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Who Should Come First On Public Roads - VIP Convoys Or An Ambulance? - What Does The Law Say?


Who Should Come First On Public Roads - VIP Convoys Or An Ambulance? - What Does The Law Say?

Who comes first on public roads - VIP convoys or an ambulance?

Once again, the issue of who has way between VIP convoys and emergency services has crept up into the spotlight, thanks to a recent incident where an ambulance was stopped to make way for a VIP.

The parties involved included the Prime Minister's convoy and an ambulance, where the emergency service vehicle was stopped despite having its siren on, to make way for the Prime Minister's convoy coming from the Taman Tasek, Skudai direction at the time.

A statement released by North Johor Bahru district police chief Rupiah Abd Wahid stated that the ambulance was stopped to avoid the risk of it being in a collision, somewhat reminding us of the statement given by Traffic Enforcement and Investigation Department chief Superintendent Azman Shariat back in December 2021, where he had to explain why an ambulance had been stopped to make way for the PM's convoy in Hulu Langat.

Now, this is a sensitive issue as the nature of logic and perception would instantly recognise that of course, the ambulance has to be given way no matter what, as lives might be at stake. Still, according to official statements, more lives would be at risk if the ambulance was let through, as it would have put all parties at risk of being involved in a collision.

According to Azman back in December, the actions carried out by the police officers whereby they temporarily blocked the ambulance were done in accordance with Traffic Rule No. 9 LN 166/959 of the Road Transport Act 1987. 

Kaedah Jalan MalaysiaWhen we tried to look it up, there are hundreds of sections and various acts involving roads, so we're unsure how it is defined and how the authorities reach a conclusion.

Kaedah lalu lintas 1959

Under 'Kaedah-kaedah Lalu Lintas Jalan 1959' however, it's clear to see that VIP vehicles are not included in the group of vehicles entitled to be given the right of way in accordance with Rule 9, Road Transport Act 1959, but because they are being led by Police Officers, we suppose the rule applies. 

Despite this, Azman said JSPT officers and its members are always instructed to give priority to emergency vehicles carrying patients, but the officers in the December 2021 incident made an initial assessment before stopping the ambulance for a short period of time as the convoy was close to the intersection.

On the flip side of the argument, we've also seen the boys in blue, or white for this matter going out of their way to give priority to emergency vehicles carrying patients. They have even escorted an ambulance all the way to the hospital during peak hours, giving the patient a speedy trip to the emergency room.

Even Sultan of Selangor, Duli Yang Maha Mulia Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah's entourage got into the action of helping an ambulance all the way to the hospital where three police motorcycle outriders from the entourage broke off from the group and ushered the ambulance all the way to IJN.

For an ambulance and its patient, time is of the utmost importance as every single second counts, so perhaps more considerations should be taken into account when road users or even VIP convoys see them on the road. You never know, you could be saving someone's life. 

In the end the question that needs answering is, despite what the laws of the road or nation may say - what is more important? An emergency vehicle rushing somewhere or a VIP convoy? 




Adam Aubrey

Adam Aubrey

Content Producer

Wants to live the simple life, especially when it comes to cars and bikes. That's what tech is for he reckons, to make motoring simpler

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