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Can I Fight My Speeding Fine As It Was An Emergency?

By: Tracy Wilkinson - Updated: 6 Aug 2019 | comments*Discuss
Emergency Vehicles Points And Fine For


I have received a speeding fine after being flashed by a truvelo ( 49 in a 40 limit) I speeded up to allow an emergency vehicle to pass as I could not pull over to the left or the right due to parked cars one side and cones the other.

The emergency vehicle turned left just before I was flashed so wouldn't show on the film. I told the ticket office of the situation and their reply was that no emergency vehicle could be seen in any of the film.

Should I have speeded up or not and should I fight this in court or just take the 3 points?
(Mr Alan Knight, 28 September 2008)


This is a very contentious issue at the moment. Many people believe that if you are approached by an emergency vehicle with blue lights blazing and a siren screeching, then you legally have to get out of the way.

In actual fact, this is not the case, and many usually careful drivers have been caught out like this, ending up with penalty points on their licence and a hefty fine - which seems really unfair when they are just trying to be a good citizen.

So what should you do?Take for example a car sitting at traffic lights. Should a motorist who is sat in one lane of stationary traffic, waiting for the traffic lights to change, block an emergency vehicle approaching from behind from passing or should they move out of the way and potentially put themselves and other road users at risk of accident, and potential prosecution?

The first thing to do is not to panic. If you are in moving traffic, don't just slam your brakes on because you're likely to end up needing an ambulance yourself if someone goes into the back of you. Ideally, you'll be following good driving practices that will allow you to see and hear an emergency vehicle approaching, long before it becomes a problem. It's a tricky one and you need to think on your feet in this situation. Have a look at the safest option that you can take at that time? If people are swerving out of the way to let an ambulance or fire engine pass, then it's likely to cause another accident, rather than help the emergency driver get to where they are needed any sooner.

Most importantly, is to remember that you must not break the law - no matter what the circumstances. Emergency drivers are well trained and have exemptions that allow them to escape legal action - that you - as a civilian motorist, don't have. Although it's horrible to be sitting there thinking that you might be delaying someone urgent emergency assistance, if someone needs to go through a red light, then it needs to be the emergency vehicle driver, not you.

Unfortunately in your case, this is exactly what's happened. If you think you have a valid case, then it's always worth Appealing with the ticket issuer. People have fought similar cases and some have won while others lost. However, if they aren't willing to drop the charge, as you did use excess speed, you may have to accept the penalty and make sure that next time, it's the emergency vehicle who take the responsibility for driving too fast and not you.

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Hello! I have just received my NIP this morning (06/08/2019) and my date of speeding was 01/06/2019. So two months have passed! I do have a lease car so maybe this is the reason? It has come to my place of work but do I need to take action as it has been 9 weeks??
Claire - 6-Aug-19 @ 10:55 AM
I was caught by unmarked police car using handheld speeding gun. They done it from there car seat from some distance from the road. They stop me some 2 miles later and tell me i was doing 60 in a 40. Pretty sure i was not. They never showed me proof of this . After pnc check they said they can issue me ticket because i have 9 points. They told me i will recieve a letter in next two weeks. They never charged me or cautioned me. I recieve nip in 5 weeks. Its states i was doing 60 in a 40 and i have to go to court. Also states that the Police officers charged and cautioned me. Plus it states they showed me my speed on the camera. What do i do ?
Robs - 25-May-18 @ 12:24 AM
Gazza1 - Your Question:
I just got the dreaded letter 37 in a 30 but speed van was parked approx 4 foot within the 40 sign.do I take on chin or fight it

Our Response:
It's unlikely that the positioning of the van will affect the outcome as it's where the camera captures the vehicle speed that counts.
NoPenaltyPoints - 9-Apr-18 @ 2:06 PM
I just got the dreaded letter 37 in a 30 but speed van was parked approx 4 foot within the 40 sign .do I take on chin or fight it
Gazza1 - 8-Apr-18 @ 1:45 AM
I am a full time carer. I was caught by mobile van doing 38 in a 30 zone. I was going to a lady who had pressed her lifeline. She is also end of life.. I am really peeved .. can I fight the fine and points
SHAZZY - 23-Feb-18 @ 2:16 PM
Bagal - Your Question:
Hi my husband was on hands free and parked with engine running when he got out to take something from his van with the phone in his hand when a police officer issued him a fine for £200.00 with letter to arrive in the post. No penalty points were issued. Can we appeal this? Thanks

Our Response:
You can only use a mobile phone if you're "safely parked". If the engine was running perhaps the police considered it wasn't safely parked? If you want to appeal this, you might be better seeking professional advice from a motoring lawyer.
NoPenaltyPoints - 20-Feb-18 @ 12:01 PM
Hi my husband was on hands free and parked with engine running when he got out to take something from his van with the phone in his hand when a police officer issued him a fine for £200.00 with letter to arrive in the post.No penalty points were issued.Can we appeal this?Thanks
Bagal - 15-Feb-18 @ 9:19 PM
shauny - Your Question:
I been issued a ticket for speeding back 5mths ago.i sent back letter to say if I was driver.but now have heard nothing back ? anyone any ideas on the time limit.or have they lost the paperwork?

