Why is it so hard for some motorists to give way to emergency vehicles – even when a life is on the line, and even when they’re clearly in the wrong?
Case in point is a now-viral footage of an ambulance rushing a patient to a hospital only to be barred by counter-flowing motorists refusing to give way.
In a clip posted by Jing Zamora on Facebook, several vehicles and motorcycles are seen illegally counter-flowing – leaving not even a lane for an ambulance bearing a female patient being rushed to a hospital aboard the emergency vehicle.
The clip that lasts for almost 10 minutes shows motorists continuing to counter-flow despite the ambulance’s blaring siren.
Reacting to the video, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority traffic czar Edison Nebrija said that motorists who are seen blocking and refusing to give way to the ambulance should be charged with illegal counterflow/reckless driving, obstruction, and disregarding traffic signs.
The traffic czar said that the video could be used by the LTO to compel motorists seen in the video to appear before the agency.
“With all the (license) plates that can be seen in the video, this could be used by LTO to issue a show cause order to each one and appear at LTO for proper disposition. This could include suspension or revocation of their licenses,” Nebrija added.
“This is very irresponsible of these drivers and I just hope this wouldn’t happen to them or any member of their family. More than 20 percent of patients needing emergency treatment have died on the way to the hospital because of ‘uncooperative motorists’—that’s according to the National Institute of Emergency Medicine based in Thailand,” Nebrija said.
According to an ABS-CBN News report, the patient later lay comatose in the hospital, a condition that could have been prevented had she arrived there earlier. – With Kap Maceda Aguila