An incident in which a man was recorded blocking an ambulance last month has prompted the Taipei City Government to urge all ambulance operators on Monday to install black box recording devices and speakers on their vehicles.
Taipei’s heavy traffic congestion and crowded streets often lead to accidents or disputes as ambulances try to rush patients to hospitals, and the city’s Department of Health argued that having the devices installed could provide extra security for everybody involved.
“Although there is no law requiring ambulances to have a video recorder installed, we highly encourage hospitals to do so, to protect the patient, the hospital, the driver and other motorists,” said Kao Wei-chun (高偉君), chief of the department’s medical division.
The black box recorder could provide important evidence when accidents occur or when the patient’s relatives have doubts about response times, Kao said.
The speakers can help ambulance drivers direct traffic and create openings to drive through.
“We have received complaints from motorists saying that they only hear a siren coming from behind and don’t know whether to move to the right or left,” she said, adding that most drivers are willing to give way, but lack the proper instructions.
The city may not be able to legally enforce the request, but Kao said it would try to get ambulance operators to comply by providing an incentive — adding the installation of black boxes and speakers to the city’s evaluation criteria of the vehicles.
Of the 194 registered ambulances run by the fire department and public and private hospitals, only seven have black box recorders and none have speakers.
Kao said the equipment is not found on most city ambulances because its cost and maintenance creates an unwelcome burden for financially strapped hospitals.
“We acknowledge that the management of an ambulance requires money and manpower, so we decided to promote the idea through the evaluation system,” she said.
Last month, video footage taken from an ambulance stopped by the 33-year-old man showed him blocking the vehicle, which was carrying an 86-year-old woman to the hospital.
He was seen flashing his middle finger at the ambulance after forcing it to make an emergency stop.
The incident caused public outrage and the man was charged with causing bodily harm and obstruction of official business, investigators said.
Proposed legislation in the US outlines three conditions in which Washington would be authorized to protect Taiwan were China to invade, a report said yesterday. US Representative Ted Yoho this month said he would introduce a Taiwan Invasion Prevention Act, which would authorize US military force if China were to invade Taiwan-controlled areas, including its outlying islands. According to a version of the bill obtained by the Chinese-language Liberty Times (the sister paper of the Taipei Times), the bill lists three conditions in which a US president would be authorized to use military force to protect Taiwan: If China uses military force
The Supreme Court on Tuesday found four men guilty of attempted murder in the 2017 stabbing of Spanish surfer Ignacio Prio on a Pingtung County beach in the final ruling in the case, sentencing them to three-and-a-half to six years in prison. The defendants had appealed their convictions for attempted murder in the first and second rulings, which had also led to prison sentences ranging from three-and-a-half years to six years. The then-42-year-old Prio went to Jialeshui Beach (佳樂水) near Kenting (墾丁) on March 31, 2017, was attacked after he asked four men to remove their fishing lines from an area
Two new commuter trains are scheduled to be launched in January next year, the Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) said yesterday. The acquisition of EMU-900 commuter train cars is part of the railway operator’s plan to replace 589 train cars that have been in operation for more than three decades. The agency has also placed orders to buy 600 intercity train cars. The first batch of 20 EMU-900 cars is to be delivered to the nation in September, although delivery might be delayed until October due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the agency said. The batch would be formed into two trains of 10
‘IMMORAL, INSINCERE’: Huang Kun-huei said that Ma was ‘distorting history’ in claiming that Lee Teng-hui laid the foundation for the so-called ‘1992 consensus’ Former Presidential Office secretary-general Huang Kun-huei (黃昆輝) on Saturday rejected former president Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) claim that former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) had been a proponent of Beijing’s “one China” principle. Lee, who served as president from 1988 to 2000, died in Taipei on Thursday last week. After visiting the Taipei Guest House on Saturday to pay his respects to Lee, Ma posted on Facebook that “28 years ago on this day” Lee hosted a session of the now-defunct National Unification Council, during which he passed a resolution on the “one China” principle. That resolution became the basis of the Chinese Nationalist Party’s