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Last Updated: Friday, 17 October, 2003, 14:35 GMT 15:35 UK
Mercy dash driver 'ecstatic'
Mike Ferguson
Mr Ferguson was allegedly clocked doing 104mph
The ambulance driver accused of speeding while delivering a liver for a life-saving transplant says he is ecstatic the charge has been dropped, but now wants the law changing.

Mick Ferguson, 56, of Birkenshaw, near Bradford, West Yorkshire, was due to appear in court next week accused of driving at 104 mph on his way to Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge.

On Friday, his union the GMB was told by the Crown Prosecution Service the case had been dropped.

The union and the police have joined Mr Ferguson's calls for clarification of the law.

Mr Ferguson said: "I am ecstatic, but the fight does not stop here.

"I am going to continue campaigning to clarify the law so other emergency service drivers don't have to suffer the same experience.

"This is only the first half over with, what we need to achieve now is a review of the law."

A few minutes make a big difference when you are in the business of saving lives
John Durkin, GMB

The senior driver with West Yorkshire Metropolitan Ambulance Service had been delivering a liver on 16 January when he was allegedly caught speeding on the A1 by Lincolnshire Police.

He pleaded not guilty to the charge through his lawyers at a hearing before Grantham magistrates in June.

Lincolnshire assistant chief constable Peter Davies said: "We of course stand by the Crown Prosecution Service decision not to pursue a prosecution against Mr Ferguson.

"The fact remains that there is no exemption in law which permits any vehicle delivering blood or organs to be driven beyond the prevailing speed limit.

"I hope that the issues raised by this case will lead to the law being reviewed and clarified."

Petition handed in

John Durkin, the GMB's branch secretary for ambulance drivers said he was "over the moon".

"We can now get back to the business of saving lives.

"If Mick had been found guilty, the repercussions throughout the service would have been very damaging.

We are all trained to drive safely at high speed and we take our jobs very seriously.

"A few minutes make a big difference when you are in the business of saving lives."

Mr Ferguson's MP - the Labour member for Batley and Spen, Mike Wood - said the law had not kept pace with developments in the ambulance service and organ transplants.

He said there was a "real will" in the government to make sure no-one else was put in the same position as Mr Ferguson and expected that amendments would be made to the road traffic acts.

On Wednesday, Mr Ferguson handed in a petition at 10 Downing Street calling on the government to look at the law regarding the transportation of human organs.




WATCH AND LISTEN
The BBC's Janet Barrie
"He was carrying a liver for transplant to Cambridge"



SEE ALSO:
Ambulance driver appeals to Blair
15 Oct 03  |  West Yorkshire
Ambulance driver to stand trial
11 Jun 03  |  West Yorkshire
Worldwide support for 999 driver
10 Jun 03  |  West Yorkshire
MP's plea for ambulance driver
03 Jun 03  |  Politics
Union appeals over ambulance driver
30 May 03  |  West Yorkshire
Kidney man backs 999 driver
28 May 03  |  South East Wales


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