How to recognise an ambulance

Thursday, December 2nd, 2004

Beginners’ Guide to Ambulance Spotting – not a book I thought might be worth proposing to a publisher before, but apparently there’s a market. A lesson for designers everywhere, here: you really can’t be too obvious…

BBC NEWS | England | Staffordshire | Toll motorway holds up ambulance: An emergency vehicle was delayed from responding to a 999 call when its paramedic driver was told to pay for using the M6 Toll motorway.

Staffordshire Ambulance Service said it would be meeting toll road bosses after the incident, at Weeford near Lichfield on Wednesday night.

An ambulance spokesman said such delays could put lives at risk.

The road’s operators say the car was not ‘clearly liveried’ and no warning was given.

Bob Lee, for the ambulance service, said the driver, wearing a paramedic uniform, was only allowed through the toll after turning on the car’s blue lights.

He was driving the Vauxhall estate from Cannock to Lichfield to provide emergency cover, when he was stopped at the exit of the M6 Toll and the booth operator refused to raise the barrier.

The white emergency response vehicle was marked with green chequered stripes with a blue light bar on top and blue lights on the grill.

It was displaying a large ‘star of life’ emblem on its bonnet and had the ambulance service’s crown badge on the two front doors.

Mr Lee said all the above had been agreed with the operator of the M6 Toll, Midland Expressway Limited, as being sufficient for recognition as an ambulance vehicle.

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