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BAGUIO CITY – The City Council approved on first reading a proposed ordinance penalizing the tailgating of emergency vehicles such as ambulances, emergency medical services, mini-trucks and police vehicles.
The ordinance authored by Councilor Elaine D. Sembrano states that the proposed local legislative measure prohibits the act of numerous drivers tailgating emergency motor vehicles during emergency situations posing a serious threat to the safety of motorists plying the different roads and streets in the different parts of the city.
Under the proposal, a fine of P3,000 shall be imposed upon any motorist found violating the pertinent provisions of the measure to instil discipline among motorists not to make a habit out of tailgating emergency vehicles during emergency situations just to evade being trapped in traffic.
The ordinance tasked the Baguio City Police Office (BCPO) to strictly implement the measure to ensure the overall safety of motorists during emergency situations and to prevent the occurrence of untoward incidents that will pose a serious threat to the safety of people.
The ordinance noted the observation of the general public that during emergency situations when emergency vehicles pass through the roads and streets, a good number of drivers take advantage of the situation and usually tailgate the emergency vehicle to make it appear they are with the emergency team to break through from the traffic congestions they are in or simply just to evade traffic.
According to the proposal, it is but proper to penalize tailgating of emergency vehicles to prevent the unnecessary loss of lives, limbs and destruction of properties from the reckless and careless driving of a few unscrupulous drivers.
The ordinance claimed there are still numerous drivers in the city who seem not to understand the purpose of emergency vehicles having to use their siren to warn motorists not to impede their path because individuals who need emergency medical attention are on board needing to be rushed to the nearest medical facility the fastest time possible, thus, tailgating the same can cause serious traffic problems among other motorists.
The ordinance claimed that the reckless action of drivers tailgating emergency motor vehicles influences other drivers to resort to the same actuations.
The proposed ordinance was referred to a committee for study and recommendation whether the same could be passed on second and third readings and for strict implementation.
By Dexter A. See