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