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If you don’t give way to ambulance, be ready to cough up Rs 2,000 fine

If you don’t give way to ambulance, be ready to cough up Rs 2,000 fine
This is not a new guideline as far as the Motor Vehicles Act is concerned. However, in the past few years hardly anybody has been prosecuted for the violation of this law. Ambulances, on the other hand, often complain about traffic as a severe challenge.

Delhi Traffic Police has recently issued a series of circulars to the Secretary and Principal Secretary (Health) of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. The ministry was asked to communicate the message to the hospitals so that they could educate the ambulance driver regarding the matter.

The first such circular was issued on September 8, 2014, and the latest of them was issued on December 30, 2014, revealed a source in Delhi Traffic Police.

“What we want right now is that all such complaints should be reported. The registration numbers of the vehicles which do not give way to the ambulances should be duly noted and reported to the police. Strict prosecution for this offence will correct the whole system,” said Muktesh Chander, Special Commissioner of Police (Traffic).

However, it has also emerged that the circular was not forwarded further in the past four months and hardly any hospital driver knows about it.

“So Delhi Traffic Police is now looking forward to informing hospitals on its own. But that will take time,” said Chander.

The same circular was issued to the Chief Fire Officer of the Department of Fire (under the government of NCT of Delhi) and the concerned law is applicable for all emergency vehicles which, apart from ambulances, also include fire tenders and police control room (PCR) vans.

The circular mentions, “The extreme right lane on roads having three or more lanes will be used by emergency vehicles. When they switch on their sirens (indicating an emergency call), they have overriding rights. All other vehicles shall have to move left.”

It should be made clear that it is not applicable to the aforementioned vehicles when they are not attending to an emergency call. For instance, it is not applicable to a fire tender coming back after dousing a fire or an ambulance returning after dropping a patient, Chander added.

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