Fire trucks deserve right-of-way

Updated: 2012-02-23 08:07

(China Daily)

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To ensure that vehicles give way to fire engines, the country should strengthen law enforcement, but the key is to enhance the civic awareness of drivers so the society can become more law-abiding, says an article in Beijing News. Excerpts:

On an evening in February, a fire broke out at a snack street in Beijing. While fire trucks were rushing on the way, vehicles refused to give way.

Firefighters, paramedics and police officers perform special tasks as emergency responders. They deserve the right-of-way in traffic. This is common roadside courtesy followed in many countries. But why don't some Chinese drivers abide by these rules?

The Road Traffic Safety Law stipulates that when a police car, fire engine, ambulance or engineering emergency vehicle is performing an urgent task, other cars and pedestrians shall give way. However, due to road conditions, it is difficult to determine whether a driver is being just reluctant or really fails in giving way to special vehicles.

We should refine traffic laws and the traffic department should show drivers specific methods. Germany's experience is when special vehicles use the alarm or identification lamps, vehicles on the left side of road should keep left and those on the right side of the road should keep right as much as possible. Then naturally, a lane has been cleared out.

Additionally, people's awareness of abiding by the rules should be enhanced. Under the circumstance that no one is granted a privilege, most citizens will follow the rules.

(China Daily 02/23/2012 page9)