BENGALURU: The government is planning to come down heavily on motorists who block the way for ambulances.
The Motor Vehicle (Amendment) Bill 2016 proposes a fine on motorists found blocking the way for emergency vehicles including ambulances, fire tenders and police control room vans, to up to Rs 10,000.
R Hitendra, Additional Commissioner of Police (Traffic), however, said that no motorist has been booked so far for blocking any emergency service. “This is a new provision in the Act, which would help emergency service vehicles,” he said.
Last year, the Karnataka government had passed an order to cancel the licences of drivers found to be blocking the way of ambulances, but the proposal still remains on paper.
Ambulance drivers say it is difficult for them to get patients to the hospital within the golden hour.
“Many motorists, especially two-wheeler riders, often overtake us and block the way. There are no separate lanes for emergency vehicles in the city and the existing roads are too narrow,” said an ambulance driver of a hospital.
In 2010, the Delhi traffic police used dummy ambulances to challan motorists who were obstructing the path of emergency vehicles and booked 365 motorists in an hour.
“It is a welcome move to impose fines on those blocking the way of emergency vehicles. But there should be clarity on whether a motorist waiting for a signal can make way for an ambulance as he/she will also be breaking the signal. This rule should also not be misused for VIP movements,” said Vinod Kumar, a motorist.
The new rule also will make cab aggregators (violations of licensing conditions) liable to pay anywhere between Rs 25,000 to Rs 1 lakh as fine.
Police officers too will have to be careful and may have to fall in line with the new amendment stipulating twice the penalty for enforcement personnel who flout rules.