Guernsey speed limits may change for blue light traffic

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Guernsey's emergency services vehicles may be allowed to go faster, if proposals by the island's Home Department are approved by the States.

Currently, ambulances and fire engines cannot be driven faster than 25mph (40km/h), unless sirens are used.

The department wants to remove this rule and let drivers exceed the limit when in training, as is the case in the UK and other Crown dependencies.

States members will debate the proposals at their meeting in January.

Deputy Jonathan Le Tocq, the Home Minister, said, if the rules were changed, "members of the emergency services or law enforcement agencies... will continue to be held accountable should they drive dangerously".

The proposals would affect Guernsey Fire and Rescue, the airport fire service, police, the Ambulance and Rescue Service and the Guernsey Border Agency.

'Extreme annoyance'

Deputy Le Tocq said the current restrictions meant proper driver training was not possible without expensive trips to the UK, where driving conditions differed to those in the island.

He argued the proposal to relax rules concerning the use of sirens would also prevent the "extreme annoyance to local residents" near the St John Ambulance and Rescue station at Le Rohais.

Another measure in the report calls for an increase in the size of vehicles which are restricted to travelling at 25mph, rather than the standard island speed limit of 35mph (56km/h).

Currently, the slower limit is applied to vehicles with an unladen weight of two imperial tonnes (2,032kg).

If approved, the new limit will be 3,500kg.

Deputy Le Tocq said the change would stop drivers of 4x4 vehicles breaking the present law, which is not generally enforced by police.

It has also been proposed that interval times be shortened during motor races.

Improved technology has meant the timekeeper, who allows racers to start, can watch the previous vehicle's run and decide whether it is safe to proceed.

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