Alleged use of siren and speed norm violations to get undue advantage on highways
Throwing road safety norms to the winds, a section of ambulance drivers are suspected of misusing the privileges of emergency service for their personal use in the absence of patients.
The violations are yet to be tracked by the traffic police, as most violators are inter-district service providers, and the complainants are mainly afraid of legal complications.
Most such suspected drivers use the emergency siren and violate speed norms to get undue advantage on national and State highways. Even for non-emergency returns trips, they are suspected of using the emergency siren and power horn to overtake other vehicles and jump traffic signals.
To skip traffic snarls, a lot of other vehicles, especially motorbikes and cars, are also found chasing such ‘emergency’ vehicles taking advantage of clear roads. The deadly tailgating is creating a huge mess on highways during peak hours. Even bottlenecks and narrow bridges on the Kozhikode-Kannur highway are not spared by such reckless drivers.
“Once I had an instance to spot such a suspected driver on the road who locked horns with fellow motorists for not giving way. There was no patient in the vehicle. When the police came, he just escaped claiming that he was going to pick a patient,” said Ratheesh Sivan, a Vadakara-based taxi driver who has come across such trickeries several times. He also pointed out that no one would question such drivers, as the police would be by their side for no reasons.
Another taxi driver from Vadakara said there were even inter-district ambulance drivers violating speed rules while carrying bodies or non-emergency cases. “They jump all signal lights and dangerously overtake other vehicles throughout the way. There is no one to question this deadly race for unknown reasons,” he added.
Meanwhile, the functionaries of the Accredited Network Group of Emergency Life Savers (ANGELS) said the violators were mostly those with no formal training. They pointed out that such reckless drivers should be intercepted on the road and allowed to resume work only after proper training.