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Last Updated: Tuesday, 3 June, 2003, 15:54 GMT 16:54 UK
MP's plea for ambulance driver
Mike Ferguson
Mike Ferguson was taking an organ for transplant
The case of the ambulance driver who faces prosecution for speeding while delivering a donor liver should prompt a change in the law, a Labour MP has said.

Mike Ferguson was clocked doing 104mph on the A1 in Lincolnshire in the small hours of 16 January while he was talking the organ from St James hospital in Leeds to Addenbrooke's in Cambridge.

The case was heard by magistrates in Grantham and Mr Ferguson entered a plea of not guilty by letter.

Now Amber Valley member Judy Mallaber has asked the government to intervene over the case and she urged a change in the law to exempt cars ferrying organs from normal speed limits.

But Health Minister David Lammy said that although he had sympathy for Mr Ferguson, he could not comment on a case before the courts.

The GMB union representing the driver has already written to Home Secretary David Blunkett asking for the law to be clarified and for the case against Mr Ferguson to be dropped.

'Drop the case'

Ambulance drivers are permitted to drive over the speed limit in times of medical emergency.

But legal representatives for the Crown Prosecution Service believe the law must be tested in court - and claim Mr Ferguson's trip did not constitute a medical emergency.

His case has been adjourned at the request of the defence until 11 June.

John Durkin, the GMB's branch secretary, said: "My concern is the terrible position it now puts every ambulance driver in the country in.

"We would like clear clarification now so that people who are out performing life-saving journeys are not put in a position as to whether their jobs are going to be lost if they go that extra mile trying to preserve life."

Repeated offence

Mr Ferguson admitted to repeating the offence on the A1 at the weekend as he delivered another organ for transplant.

He said: "I did break the speed limit last Saturday morning, I admit that.

"But again it was a response I had to complete as someone was waiting for an organ."

Mr Ferguson, who had a 36-year unblemished driving record and is trained to drive to the same standard as the police, also thanked those who have supported his case.

He said: "The support I have had has been absolutely incredible.

"I don't know of anyone who has had a bad word to say."




WATCH AND LISTEN
The BBC's Richard Bilton
"Many crews here [in Leeds] are concerned about what this case will mean for them"



SEE ALSO:
Speeding ambulance driver 'doing his job'
27 May 03  |  West Yorkshire
A licence to speed
28 May 03  |  UK


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