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Ashton v Director of Public Prosecutions, Divisional Court, 9 November 2005

24 November 2005
The issues

Emergency Vehicles – Ambulance Drivers – Private Vehicles – Whether Private vehicle could be treated as an emergency vehicle – Road Vehicle Lighting Regulations 1989 Regulation 3

The facts

The Defendant used his own private vehicle to respond to a duty call to collect an ambulance and use it to take an ill child to hospital. On his way to collect the ambulance he used a flashing blue light and drove in excess of the applicable speed limits. He was charged in the Magistrate’s Court with offences under the Road Traffic Act 1988 and the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 and the Road Vehicle Lighting Regulations 1989. he was convicted on the basis that the Magistrates took the view that the vehicle was not an emergency vehicle in this case an ambulance within the meaning of regulation 3 of the 1989 Regulations because it was not constructed or adapted for the use of sick, injured or disabled people.

The decision

The Magistrates had been entitled to conclude that the Defendant’s vehicle was not an ambulance. It approached the matter correctly by seeking to ascertain whether the vehicle came within the definition contained in the 1989 Regulations.

Appeal dismissed.

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