The UK Department for Transport is currently examining proposals that would allow additional services to legally drive over the speed limit. At the moment, only the police and fire departments and emergency medical responders can legally break the posted limits, but a recently submitted 90-page document that is "out for consultation" lists other services requesting the right to do the same. HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC), which includes the tax man, wants its covert surveillance officers on the approved list.

The covert officers at HMRC are said to engage in the same kinds of operations as the police, with "extensive arrest and investigatory powers." Their operations against organized crime have been mentioned specifically in connection with the speed limit request, the HMRC adding that at any one time "there are approximately 10 concurrent operational deployments per day involving 500 officers from the criminal Investigation Directorate" around the country. If that's true, it seems approval won't lead to HMRC officers blasting through Piccadilly after a taxpayer who neglected to declare the 12 pounds he made at a car boot sale.

Other services looking to break the limit but not the law include bomb disposal units, radiation emergency responders, blood transfusion services and organ couriers, and the Coast Guard. The consultation ends on February 27, 2013.

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