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A man arrested for collecting cash illegally from donors.
A man arrested for collecting cash illegally from donors.
'Charity' collector arrested
Municipal council member proposes ‘corridor’ on main roads with at least 2 lanes

KUWAIT: Kuwait Municipality member Aliaa Al-Farsi submitted a proposal to the Municipal Council to designate an emergency lane on main roads. In a statement posted Tuesday on her X account Farsi says her proposal is aimed at implementing an “emergency corridor” system, which involves creating a lane that ensures emergency vehicles have quick and safe access to expressways and motorways during heavy traffic.

The emergency corridor system is required by law in a handful of EU countries, including Austria, the Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Luxembourg, Slovenia, and Switzerland. According to a study conducted in Austria, an emergency corridor may speed up the arrival of emergency medical vehicles and fire brigades to the scene by up to four minutes and increase the chances of survival by 40 percent. A document published by the European Transport Safety Council in 2018 explains how the corridor works in these countries.

In countries where the system is adopted, drivers are obliged to clear the way in a systematic, organized way when an emergency vehicle is approaching and before traffic comes to a standstill. The corridor is created on dual lane roads in the middle, or next to the leftmost or rightmost lane, depending on the number of lanes and country.

It should be at least three meters wide to allow emergency/rescue vehicles to pass on a possibly congested road and reach the road collision scene (or other time critical situation) without unnecessary delay. “The three-meter requirement is the absolute minimum; a fire brigade vehicle can easily be three meters wide,” the document says. In Kuwait, Farsi says the system will have marked emergency corridors on main roads with two or more lanes going in the same direction. When hearing an emergency vehicle’s siren, drivers will be expected to make way for the vehicle by moving to the left side of the road if they were driving in the left lane, and to the right side if they were driving in the right lane. This mechanism leaves the middle of the road clear for emergency vehicles to pass.

Farsi lists several goals she hopes the system would achieve, including ensuring medical emergency vehicles or ambulances arrive at the site of a report in the shortest time possible within international standards, which she says go up to eight minutes, thereby saving more lives. The proposal, she adds, would improve the emergency corridor culture in the country if it’s adopted.

The corridor system, says Farsi, requires coordination between Kuwait Municipality and several entities, of which she specifies: the interior ministry, the Public Authority for Roads and Transportation and the health ministry. Farsi also mentions that implementing the system must go together with educating the public on how it will work.

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