Dangerous Ambulance Driver taken to court.

The link below relates to an Ambulance Driver being found guilty of dangerous driving whilst responding to a 999 call.

'Dangerous' Ambulance Driver Link

To quote ...

"The court heard that as the ambulance approached Miss Barnett's Renault Clio from behind on a dark, wet country road, on 9 February at about 1830 GMT, she indicated to turn right.

The indicator stopped and Collis decided to overtake.

However, within moments, the Clio's right indicator flashed again, and the two vehicles collided, prosecutor Sophie Stevens told the court.

Ms Stevens said there was no suggestion that Mr Collis was driving above the 60mph speed limit."

It is a sad state of affairs when someone, who is trying their best to save a life, is taken to court following an accident where they were not totally at fault! Funny old thing, the other driver is now looking at civil action no doubt trying to get every penny they can from this.
They should have some sort of immunity, if the blurb there is correct, it's the twat in the Clio that is lacking the situational awareness.
Besides, Ambulance drivers are trained (i think) to drive properley, unlike drunk National Express coach drivers....
To be honest, i think the copper got it right, both drivers were at fault, but its the girl who has paid a massive price for her mistake.
'In a statement, Miss Barnett said her memory has been badly affected, her speech is slurred, she has double vision, limited movement, bad headaches and is still in a lot of pain.'
She shouldn't drink so much!
762baynet said:
'In a statement, Miss Barnett said her memory has been badly affected, her speech is slurred, she has double vision, limited movement, bad headaches and is still in a lot of pain.'
She shouldn't drink so much!
I assume that she's not had an insurance settlement yet?
How many times of seen it though?

Blue Light comeing through, and people just mong it in front of them.

Ambulance drivers are trained to Blue Light and drive safely. I doubt he was speeding, ambulances are a bit tippy, they ain't low down cars like the Police drive.

Some moron started mucking about because they didn't know what to do when they heard a siren. End of.


War Hero
Like in all professions there are good and bad ambulance drivers (be they paramedics or medical technicians), with the majority in the good catagory. There are however some who take greater risks and invite an accident or make the journey of their patient that bit rougher.

The advanced driving course that is required to drive the ambulances emphasises forward thinking and greater situational awareness and from the information available this driver did not heed his training and undertook a dangerous manoevre resultion in serious injury.

From what the BBC report says I do not think that this man has been unfairly treated. He made a bad call while driving - something most of us have done - except with his level of training and road experience he should have known better and a teenagers life has been permanently changed for it.

Finally to the idea of immunity for emergency services on 999 calls from prosecution for dangerous driving, I'd disagree with this profoundly. It would have little or no effect on the good drivers but the minority of bad drivers would have a defence for willful dangerous driving. I do not think it would work.

Failure to yield to an emergency vehicle is an offence in many countries. If you crash into an ambulance on an emergency call you are prosecuted.

In the UK if you are monging behind the wheel and you dont check your mirrors before you turn/don't indicate for a reasonable amount of time before you manouvre/don't notice the ambulance which has been behind you for 10-20 seconds and you collide as he attempts to pass you it is the poor EMS worker who is now prosecuted. Not the mongy driver who drives everywhere on autopilot.

This has been coming for a while since Plod were prosecuted for doing more than 20mph over the speed limit by their own.

Does anyone remember the prosecution of the paramedic who was transporting human tissue for a transplant?

I know UK Paramedics who have been prosecuted for their driving when another motorist failed to see them or didn't check their mirrors properly before making a turn. They sit at red lights with their beacons on and drive at the speed limit now becuse they will not risk their jobs/licence for an emergency call.

Another example of the death of common sense in the UK.
This was on our local news channel last night and showed pics of the accident, which looking at the state of the 2 vehicles looked quite bad. The report did say that the Clio driver was newly qualified. Which was followed by someone from the EMS lot saying that maybe more emphasis, when learners are trained to drive, they should be told what to do when they see flashing blue lights coming towards them.
I didn't notice any mention of it in the linked article but;

If an ambulance is responding to a 999 call do they not use the blue lights and siren? If that was the case are you not supposed to pull over to the side of the road and yield right of way to an emergency vehicle?

Not having been there I do not know all the facts but I am surprised that the ambulance driver was found to be at fault.
Without all the facts it is difficult to know who is in the right or wrong.

But I would of thought taking a right turn you would check your mirrors for motorbikes at least. Also assuming the ambulance driver had his lights and sirens on common sense would tell you to check where its coming from before you take any drastic moves like making a turn.

Maybe they do need to highlight some acts of common sense in driving lessons and tests, some certainly need it.

Don't think police or ambulance should be ammune from being done cos of stuff like this, that will just allow recklessness with cover.
You wouldn't believe how many drivers have pulled out on me or not seen my approach. People sjust stay between the white lines and keep the same distance from the car in front on a routine journey. Often their brain is not engaged.
One I see a lot, when driving on blue lights, is a car two vehicles ahead, watching in his mirrors, sees my ambulance and pulls over, only for the car immediately behind him (immediately in front of me, usually a BMW) to then overtake.

