Emergency Response Drivers (Protections) Bill (HC Bill 145)

A

BILL

TO

Provide protection for drivers of emergency vehicles responding to
emergencies from civil liability and criminal prosecution in specified
circumstances; to make related provision about criminal proceedings and
sentencing; and for connected purposes.

Be it enacted by the Queen’s most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and
consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present
Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

1 Emergency response driver: definition

(NONE) For the purposes of this Act, an emergency response driver is a driver who is
using a vehicle for fire and rescue authority, ambulance or police purposes, in
the exercise of their functions for the purposes described in section 87 of the
5Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 (exemption of fire brigade, ambulance and
police vehicles from speed limits).

2 Protection from civil liability

(1) An emergency response driver (“D”) is not subject to any civil liability for
damages D caused, if—

(a) 10D was, at the time the damage was caused, driving in the course of D’s
work to respond to an emergency; and

(b) D reasonably believed that that emergency entailed a definite risk of
preventable—

(i) loss of life;

(ii) 15damage of property; or

(iii) criminal conduct.

(2) The Secretary of State may by regulations make provision in consequence of
subsection (1).

(3) Regulations under this section are to be made by statutory instrument.

Emergency Response Drivers (Protections) BillPage 2

(4) A statutory instrument containing regulations under this section may not be
made unless a draft of the instrument has been laid before and approved by a
resolution of each House of Parliament.

3 Reduced sentencing in criminal prosecution for offences relating to
5dangerous driving

(1) The Road Traffic Act 1988 is amended as follows.

(2) After section 2A of the Road Traffic Act 1988 (meaning of dangerous driving),
insert—

2AA Reduced sentencing for certain offences under sections 1, 1A and 2

(1) 10It shall be a ground for reduced sentencing in criminal prosecution for
the offences in sections 1, 1A and 2 if—

(a) the person driving the vehicle in question is an emergency
response driver (“D”), as defined by section 1 of the Emergency
Response Drivers (Protections) Act 2018 (emergency response
15driver: definition);

(b) D was, at the time the offence occurred, driving in the course of
D’s work to respond to an emergency;

(c) D reasonably believed that the emergency entailed a definite
risk of preventable—

(i) 20loss of life;

(ii) damage to property; or

(iii) criminal conduct; and

(d) D has, prior to the time the offence occurred, completed a
course of training in the driving of vehicles at high speed
25provided in accordance with regulations under section 87 of the
Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 (exemption of fire brigade,
ambulance and police vehicles from speed limits).

(2) This section applies only in relation to offences committed on or after
the day it comes into force.”

4 30Protection from criminal prosecution for offences relating to careless, and
inconsiderate, driving

(1) The Road Traffic Act 1988 is amended as follows.

(2) After section 3ZA of the Road Traffic Act 1988 (meaning of careless, and
inconsiderate, driving), insert—

3ZAA 35 Defence for certain offences under sections 2B and 3

(1) It shall be a defence to offences in sections 2B and 3 if—

(a) the person driving the vehicle in question is an emergency
response driver (“D”), as defined by section 1 of the Emergency
Response Drivers (Protections) Act 2018 (emergency response
40driver: definition),

(b) D was, at the time the offence occurred, driving in the course of
D’s work to respond to an emergency;

(c) D reasonably believed that the emergency entailed a definite
risk of preventable—

Emergency Response Drivers (Protections) BillPage 3

(i) loss of life;

(ii) damage to property; or

(iii) criminal conduct; and

(d) D has, prior to the time the offence occurred, completed a
5course of training in the driving of vehicles at high speed
provided in accordance with regulations under section 87 of the
Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 (exemption of fire brigade,
ambulance and police vehicles from speed limits).

(2) This section applies only in relation to offences committed on or after
10the day it comes into force.”

5 Extent, commencement and short title

(1) This Act extends to England and Wales.

(2) This Act comes into force at the end of the period of two months beginning
with the day on which this Act is passed.

(3) 15This Act may be cited as the Emergency Response Drivers (Protections) Act
2018.