Why don’t we give way to the Ambulance on Traffic Signals in Saudi Arabia?

Motorists in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia are not willing to be penalized with any number of traffic violation tickets by the Saher system cameras if they are crossing the red lights at any time due to an emergency. Several of the motorists in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia have stated that they sometimes are not even willing to give way to the emergency service or civil defense cars along with ambulances when they are waiting at traffic signals in fear of getting spotted by a Saher camera and subsequently being penalized with a fine, that too for giving way to emergency vehicles. Recommended: Does crossing Red Light for Ambulance considered a traffic violation in Saudi Arabia?[irp]

These motorists demand the construction of a special lane or a service lane which would exclusively be for emergency vehicles to allow them to reach their destinations easily and quickly. This will also save numerous motorists from receiving unneeded traffic violation tickets. A Saudi motorist, Turki Al Amri has recalled an incident where had stopped at a traffic signal, as usual, however, a speeding ambulance kept blowing their siren to signal him to give way. He added that he did not leave his place or break the traffic signal to give way to the ambulance out of fear that he would be fined for doing so.  He added that he was extremely embarrassed at that moment, however; he still was not willing to move, since he did not want to pay a hefty fine of SAR 3,000, for the traffic violation that he did just to allow the ambulance to pass and reach its destination.

Another Saudi motorist, Salem Al Harbe, stated that a friend of his had almost lost his wife since the ambulance, that had been transporting her, had not been allowed to pass by the motorists who had stopped at a traffic signal. He added that the Saher system cameras have been placed everywhere on the roads in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The motorists on the roads of the Kingdom are not ready or willing to be penalized with a fine for doing such a noble gesture i.e. allowing an ambulance to pass.

Al Harbe also wished for there to be a service road which would only be used by ambulances and other emergency and civil defense vehicles to allow them to reach their destination and save lives. He has also wished for further flexibility in those traffic violation incidents which are due to such situations. A Sudanese motorist in the Kingdom, Hassan Ali, stated that the Saher system cameras had recorded a violation against his vehicle when he had passed a red traffic light to give way to an ambulance.[irp]

He added that the traffic police did not listen to any of his justifications and promptly asked him to pay off the fine, or it would be doubled due to delayed payment. An official source at the Municipality of Makkah has stated that they completely understand the concerns of the motorists and are willing to listen to suggestions on how to improve the situation.

Source: Saudi Gazette

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