Michael Fabricant is urging Staffordshire Fire Chiefs not to impose fixed
speed limits on fire engines off on emergency calls. This follows the West
Midlands fire service decision this month to restrict engines en route to an
incident to stay under 45 in 30 zones, and under 80 on the motorway. Over
recent years many former 60mph limits have been reduced to 30. Under the new
rules, fire engines will have to stick to 45mph on their way to a fire, when
only a few years ago they would have driven at nearly 60 returning back to
the fire station after the incident.
Michael Fabricant says "I recognise that Birmingham’s decision was made to
reduce road traffic incidents, but I believe that we in Staffordshire should
trust the judgement of our local fire fighters.
"Only they can assess road conditions and balance that with the severity of
the fire emergency and whether lives are at risk in the incident.
Staffordshire’s fire crews are experienced and the drivers of fire tenders
make these sorts of assessments daily. While I am not sure that many of
Staffordshire’s Fire & Rescue vehicles can travel much faster than 80 mph
anyway, with the opening next year of the M6 Toll road, it is even more
important that limits are not set on emergency vehicles answering distress
"By setting arbitrary speed limits on emergency vehicles, lives could be
lost rather than saved" adds Michael. "I hope that Staffordshire won’t
follow West Midlands example".