Representational photo of an ambulance
The owner of a white Mercedes car bearing a VIP registration number will be the first person to be challaned Rs 2000 under new rules for obstructing an ambulance in New Delhi and caught on video by Delhi Traffic Police.
Delhi Police had recently issued a circular that motorists obstructing the way of emergency response vehicles like ambulances, PCR vans and fire tenders in the city will be slapped with a fine of Rs 2000 apart from facing legal action.
The car had not given way to the ambulance which was carrying a heart from FMRI, Gurgaon to Fortis Escorts Heart Institute in Delhi for which an uninterrupted passage - a Green Corridor - was created to cover the 32 km stretch between the two hospitals by Gurgaon and Delhi Police.
"Our pilot vehicle was leading the way for the ambulance and we had fitted it with a rear camera which videographed the journey. A white Mercedes car has been caught on video not giving the ambulance right of way. We have traced its owner through its registration number and an officer will be sent to his residence with a challan of Rs 2000," said Special Commissioner of Police (Traffic) Muktesh Chander.
Police is still in the process of scrutinising the whole video and four-five more vehicles may be prosecuted for the same offence, he said.
The extreme right lane on roads having three or more lanes will have to be given away for passage of emergency response vehicles if sirens are sounded by them.
A decision to this effect was taken by the Traffic Police to ensure that emergency services are not affected due to traffic snarls, Mr Chander said, adding a notification to enforce the punitive action has already been issued to prosecute the violators.
Mr Chander has recommended that all the emergency vehicles should be fitted with a dashboard camera the video of which can be used as evidence to prosecute offenders.
"These cameras cost from Rs 5000 to Rs 20,000. The 20,000 one comes with a GPS which would also reveal the place of occurrence," he said.
"We are now going to write to all the hospitals about the decision and that the video footages can be sent to us everyday in the evening. In case of an ambulance, the complaint has to be made by its driver and endorsed by the doctor to substantiate that it was on an emergency call when its right of way was obstructed," he added.
According to the circular, the emergency vehicles when using the extreme right hand lane in emergency situation, indicated by a siren and flashing of lights will have the overriding right of way over all motorised traffic.
All other categories of vehicles shall vacate the extreme right lane by moving to the left of the road/street, the notification said.