to keep about your person.
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4hS6TcBkX
post Tue, 30 Jun 2020 - 18:19
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QUOTE (mickR @ Tue, 30 Jun 2020 - 18:36) *
QUOTE (Durzel @ Tue, 30 Jun 2020 - 16:28)
Would he be able to convince a bench that it was reasonable that they kept the only vial of this critical, potentially life saving medication at home, rather than having several caches of it for emergencies, in the car, in her handbag, in the OP's jacket or whatever?

Aiui some medication has to be kept refrigerated so not always possible to keep about your person.


Although true, OP mentioned that they usually keep medication in the vehicle so this shouldn't be a problem.

However, as somebody correctly mentioned above though, you will inevitably encounter an event where you unfortunately don't have medication in the vehicle - as in this instance.
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PASTMYBEST
post Tue, 30 Jun 2020 - 18:22
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QUOTE (cp8759 @ Tue, 30 Jun 2020 - 18:30) *
QUOTE (Durzel @ Tue, 30 Jun 2020 - 16:28) *
That being said having this vital medication at home and nowhere else, not having any surplus of it, for exactly this sort of critical event, doesn't inspire confidence in the defence.

As someone who suffers from a chronic condition I can tell you that, no matter how much you plan and keep spare supplies and whatnot, at some point sooner or later you end up getting caught out and need to rush home / to the pharmacy / to hospital.


Being in the same boat i agree, and as an ambulance was called there may be strong mitigation but not IMO a defence


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cp8759
post Tue, 30 Jun 2020 - 18:32
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QUOTE (PASTMYBEST @ Tue, 30 Jun 2020 - 19:22) *
...and as an ambulance was called there may be strong mitigation but not IMO a defence

Not a defence to what?


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No, I am not a lawyer.
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roythebus
post Yesterday, 08:58
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With the medication issue, I'd suggest that such meds would be rather expensive and for the NHS to issue such quantities to cover emergencies would not be possible. The meds might also have a limited shelf life. I know with my prescription meds for a non-fatal stomach problem, the doctor cannot order me more than a month's supply at any time except in exceptional circumstances.

So that could be a reason the OP doesn't have a stock of it in the car/his pocket/wife's handbag.

But I must admit 134 is rather quick. The only time I've driven at much over the limit was when my first wife started having our first son on the way to hospital, but that was at 0300 on empty roads, and not much over 50 in a 30.
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