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Fines Could Clear Way for Emergency Vehicles

August 22, 2003

Re "Fire Engine Limits Set," Aug. 19: Rather than slow down emergency response times and thus cause delays in urgent patient care, heavy fines should be given to car drivers failing to yield and/or using cell phones while driving. Furthermore, since a car is primarily for transportation rather than for listening to concerts, the soundproofing and loudness of stereo systems should be limited. After all, these drivers are guilty of obstructing lifesaving attempts.

Barbara Kowalski

Alhambra

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Rather than limiting firefighters' ability to respond to emergencies, other solutions should be explored. A motorcycle officer who can follow the trucks is a start, but one officer will not be enough. Last week I saw three lanes of traffic stop for an ambulance -- right in the middle of an intersection. Fortunately, the ambulance was able to squeeze through. At least three tickets were warranted. Other options would include public service announcements (in a variety of languages), a question on the driver's test (that, if not answered correctly, would result in an automatic failure) and fines doubled or tripled for those caught not yielding the right of way.

Craig Walker

Orange

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