Bengaluru’s traffic snarls are infamous and motorists have tried (and failed) to get around it. But now police have apprehended one man for allegedly using an ambulance to ferry office-goers during peak traffic hours. The ambulance was meant to serve a leading real estate company.
The accused Bala’s driving license has been suspended and he has been slapped with a fine of Rs 600.
The incident came to light after one unsuspecting motorist, Rana Patel, had given way to the ambulance on March 27. He later noticed that there were many passengers inside the ambulance dressed as if they were going to work.
Rana detailed his experience on the Bengaluru City Police Facebook page. He also posted photos and videos of the ambulance passing near Agrahara Layout in Yelahanka.
Officials of the Bengaluru Traffic Police commented on the post and said that they would take necessary action.
“We are already creating awareness & also booking more... cases regularly against such violators and will strictly enforce it in the future. [We] have informed the sector traffic officer to check and take necessary action,” they wrote.
The vehicle was traced by the registration number posted by Rana.
However, this is not the first such incident, according to police. They have previously cancelled licenses of other drivers who have misused ambulances for non-emergency purposes.
Close to a 1,000 ambulances operate in Bengaluru, and traffic police officials have been instructed to monitor activities during non-emergency situations.
MA Saleem, a traffic management expert and a IPS officer said, “This is not very unusual. The police have started doing drives against ambulance drivers due to rising incidents. We get complaints of them being misused. We have seen them used to ferry school children early in the morning.”
He added, “During drives, it has also been found that sometimes ambulance drivers are drunk. But otherwise we cannot take criminal action against them. We cancel their licenses as per the Motor Vehicle Act.”