In medicine, there is a concept of the so-called “golden hour” after an injury. Providing qualified medical assistance to victims during this hour significantly increases their chances of survival.
In order for the first responders to be able to get to the road accident site or any other urgent assignment site as quickly as possible, experts of the Centre for Democracy and Rule of Law, Ukrainian Association of Road Safety Auditors and Vision Zero NGO propose to introduce the rule of emergency corridor in Ukraine.
On December 16, 2022, the Ministry of Development of Community, Territories and Infrastructure together with CEDEM, Ukrainian Association of Road Safety Auditors and Vision Zero held a round table during which representatives of the Ministry of Health, Patrol Police Department, State Emergency Service of Ukraine and the public discussed the package of documents necessary to introduce this rule.
Ivan Piatak, CEDEM lawyer, explains what an emergency corridor is and what its definition should sound like according to the best international practices: “An emergency corridor is a temporary lane at least 3 meters wide, intended for unimpeded movement of emergency vehicles with special signals, which drivers form during traffic jams and in case of slow traffic (with an average speed not exceeding 10 km/h). Temporary lane should be formed irrespective of the presence of emergency vehicles”.
See video explanation about emergency corridors at the link below.
First Deputy Head of the Patrol Police Department Oleksii Biloshytskyi spoke in support of the proposed changes to traffic rules: “Patrol Police unequivocally supports the initiative to introduce emergency corridors in Ukraine. We have studied the documents in detail and are convinced that such innovations will help make our roads more orderly and save more than one life.”
The introduction of the emergency corridor was also supported by Pavlo Khochai, state expert of the expert group on emergency medical care and disaster medicine of the Directorate of Medical Services of the Ministry of Health, and Vadym Vakulenko, head of road safety service of the Department of Automobile and Fire Support and Road Safety of the State Emergency Service.
During the discussion of the package of documents, they managed to reach a consensus on a number of debatable issues, namely: regarding the type of roads on which the emergency corridor rule should work, the list of services that have the right to use it, and the introduction of liability in case of non-compliance with the rule. Thus, if introduced, the rule will apply to state importance roads with a dividing strip, and all services with blue or red flashing beacons and vehicles they accompany will be able to use it.
Regarding the introduction of liability for non-compliance with the rule, the experts came to the conclusion that changes to the Traffic Rules will require detailed explanation and awareness raising work, and after that administrative responsibility for non-compliance can be introduced.
We sincerely hope for the support of our partners in the decision-making process regarding the introduction of emergency corridors in Ukraine, because seconds can save lives.