Our Response:
Assumiong you were sent an NIP rather than a fixed penalty notice, you have 28 days in which to return the forms and the police have up to 6 months in which to initiate proceedings.
NoPenaltyPoints - 10-Feb-16 @ 9:55 AM
I been issued a ticket for speeding back 5mths ago.i sent back letter to say if I was driver.but now have heard nothing back ? anyone any ideas on the time limit.or have they lost the paperwork?
shauny - 8-Feb-16 @ 10:02 AM
I was caught by a mobile camera unit a few days ago (received notice today). I was doing 87 in a 70 zone but was only doing so because I thought I was going to vomit. A little did come up in my mouth before I could exit the area. There was a very, very strong odour coming from a nearby sewerage plant. For safety reasons, I did not want to vomit whilst driving, as that could cause me to collide with something. For health reasons, I have Type 1 Diabetes (insulin controlled), and inject insulin for the amount of carbohydrates I eat, so losing an unknown amount of food could cause me to go into hypoglycemia, which put myself at risk of passing out, going into a diabetic coma, or even dying. Would this count as mitigating circumstances?
Zeph - 17-Sep-15 @ 2:53 PM
@Andy. We don't know for sure. Maybe a motoring lawyer will be able to give you more information. However, thehighway code gives this information: "Mini-roundabouts. Approach these in the same way as normal roundabouts. All vehicles MUST pass round the central markings except large vehicles which are physically incapable of doing so. Remember, there is less space to manoeuvre and less time to signal." The laws referred to are: Laws RTA 1988 sect 36 & TSRGD regs 10(1) & 16(1)" Failing to comply with a traffic sign contrary to the RTA s.36 is endorseable usually with 3 points, so from that you would assume that it is actually an endorsable offence.
NoPenaltyPoints - 17-Feb-15 @ 1:01 PM
A friend of mine was given a Conditional Offer of Fixed Penalty of £50 for going over the central white circle on a mini roundabout. He ignored it. He then received a Conditional Offer of £150 plus 3 penalty points from the Procurator Fiscal who claims the Police Officers were wrong in issuing a non endorsable ticket. Is that an endorsable offence?
Andy - 16-Feb-15 @ 2:05 AM
I received a speeding fine for doing 37 in a 30 in the limehouse link tunnel. I opted to attend a speed awareness course but could not make the course at the last minute because of a work committment. the 4 month deadline for attendance has now expired, but I cannot find the original letter informing me of my offence so I do not know who to contact them to inform them that I now have to accept the points on my licence. Does anyone know who to contact and how?
nct - 23-Dec-14 @ 4:02 PM
@pi. If you were to be offered the mobile phone awareness course, it would have been stated in your NIP, so you will have to accept the penalty or appeal it (you don't have very solid grounds for this though).
NoPenaltyPoints - 1-Oct-14 @ 12:43 PM
I was stopped for using mobile whilst driving. I didn't actually use the phone just picked it up nd put straight back on seat. The officer saw this. I didn't have ear phones and had no intention of using mobile. But still got a penalty notice £100 and 3 points. There is a mobile phone awareness course, can anyone do this course. How do I find out, before surrendering license for endorsements. PJ
pj - 30-Sep-14 @ 12:14 PM
Hi there, I got a £60 fine and 3 points for being on my phone while driving, I went to the court after the 28 days to pay the fine and get the points added to my licence. The man at the court told me the police did not process my ticket an that the police will get in contact with me within 1 week to issue me a new ticket.. Are they aloud to issue a new ticket to me and do I have to accept it?? Thanks
Chris - 9-Sep-12 @ 12:40 AM
Last week I had to rush my son to the emergency room at 5:00 am because he was having severe abdominal pain and throwing up blood.I got flashed by a speed camera while going through an intersection.Right after that, I had a police car behind me with lights flashing.I continued to the hospital and he followed me into the hospital parking lot.I stopped and explained the situation while my wife took my son into the emergency room. The officer told me I should have called 911 but I told him I couldn't wait 30 minutes for an ambulance.He let me off with a warning saying that he was satisfied that I had my picture taken and would get a speeding ticket anyway. I am expecting a ticket in the mail.Can I fight this ticket?I have a clean record and rarely go over the speed limit.I am in my 60's.Thank you for your advice.Dane
Dane - 27-Nov-11 @ 5:02 PM
I have been sent a Notice of Intended Prosecution dated 25/08/2011 for doing 79mph in a 70mph zone. The date of the offence was 30/07/2011.I am aware that Freddie Flintoff got off with a speeding offence because the notice was not sent out within 14 days of the offence. Does this still apply?Any advice would be much appreciated.Many thanksJohnie
Johnie - 2-Sep-11 @ 10:35 AM
I, like the above, saw a police vehicle approaching whilst I was at red traffice lights, it was the only practical route for them to take, however I could not move anywhere except forward, however I sat stationary as I would have needed to go through the lights. After many jasticulations from the two police officers another that was on foot approched and ordered me to clear the way and that he was going to report me for "obstructing the police in the execution" I have instructed a solicitor and have a court date in the future, the police do not want to drop the case. I would appreciate comments from your legal eagles as to the advice above and my case of doing what you advised. TR
TR - 27-Aug-11 @ 9:32 AM
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