Man fined for driving fake ambulance through Tyne Tunnel to avoid traffic

Video footage shows a driver weaving through traffic in a 'fake' ambulance. Photo / AFP Video
Video footage shows a driver weaving through traffic in a 'fake' ambulance. Photo / AFP Video

A driver who converted his car into a fake ambulance with blue lights and a siren and then forced his way through traffic waiting to use a busy road tunnel has been fined more than £1,000 (NZ$1772).

CCTV showed the white vehicle, with its lights flashing, moving through cars queuing at the Tyne Tunnel, and drivers getting out of the way of what they must have thought was a response to a 999 call.

Shaun Scandle, 31, received nine points on his licence for careless driving when he appeared at North Tyneside Magistrates' Court, Northumbria Police said.

Suspicions were raised after staff at the tunnel saw the vehicle pass through rush-hour traffic at speed on September 9.

Officers made inquiries with the North East Ambulance Service, which said it had no record of one of its vehicles being in the area at the time.

An investigation was launched and Mr Scandle, of Priestpopple, Hexham, Northumberland, was identified as the driver.

Officers found his white Renault Megane had been covered in livery to make it look like a rapid response vehicle.

They also discovered that he ran a business called Hadrian Medical Services offering first aid at events across the North East for which he used the vehicle.

On this occasion he had been providing first aid for the Tour of Britain cycle race and had been travelling to Blyth to attend a medical incident.

Acting Sergeant Alan Keenleyside, of Northumbria Police Operations Department, said: "This may seem like a bizarre story but the reality is Mr Scandle was putting lives at risk through his behaviour on the road.

"Those working in the emergency services receive specialist training to drive our response vehicles and the public should not try and take that responsibility into their own hands."

- Daily Telegraph UK

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