Baffling road rules that punish drivers for allowing ambulances to pass could be scrapped if a new proposal allowing motorists to move out of their way is rolled out.
Motoring safety experts at Snooper have launched a campaign to stop the extortionate fines that drivers receive for moving out of the way of ambulances trying to get to Brits facing life-threatening emergencies.
Most drivers’ instinct when they see blue lights and hear sirens is to move out of the way, but this could land them huge fines and penalty points if they break traffic laws while pulling over.
Although Rule 219 of the Highway Code says motorists should take the appropriate action to let an emergency vehicle pass, failure to obey road laws will lead to punishment.
Moving through a red light, into a bus lane or pulling into a yellow box junction to let an ambulance through could lead to an eye-watering £1000 fine.
If moving out of the way for an ambulance causes drivers to make an illegal turn, drive down a one-way street, mount a kerb or break harshly, they can also be slapped with a hefty fine.
The Snooper campaign to scrap these harsh penalties comes as recent NHS ambulance stats showed catastrophic delays for emergency vehicles getting to patients on the brink of death.
Shockingly, a freedom of information act to ambulance trusts in England suggested that an average of 120 people died per day before an ambulance managed to reach them in 2022.
According to recent figures, patients in England with suspected heart attacks and strokes wait over 90 minutes for an ambulance when the target time was 18 minutes pre-pandemic.
With the NHS starved of resources and ambulance services facing more pressure than ever, delays on the road due to drivers being too scared to move out of the way in case they are fined will cost lives.
Gary Digva, the visionary behind Snooper, said: “People are struggling enough with the cost-of-living crisis, and they should not be punished for making a ‘mistake’ while moving out of the way for an emergency vehicle.
“If it is safe to move to make room for ambulances rushing to save lives, there should be an exception.
“Our campaign would mean harsh penalties for drivers who break road rules while moving out the way for ambulances, if it is safe to do so, would be removed.
“In an emergency, every second counts, but these huge fines stop motorists from wanting to move out of the way, causing delays to an already over-stretched ambulance service.
“As long as drivers don’t panic and check they are not coming into conflict with other road users or endangering anyone else by moving out of the way, people should be free to move without penalties.”
Mr. Digva went on to say that dashcams can be useful in providing a record of the circumstances surrounding a maneuver to avoid emergency vehicles and be used as evidence if necessary.
He said: “Drivers that check their surroundings and make room for emergency vehicles safely should be free from prosecution and dashcams can help to prove that they have done so.”