From next month, the Singapore Civil Defence Force’s (SCDF) ambulances can legally beat red lights and make U-turns at non-designated junctions, where necessary, so that they can respond more quickly to life-threatening emergencies, SCDF announced in a statement on Tuesday (Nov 7).
A similar exemption for other emergency vehicles including fire engines and police vehicles is also being explored, said Parliamentary Secretary for Home Affairs Amrin Amin in Parliament.
Mr Amrin noted that currently, there are no exemptions for ambulances. This means if they are booked for running a red light or making an illegal U-turn, they need to lodge an appeal and the Traffic Police will waive the offence if the driver was responding to a life-threatening emergency, such as a cardiac arrest or stroke.
By exempting such vehicles from the rules, this appeal and waiver process can therefore be avoided, said Mr Amrin in response to Member of Parliament Louis Ng’s (Nee Soon GRC) question on the topic.
Hence, Singapore will follow other jurisdictions, such as California and the United Kingdom, in instituting exemptions for emergency vehicles, he added.
Mr Amrin stressed that other road users must still play their part, nevertheless, by giving way to emergency vehicles “as this can make a real difference in saving lives”.
He added that his ministry is updating the Highway Code — a guide to inform road users of traffic rules — to include pointers on how motorists should respond when they encounter emergency vehicles.
He also pointed out that motorists who refuse to give way to emergency vehicles are liable for four demerit points and a composition fine.
Hopefully,Private ambulance drivers don’t take advantage of the priority rule.Hopefully no accident cases with goondoo road users in case of beating red lights or doing u turn.