Ambulances of the Singapore Civil Defense Force will be allowed to legally run with red lights and make unauthorized U-turns in case of emergencies from December 1, 2017. An official statement was released by the Singapore Civil Defense Force on November 7, 2017.
The statement said, “This exemption provides legislative clarity that SCDF ambulance drivers are allowed to proceed past red traffic lights and make U-turns at non-designated junctions when responding to life-threatening emergencies”. The recent announcement was made after a question was raised by Nee Soon GRC Louis Ng, Member of Parliament. Louis NG had asked if the ambulances are allowed to run red lights while they are attending emergencies.
Amrin Amin, the Parliament Secretary for Home Affairs replied, “MHA (Ministry of Home Affairs) is working towards exempting SCDF ambulances from legislative provision that prohibits red light running and unauthorised U-turns”. The new review will also include fire engines as well as police vehicles. At present the law has prohibited the ambulances from running red lights and are also not allowed to make unauthorized U-turns. Amrin added that the SCDF officers can now make unauthorized U-turns and run red lights on ambulances while they are attending some of the life-threatening emergencies including stroke or cardiac arrest.
However, the drivers will still have to follow operating procedures. Amrin also clarified that the driver who intends to make an unauthorized U-turn or run a red light needs to sound the siren and also activate the blinker lights to alert the other road users. The driver also has to slow down while approaching the traffic junction and come to a complete halt to make a situational assessment of the traffic conditions. The minister has also urged the other motorists to exercise civic responsibility by giving way to the emergency vehicles, saying that it can also make a difference in saving lives.
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