Usual reasons include being stuck in traffic.
A paramedic was killed recently and 49 women delivered on ambulances since the beginning of the year as Dubai motorists failed to give way to emergency vehicles. The Dubai Police have registered 128 violations for not giving way to emergency vehicles during the period.
To educate motorists that failure to give way to emergency vehicles can cost lives, Dubai’s traffic police have launched a campaign called ‘Give Way’.
Brigadier Omer Al Shamsi, Deputy Director of the General Department of Operation Room, said Dubai Police chief Lt.-Gen. Khamis Mattar Al Mazeina has ordered to impose strict penalties on motorists who don’t give way to emergency services. However, motorists will not be fined if there is no place to give way to emergency vehicles.
Stressing on the need to spread awareness among the public on this issue, Brig. Al Shamsi said when issuing driving licence, officials should ensure that the driver knows properly about the importance of giving way to police and defence vehicles and ambulances. Many drivers are obstructing the emergency vehicles by using the lane assigned to them, which can cause traffic jam and further affect the lives of those who need emergency care.
“Now, violators are fined Dh500 and issued four black points as a penalty. Considering the seriousness of the violation and its impact on the lives of people, this penalty is not enough. More than issuing fines, the traffic department needs to educate the violators to ensure that they don’t repeat the offence,” he added.
The department received a complaint from an Emirati man who faced difficulties to transport his mother to hospital. He couldn’t reach the hospital at the right time because people were reluctant give way to the ambulance, said Brig. Al Shamsi. “In developed countries, motorists give way for the emergency vehicles in seconds as they realise that a person’s life is in danger after seeing the blue and red light on the vehicle.”
He said that majority of the UAE residents are aware of this. “But there are some drivers, especially women, who get confused and keep driving on the same lane without giving way to emergency vehicles. At the time of an emergency , the police cannot spot all violations, but the drivers who behave arrogantly or found using phones without giving way to the emergency vehicles will be fined,” he said, adding that some drivers take the opportunity and get closer to emergency cars in order to find way, which also is dangerous.
Emergency cars should reach to the accident site within four minutes after receiving the call. Considering the increase in population and the number of vehicles on roads, people’s awareness on giving way to emergency vehicles is very important to achieve this, Brig. Al Shamsi added.
Amira Agarib – Dubai | Khaleej Times