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National Ambulance Calls on Motorists to ‘Give Way’ to Emergency Vehicles

As part of a joint effort to support MoI’s recently launched nation-wide campaign

26 Jun 2019

Abu Dhabi, 26 June 2019: National Ambulance is calling on all motorists to ensure they give way to ambulances and clear the road for them to allow them to pass and respond efficiently to emergency and critical incidents. The call, made via a video (can be seen here) and social media campaign, comes as part of a joint effort by all emergency services in the UAE to support the Ministry of Interior’s recently launched nation-wide campaign to raise public awareness about the dangers of not giving way and keeping the road clear for emergency vehicles, as well as informing them about the strict measurements it has recently taken in this regard to improve road and traffic safety and reduce the number of deaths resulting from traffic accidents.

National Ambulance CEO, Ahmed Saleh Al Hajeri, said: "Working together as emergency partners under the Ministry of Interior’s umbrella, we are able to make this a successful campaign and serve the best interest of the nation. Our common objective is to instil a culture of good driving behaviour and the readiness to give our crews the right of way allowing us to pass. We urge motorists to act responsibly on the road and follow the positive driving attitudes we are promoting via this campaign and support emergency responders (Ambulance, Police and Civil Defense) in effectively responding to emergency situations.”

Al Hajeri added: “Every second is critical in an emergency. The advice we are raising through our video and other elements in our campaign fall in line with MoI’s strategic objectives to achieve the highest levels of traffic safety and enhance the efficiency of emergency response, thus contributing to the protection of lives and property and the decrease of deaths and injuries resulting from traffic accidents, as well as the achievement of a safe road environment.”

National Ambulance’s campaign urges motorists to take simple steps in the event an emergency vehicle is passing to ensure their driving behaviour does not delay or hinder the emergency crews from reaching their destination. These include: remaining calm and not panicking; slowing down; using light indicators, moving the vehicle to the left or right hand lane, when it is safe to do so, without endangering their life or the lives of others to allow the ambulance to pass.

The emergency medical provider is also calling on road users to avoid bad driving behaviour, observed by ambulance crews in the field, that pose a threat to everyone on the road. These include: following an ambulance to get out of traffic and using the hard shoulder, which is an emergency lane that should always be clear for emergency vehicles. Bad behaviour also includes: distracted driving, rubbernecking or slowing down to take photos when passing an accident scene, which delays traffic and makes the incident worse.

The Ministry of Interior (MoI) has recently announced the revision of the violation of Not Giving Way to emergency vehicles, ambulances, police cars and official convoy vehicles, stipulated in the Federal Traffic Law, to AED3,000, 6 black points and a one-month impoundment of the violating vehicle. The new regulation comes into force on July 1. MoI also announced that it is in the process of conducting civil patrols to monitor violations against emergency and official vehicles, and also use smart systems as well as road and emergency vehicles’ mounted cameras, to ensure the safety of the public and enable emergency vehicles to reach their desired locations as quickly as possible.

National Ambulance provides emergency pre-hospital care in the Northern Emirates through the dedicated 998 emergency ambulance number and NA 998 smart application. Its primary task is to handle public medical emergency response and provide high standards of emergency pre-hospital care to citizens, residents and visitors across the Emirates of Sharjah, Ajman, Umm Al Quwain, Ras Al-Khaimah and Fujairah.