Ambulance driver given speeding fine and penalty points on mercy dash with donated liver
A dad-of-three has been fined £60 and had three penalty points slapped on his licence for speeding – even though he is an AMBULANCE DRIVER who was at the time taking a donated LIVER to hospital for a child's transplant!
Andy Thomson expected the fine to be waived when he was clocked doing 84mph with his blue lights on on the A1 in Scotland, but instead, Haddington Sheriff Court in East Lothian handed down the fine and endorsements.
Outraged Andy said he thinks the ruling was 'disgraceful' and that keeping within the speed limits could put lives at risk. He told the Evening Chronicle that he and his colleagues were now being forced to slow down even when attending to emergencies.
"We're now going to have to switch off our blue lights and go through that stretch at 70mph even if it is an emergency. This will cost somebody their life if there's too much delay on one of these organs," he said.
Andy was racing to St James's Hospital in Leeds in a private ambulance contracted from Lifeline Medical Transport Services by the NHS when he was caught speeding last October.
He was delivering a donated liver for a desperately ill child and made it just in the nick of time.
Andy – who has previously never had a speeding fine in his four-year-career as a driver – said he would be 'destroyed' if he turned up too late for a donated organ to be used:
"At the end of the day, somebody's life depends on this organ and for me to be delayed in anyway and the hospital turn around and say 'sorry, you're too late', well, that would destroy me," he said. "I drive all over the country taking organs between hospitals and I've never once had a problem, apart from in East Lothian."
Andy says that he has been clocked on the same road doing the same speeds before, but was not fined.
"Last March, I was on the very same road taking an organ and was clocked 108 mph and no action was taken against me, so I don't know why police have decided to come down on me now," he said.
What do you think about this? Should the same rules apply to ALL drivers no matter what the purpose of their journey, or should rules be relaxed for people like Andy who are delivering organs or attending to emergencies?