Image credit: @axelrd.
In a country where traffic jams occasionally last for eleven days it was probably only a matter of time before a story like this came to light. A woman has died in Beijing when the ambulance that was transporting her to hospital got stuck in traffic.
An emergency physician working alongside the paramedics vented her frustration online, “The scene of the accident is no more than 3 kilometers from the hospital, yet it took us a good 40 minutes to arrive there! Barely any cars made way for our ambulance! So woeful!” The tweet, posted to Weibo by user ‘Monica-Xiaomo’, was shared over 30,000 times.
Other Weibo users responded to the doctor’s frustration, some blaming the drivers for having “cold-blooded souls” that they would not move out of the way for an ambulance (though, to be fair, in very heavy traffic there is little one driver can do). Others pointed to the allegedly frequent abuse of sirens by police cars and ambulances which they said had led to a “loss of trust”.
The driver of the ambulance told Sina News that about half the drivers on the roads typically do not move out of the way of an ambulance. Worse, some drivers “purposely slow down ahead of me if I signaled them to move to other lanes”.
The real villains in this story seem to be the apathetic Beijing traffic police authorities who let the situation get so bad. Ambulance staff reported that cars were wilfully driving in emergency lanes and even bicycle lanes were clogged with parked cars. Traffic policing is both self-funding (through fines and tickets) and vital to a city’s transportation infrastructure, there is no reason that people should be allowed to flout the law to this extent.
[Via: Beijing Cream]