Q&A - Misuse of Emergency Vehicles

Q&A ImageQuestion: When an ambulance is parked, not in a emergency situation, do they have the right to park anywhere they want to even though they are parked illegally??

I recently viewed a situation where an ambulance was parked illegally in the Westbank Town Centre mall near Shoppers Drugmart. It was parked partially blocking the oncoming traffic (facing the wrong direction) in the driving lane while the while the ambulance attendant lady in the passenger seat was shopping in what looked like Save-on Foods for a while and then casually walked into Shoppers for another 5-10 mins.

My point is that she (they) weren't there for an emergency. While they were parked there the ambulance obstructed traffic from more than one direction, and two accidents almost happened within minutes. One was a vehicle that apparently couldn't see the oncoming traffic when trying to turn from an aisle way onto the main driving area going by Shoppers Drugmart and almost had an accident. The second time when a car was backing out of a Shoppers Drugmart parking spot and almost backed into the ambulance due to where it was parked directly behind. And all this while the ambulance driver just sat there in the drivers seat oblivious to anything.

What are your thoughts?

If, as you say, the crew was not responding to an incident and were conducting person business, they need to park the ambulance properly just like you and I would in our personal vehicles. I wasn't allowed to do personal shopping when I was working and I doubt that the paramedics are encouraged to either.

There is an exemption for emergency vehicles that grants them the privilege to stop, park or stand contrary to the Motor Vehicle Act, but only if done in compliance with the regulations.

The ambulance has a car number posted on it. If you wished to complain, you could do so with the car number and the following link:

Contact BC Ambulance Service

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