Firefighters have been warned that they could face police prosecution if they drive over 100km/h, despite being allowed to drive at 105km/h under Fire and Emergency NZ rules.
The New Zealand Professional Firefighters Union was advised by police to reduce speeds of all fire engines fitted with J-rated tyres, which are only rated to go up to 100km/h.
The union says they were unaware of the J-rated tyre speed limitations when they were fitted to the engines.
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The reduced speed, while only 5km/h, has prompted concern over emergency response times.
Local union secretary John Waldow told RadioLIVE that even an extra minute of travel time can be the difference that saves lives.
“We have been able to make a difference,” Mr Waldow said.
The J-rated tyres were originally chosen because they were cheaper and last longer than their M-rated tyre counterparts, which can go up to 130km/hr.
A police spokesperson told the NZ Herald that safety was their utmost priority for emergency vehicles.
Police are currently speaking with the union on the matter.
Listen to the full interview with John Waldow above.
Morning Talk with Mark Sainsbury, 9am - 12pm Weekdays and streaming live on 'rova' channel 9 - available on Android and iPhone.