90 days from today is Fri, 09 October 2020
16 May 2018
A reading of a new bill which would offer better protection to police response drivers has been scheduled for 6 July 2018.
The second reading of the Emergency Response Drivers (Protections) Bill was planned for Friday 16 March, but was stalled by the Government until an on-going review ‘into the law and best practice regarding police pursuits’ was complete.
The bill follows a campaign led by West Midlands Police Federation deputy secretary Tim Rogers, the national Federation lead on pursuits, who wants legislation in place to reflect the advanced driving skills of emergency response drivers.
“Current legislation leaves police officers and other emergency service responders vulnerable. This is because there are no exemptions in the current legislation that take into account the high level of specialised training officers are given,” Tim explains in a blog he wrote earlier this year.
“All are measured against the common standard that of a non-trained ‘competent and careful driver’. According to the law, ‘dangerous driving’ includes speeding, ignoring traffics signals, or overtaking dangerously. Officers can also be held liable for causing others to drive dangerously. Talk about trying to do your job with one hand tied behind your back!”
The bill has been sponsored by Sir Henry Bellingham, MP for Norfolk, and won cross-party support when it came before the House of Commons before Christmas.
It will be discussed at next week’s Police Federation conference as part of the Protect the Protectors debate.