UK's real-life Bonds get licence to speed!

James Bond's famous licence to kill will soon extend to a "licence to speed" as new powers being drawn up by ministers give British spies the same legal right as the emergency services to break speed limits on the road in the line of duty.

Members of intelligence agencies MI5 and MI6 will now be able to ignore red lights, pedestrian crossings and road markings in classic 007 style.

Under current UK legislation only the police, fire and ambulance services and the National Crime Agency, referred to as Britain's FBI, are exempt from obeying the speed limit.

Special forces like the Special Air Service and Special Boat Service are also allowed to break the rules of the road if they are responding to a "national security emergency".

Roads minister Robert Goodwill will announce later this week that the exemption will be widened to include other organisations regarded as directly involved "in the protection of life and limb or national security".

The Department for Transport has concluded that this should include MI5 agents and other intelligence and security agency staff involved in surveillance and covert operations.

Undercover staff at HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) and the UK Border Agency who are investigating drug smugglers and people traffickers are also likely to be exempt from speed restrictions along with vehicles transporting human organs, tissue and blood for transplants.

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