Joburg Emergency Management Services (EMS) spokesman Robert Mulaudzi said that the practice keeps emergency services from reaching accident scenes during disasters.
Mulaudzi said this was experienced yesterday following an accident on the N14 highway in Diepsloot, which left six people dead and seven injured.
“Ambulances could not get to the scene rapidly as the yellow lane was full of cars trying to beat traffic. This often puts lives at risk,” Mulaudzi told The Citizen.
“We have to highlight this issue as we are criticised when we do not arrive at accident scenes on time. This is due to motorists who have no regard for the law, as the yellow lane is for emergency vehicles.”
Advanced life support emergency medical service provider EMER-G-MED confirmed that a taxi had lost control and rolled on the highway near the R511 in northern Johannesburg and bodies were scattered around.
“One person sustained critical injuries and was airlifted to hospital, while several others sustained serious injuries and (were) treated on scene and transported to hospital for further medical treatment”, said EMER-G-MED paramedic Wayne Broodryk.
The road was closed in both directions for about two hours, with heavy traffic delays experienced in the area.
Mulaudzi said EMS had a plan to react to accidents quickly and have traffic flow normally heading into the festive season.
“There are a number of public safety campaigns that will kick off on Monday to appeal to motorists to drive safely,” said Mulaudzi.
“The aim is to save as many lives as possible.”