This week the State Duma passed new bill entailing punishment for hampering ambulances’ access to patients. There are separate sanctions for not letting medics do their job which caused either bodily harm to a patient or even death. That entails a prison sentence of up to two and four years respectively. Causing bodily harm or threat of death to the medics themselves would land up to a five-year prison sentence.
Lawmakers are also suggesting a ten-fold increase of fines for those motorists who would not let an ambulance car pass. The necessity of such measures has been discussed for a long time. Medics often suffer from either inadequate patients or bad-tempered drivers.
If these new measures become effective, neglecting or hampering the work of ambulances would become costly. Although experts believe these new regulations require additional work. This new bill does not clearly define what “providing passage means” and what should one do in a think traffic flow. Essentially, traffic police will be the one determining whether a person is at fault – and there are doubts whether that would be fair.