Matthew Scott wants better protection for emergency response drivers
Kent’s Police and Crime Commissioner is backing a Bill to give better legal protection for emergency response drivers.
Matthew Scott has written to all 17 Kent MPs requesting they support the Emergency Response Drivers (Protections) Bill. The Ten-Minute Rule Bill is being brought before Parliament on Tuesday afternoon (19 December) by Sir Henry Bellingham MP.
Mr Scott said:
Specifically, the Emergency Response Drivers (Protections) Bill would seek to change the law by introducing an exemption for police and other emergency service workers from the Road Traffic Act.
‘Too many highly-professional emergency response drivers across the country have found themselves accused of driving carelessly or dangerously when they have simply been carrying out their duties.
‘Emergency response drivers currently find themselves judged by the standards of a careful and competent driver, with no recognition given to the trained standards and driver tactics to which they have been trained. Sir Henry’s Bill would ensure that police drivers engaged in trained driver tactics would have the appropriate protection in law and I thank him for leading on this important issue.’
Calling on Kent’s MPs to support the Bill, Mr Scott added:
Earlier this year Mr Scott also publicly backed a Private Members’ Bill, brought by Chris Bryant MP, calling on tougher sentencing for those who commit assaults on emergency services’ workers.
‘His Bill is not designed to enable irresponsible driving, only to apply a degree of common sense and pragmatism so that investigations into any incidents can be dealt with expeditiously and officers are allowed to go back to work as quickly as possible. Your support in helping to correct this anomaly, and providing greater protection to the highly-skilled police drivers protecting the public in Kent, would be most welcome.’