Taxman seeks permission to break speed limit

Taxman seeks permission to break speed limit
30 Nov, 2012 3:06pm Claire Holden

Tax officials could be made exempt from speed limits under new proposals

The taxman could be given permission to break speed limits like police and ambulance drivers if new proposals get the go-ahead.

The Department for Transport (DfT) is planning to expand the list of emergency services whose employees can drive above the limit. New additions to the list include the secret service, bomb disposal units and vehicles carrying organs for transplant.

But HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has also requested the exemptions for employees. The proposal says that HMRC officers monitor suspects “involved in major organised crime”.

And an HMRC spokeswoman added that the application was made for certain officers to be exempt from the Road Traffic Act “in order to fulfil
their duties, which include surveillance and arrest”.

However, the proposal document admits that increasing the number of vehicles that have an exemption from speed limits could compromise road safety.

Earlier this month, it was revealed in the House of Commons that a total of 156 people have been killed as a result of accidents caused by police pursuits since 2004.

Road safety minister Stephen Hammond stressed that anyone driving an emergency vehicle would be required to complete specialist training before they are permitted to break speed limits.

He said: “It’s only right that we look at allowing other services whose duties can mean the difference between life and death to exceed the speed limit when responding to emergencies.”

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The road traffic act is long overdue an overhaul with respect to drivers lawfully exempted from speed limits, red traffic lights and parking restrictions, etc. It was written in a different era, before the advent of mobile paramedics on motorcycles and in light cars (which although technically used for "ambulance" purposes in the wider aspect of understanding are NOT ambulances and therefore not lawfully exempt under current law) It also predates the use of vehicles for emergency blood, organ and tissue transfer, and the wider use of blues and twos on Coastguard Rescue vehicles, Mine rescue, mountain and cliff rescue, bomb disposal, flying doctors etc etc, all of which are currently not exempted. Ironically a Vet using an ambulance can use lawful exemptions to go and treat a sick racehorse, but a coastguard rescue team rushing to save a life of a human cannot. this the taxman attempting to look like they're actually doing something then?

deliberately misleading headline.......don't think many people equate HMRC surveillance teams with "the taxman"

Anyone exempt from the speeding law, has to stay at the locus of an accident, they find themselves involved in.

Ambulance drivers on the other hand can leave the scene, if they are carrying an urgent casualty or one from the locus of the accident, if their vehicle isn`t badly damaged.

After the police have breathalysed them of course.

My tax man is already speading to get at my money, and I'm only a pensioner.