PETALING JAYA: Ambulance drivers have expressed frustration that their efforts in helping to save lives are being tarnished by errant drivers who misuse the emergency sirens and flout traffic rules.
While most drivers abide by traffic rules, it is a small group who give the rest a bad name, they said.
Ambulance driver Mohd Safuan Md Saufi, 36, said some errant drivers not only misused the sirens but also sped during heavy rain, causing danger to other motorists.
“These are the drivers who give the rest of us a bad name. Most of us abide by the traffic rules and perform our duties responsibly,” said Mohd Safuan, who has been driving an ambulance for the past six years.
He said the errant drivers were used to motorists giving way to them on the road and would turn on the siren, especially when they were stuck in traffic jams.
Former ambulance driver Faruvash Khan, 52, said he had seen ambulance drivers who used the siren to get through traffic jams.
“I believe most ambulance drivers are responsible. However, we can see many errant drivers in major cities, especially during rush hour.
“They use the siren to avoid the jam,” said Faruvash, who runs a private ambulance service, adding that it was usually the experienced drivers who did this, not the new ones.
It has been reported that organisations and private ambulance service operators had pledged to act sternly against drivers who abused the emergency siren.
St John Ambulance Malaysia (SJAM) Selangor commander Datuk Burnard Yeo said it received about three complaints every month about drivers abusing their siren.
Malaysians recently voiced their suspicion on whether all ambulances with their siren on were genuinely on call or their drivers were merely misusing the siren to escape traffic jams.
A motorist from Klang who posted online under the username “pcdoctor” said he once came across an ambulance whose driver only switched on the siren in a traffic jam and proceeded to drive at normal speed after he cleared the snarl.