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.”