It's obvious to the BMW driver that the lesser car in front is pulling over to allow the BMW driver to take his rightful position at the front of any queue. Spend any amount of time driving an emergency vehicle and you will see great examples of mong driving.

Like the woman yesterday, I was on the lights driving in the outside lane of a dual carriageway, inside lane had enough space for her to pull over. So spaz driver decides the best course of action would be to perform an emergency stop in front of me in the outside lane.

It's only due to the skill of most of my colleagues that there are not more incidents like the one reported here.
you would check your mirrors for motorbikes at least

haha, if only. Although it is tru that drivers now seem to be on drone mode, and pay little attention to what is going on. Thats why i think the emphisis is on the overtaking veh to be absolutly sure that they can get past safely. Only going on the bbc report, the fact that the indicator had been going would probably been enough of a warning to hang back far a second. But hey, i wasnt there, the ambo driver, who im sure will be well trained was, he made the descision to go, it turned out to be the wrong thing to do.
I used to drive a rapid response car - a bloody great big modified volvo, bright yellow, covered in reflective tape and dozens of strobe lights with four white alternating lights to the front. I often felt like this thing would be visable from space... untill we took it out on the roads.
usually my shifts were overnight, when you would expect strobe lights to be most effective. we could see people miles ahead, we would catch up with them (the A303 is great for this) plenty of long straight stretches where you'd expect to be seen.

all too often we would see the car ahead do a little swerve as they notice us overtaking, a distictive little jerk of the wheel (caused by a jerk behind the wheel) and even one occasion where we were almost rammed into while travelling past a T junction (on the main road part so it was our right of way ffs)
I feel that the average driver isn't aware of whats going on around them, safely cocooned in their car surrounded by airbags, side impact zones, climate control, power steering and stereo.
No indication in the report that the Ambulance siren or blues were being used at the time. It merely says that the driver of the ambulance was responding to a 999 call.

There have been instances in the past, certainly of police vehicles, where they have been involved in accidents - some fatal - and where sirens and lights were not switched on.

Anyone know about this detail with reference to this case?
Sorry, I've now found further reports saying that the emergency lights and sirens were on at the time. However, in court:

PC Victor Plasins said both drivers were at fault for the collision. He said: "The Clio driver should have seen the approaching ambulance. The ambulance should have waited and let the Clio complete its manoeuvre."
Need to start sorting the cars out, so that they are not safely cocooned.

I remember one of the lads in my unit designing a little device that could help with this. It was a directional antenna that would broadcast a siren on ALL commercial radio frequencies. The idea being that when you heard the siren on your radio you knew a Blue light was boring in on you.

His final design (not made) would have had the little signal that turns your radio on for traffic news on to a certain channel. Basically so he didn't have to jam loads of frequencies!!!

It can't be that hard surely, If you see a Blue Light don't get in it's way. If you are in it's way get out of the way as soon as possible. I'll admit to occaisionly speeding in front of a blue light until able to pull out of the way safely and to allow it past easily.

Once remember being in Kent in Mar 05. It was snowing quite badly, and an Ambulance was trying to get up the road of cars, all at standstill in the snow.

All the cars are pushing out of the way, on both sides to allow the ambulance to move along. Then (before I actually see the ambulance) some tube drives up the middle (towards the ambulance) in a 4x4 (Vitara) sneering at the cars left and right. Thinking he is the big man. :x

How I laughed at him, and gave the the divi signed, as he reversed back down the road to allow the ambulance through. :oops:

Then I helped pull a few cars of the verge with my Landy, which had got stuck in order to allow teh ambulance past. How I laughed when it turned out one was an unmarked police car, who had got this spoons VRN!!

Naturally I offered my name as a witness. :twisted: Although I don't know if anything could, or was, done against him.


Driver awareness.

The Clio driver was approaching a hazard, viz the right turn she indicated for. Mirrors, signal, manoeuvre. The sequence is drummed into us for good reasons. Had she made the requisite mirror checks, might she have seen the ambulance coming? Blues tend to be even more obvious in the dark, so this lady was missing the obvious. Moreover, was she listening to music? If so did the volume, set at uncha-uncha levels, drown out the sound of the approaching sirens?

The Ambulance driver, having undertaken (no pun) EVAD training, however, ought to have been more alert to the scope for c0ck-up. On approach to a turning to the right ahead, the car in front had a signal applied. Even if the signal was subsequently cancelled, there was cause for doubt.

On Rural Single Carriageways (RSC), I am informed that junctions are our 2nd favourite place to collide, and you are 5 times more likely to do so when turning right rather than left. 23% of road traffic collisions occur on RSC, causing 46% of casualties (DoT figures) making them statistically the UK's most dangerous roads. With this in mind, had the Ambulance driver paused for a second rather than pressed on, the law of unintended consequences may not have come into play here.

Current UK driving conditions render the task of driving emergency vehicles increasingly hazardous, and I have great admiration for the professionalism of Fire, Ambulance & indeed Police advanced drivers alike. But PC Plassins had a point when he maintained that both drivers were at fault, sorry though I am for the ambulance driver's plight.
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