Speaker Paul Montgomery - Driving Instruction for NHS Ambulance Drivers
Paul is a driving instructor for the ambulance service. He is an ex police motorcyclist and one of only 280 blue light trainers in the country
Sec 19 of the Road Traffic Act (RTA) has dispensations for the emergency services (Police, Fire & Ambulance).
No other blue light users have this dispensation e.g. Private ambulance, blood bikes, mountain rescue; however there exists a letter of intent to not prosecute blue light users for certain RTA violations.
The RTA requires all drivers to drive safely, the RTA does not allow any form of dangerous driving. The RTA has a specific speed limit exemption, but also calls out other exemptions. There are quite a few. The act also calls out non exemptions.
Ambulance course - 4 weeks based around Roadcraft with a final week of driving instruction under blue light conditions.
We watched a video of a ambulance responding to an incident under blue light conditions. This was accompanied by a commentary by a trainer of what the driver was doing, where he was looking and the considerations he was making.
- How the driver positions early to be seen and encourage the response he wants from traffic in order to obtain a path through areas of dense traffic.
- How some drivers and pedestrians appear not to be aware of the presence of the vehicle despite the additional lighting and sound.
Much of the discussion was relevant to our advanced driving.
- How the gathering of information well ahead is so important to making good early decisions on the approach to hazardous areas.
- How the positioning of the vehicle can have significant effect on the actions of others, and how it can transmit intent.
- How speed is such an important factor. In particularly dense areas of hazard, much of the hazard negotiation in the clip was at walking pace. For example passing through traffic lights on red.
- How, having negotiated the hazard the vehicle was able to return to an appropriate speed quickly as a result of maintaining a responsive gear.
I learned that road signs with Yellow background "shout" the information a little louder. This is because there have been a higher than expected number of serious incidents at the location.
- A little mantra that we could all use:- "DRIVE TO ARRIVE"