Tyne Tunnel blue light fake ambulance driver fined
The driver, was handed a fine of more than £1,000 and nine points on his licence when he appeared at North Shields Magistrates Court following the incident on September 9.
Police were called by staff at the Tyne Tunnel who were concerned at the speed the vehicle was travelling through the rush hour traffic.
Officers made enquiries with the North East Ambulance Service who said they had no record of one of their vehicles being in the area at the time.
An investigation was launch and, following close partnership work between the police, NEAS and Tyne Tunnel Operator, TT2 Limited, the driver was identified.
His white Renault Megane was seized at which point officers found it had been covered in livery to make it look like a rapid response vehicle.
They also discovered he ran a business offering first aid at events across the North East for which he used the vehicle.
On this occasion he had been providing first aid for the Tour of Britain cycle race and had been travelling to Blyth to attend a medical incident he had been called to.
The driver, was summonsed to court for dangerous driving and last week he changed his plea to guilty to escape a lengthy driving ban.
A/Sgt Alan Keenleyside, of the Operations Department, said: “This may seem like a bizarre story but the reality is he was putting lives at risk through his behaviour on the road.
“Those working in the emergency services receive specialist training to drive our response vehicles and the public should not try and take that responsibility into their own hands.
“The driver is lucky that he did not receive a driving ban but hopefully he will think twice about his behaviour on the roads following his sentence at court.
“The emergency services do an incredibly difficult job to protect everyone in this region. It is something we are proud to do and those in our communities should leave it to the professionals.”
Stuart Sutton, Operations Manager at TT2 Limited, the operator of the Tyne Tunnels, said: “I’d like to praise Northumbria Police and the North East Ambulance Service for their partnership working with TT2. This is an example of how collaboration has led to positive action to keep Tyne Tunnels customers safe.”
Top Photo LR A/Sgt Alan Keenlyside, Alan Gallagher NEAS, Stu Sutton Operations Manager TT2, Sgt Dave Clement
Bottom Photo LR Stu Sutton Operations Manager TT2 , A/Sgt Alan Keenlyside, Alan Gallagher NEAS, Ron Henderson Tunnel Manager