Spies to be allowed to break speed limits

Speed limit
13 Jan, 2014 4:49pm Chris Ebbs

Members of MI5 and MI6, mountain rescue and bomb disposal units to be exempt from speed limits

Changes to motoring laws will allow members of the MI5, MI6, mountain rescue, bomb disposal units and vehicles used to carry organs for transplant to speed for the first time.

Currently these services have to abide to speed limits on UK roads – even if they are dealing with issues involving national security.

However, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Transport, Robert Goodwill is set to give these groups the same exemptions as police, ambulance and fire services.

They will be able to break the speed limit once they have completed a training course in high-speed driving.

The exemptions could also include workers for HM Revenue and Customs as well as UK Border Agency Officials.

The changes have come about following a Department for Transport consultation in to the idea. It found that 93 per cent of people that responded to the consultation felt that the exemption should also apply to groups involved in "the protection of life and limb or national security".

Just last month, a Freedom of Information request by the Scottish Conservatives showed that the Scottish Ambulance Service had been issued with more than 2200 speeding tickets in the past two years. Between January and August 2013, 1062 speeding tickets were issued to the ambulance service, meaning four ambulances received tickets each day.

In order to avoid a fine, ambulance staff must fill out a form to prove they were attending an emergency at the time the vehicle was caught speeding.

A spokesman for the Scottish Ambulance Service said:" Any ticket issued to a Scottish Ambulance Service vehicle that is allocated to an emergency incident is subsequently cancelled.

"As the volume of speeding notices continues to increase, the process for cancellation of tickets is becoming more time consuming."

The Scottish Conservative's transport spokesman Alex Johnstone said: "This is a substantial administrative chore the Scottish Ambulance Service could surely do without.

"Surely common sense would dictate if an emergency service vehicle breaks the speed limit, there's a very good reason for it."

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If MI5, MI6, etc. wish to attempt to break the speed limit in late '80's saloons (a Ford Granada and a Vauxhall Cavalier) as shown above then good luck to them I say!

I hate to be pedantic, but those cars are actually (from left to right), a Rover 400 Mk1 and a Rover 200 MK1.... although in all fairness, if the british spies were to be speeding in these british relics, it certainly would be quite amusing.

Ok, I agree with Mountain Rescue and Bomb disposal, as they could be considered emergency services and would, no doubt be driving vehicles equipped with warning lights and possibly even sirens. Wannabe James Bond types tooling around in performance vehicles though, with no warning lights or sirens to warn other drivers (being all covert) would NOT get my vote as I am sure they'd just be viewed by many as just another idiot driving fast and not let through traffic. Twice I have had unmarked vehicles come romping up behind me at well over the speed limt and try to bully me out of the way by suddenly turning on the covert lights and/ or siren. On both occasions I have held them up as I was in the process of overtaking and moved over when safe to do so. On both occasions neither vehicle was driving at speed with the lights / siren on until they got onto my rear bumper! As such, I treated them with the contempt I'd show for any other speeder trying to bully their way through traffic, which is essentially what they were doing anyway.

A very good point! In that case I suspect that just starting the engines without the doors falling off would be a result. The terrorists will be shaking in their boots tonight!