• Indiscriminate use of sirens can land a person in jail for 30 days
• The use of sirens is reserved for emergency purposes only
• Drivers no longer pave way for siren cars due to abuse
Sommik Duut Miilon, the Ashanti Regional Manager of the National Ambulance Service, has warned the public against the indiscriminate use of sirens and that abusers will spend 30 days in jail if caught.
According to him, “A person who contravenes this regulation commits an offense and is liable on summary conviction to a fine of not more than 20 penalty units or a term of imprisonment of not more than 30 days or both.
“So if you use the siren when you are not permitted, this is the penalty there is,” he said.
He added that commercial drivers no longer give reverence to cars that use sirens because most people use it without permission.
Sommik Duut Miilon said that in recent times some ambulances have had to struggle to maneuver in traffic because drivers can no longer pave way for them since they are unable to decipher between an ambulance siren and the ones illegally used by V8 vehicles.
“Normally on weekends, you see a lot of V8 [Vehicles] on sirens, I mean the drivers are fed up with the siren and so when they hear the siren they don’t know whether it is an emergency or somebody is using the siren for his personal gains and all that so it’s really a challenge.”
“Now people don’t know the difference between the ambulance and then ordinary cars using the sirens,” he lamented.
The siren is only used in an emergency by the Ghana National Fire Service, the Ghana Ambulance Service, and the Ghana Police Service.
According to the Road Traffic Regulations Regulation 74(3) of L.I. 2180 of the Act, a siren may be fitted as a warning appliance and used on certain categories of motor vehicles. First, we have “the government vehicle used for official purposes by the Head of State.
I. 2180 also accords certain privileges to “Authorised Emergency Vehicles” when responding to emergency calls. According to the Legislative Instrument, a condition precedent for the exercise of these privileges by drivers of “authorised emergency vehicles” is the sounding of a siren and the flashing of emergency lamps whilst the vehicle is in motion.