PETALING JAYA: After the hullabaloo over an ambulance being stopped at a junction to allow passage for the Prime Minister’s motorcade heading towards a flood-hit area in Hulu Langat, the Selangor traffic police have clarified that the action was taken for safety reasons.
Selangor Traffic Investigation and Enforcement Department chief Supt Azman Shari’at said the policemen on duty had made the decision after determining that there was a collision risk during the incident at around 11.30am on Sunday.
Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob’s motorcade, escorted by the police, was then headed towards Masjid Al-Mustaqqim, Batu 16, in Hulu Langat, to check on the post-flood cleaning work there.
In the video of the incident that went viral, policemen could be seen stopping traffic, including a four-wheel drive vehicle and a Malaysian Red Crescent Society ambulance, at an intersection to give way to a convoy of vehicles carrying the Prime Minister and other VIPs. The video triggered a storm on social media.
Supt Azman said that during the situation shown in the video, traffic police had decided to stop the other vehicles from exiting the intersection in order to prevent the lead vehicle of the convoy from colliding with oncoming traffic.
“The traffic policeman on duty had made an initial assessment before stopping the two vehicles just for a brief moment because the lead vehicle of the convoy was nearing the intersection, and to avoid any accident,” he said in a statement here yesterday.
“As soon as the convoy passed, traffic police immediately gave way to the 4WD and ambulance to pass through. This was done after ensuring that it was safe for them (to proceed),” he added.
Supt Azman also said that the action was taken in accordance with the provisions under Traffic Rule No. 9 LN 166/1959 of the Road Transport Act 1987.
“The police are also concerned and committed to giving priority to public interests, especially when it involves the safety of road users and emergency vehicles, such as ambulances and fire engines,” he said.