Fire department driver fined for using siren, beacon to get through traffic illegally

Updated: Jan 18, 2018, 10:41 IST | Suraj Ojha

When citizens hear the fire brigade's wailing siren and see the orange beacon flashing, everyone gives way to the vehicle, automatically assuming that firefighters are rushing to save lives in danger

Nizamullah Farooqui had switched on the siren and beacon on the way to pick up his boss
Nizamullah Farooqui had switched on the siren and beacon on the way to pick up his boss

When citizens hear the fire brigade's wailing siren and see the orange beacon flashing, everyone gives way to the vehicle, automatically assuming that firefighters are rushing to save lives in danger. This is exactly what a senior police officer from Sion thought when he spotted a fire department jeep racing through Sion on Tuesday. However, it took him just minutes to figure out that there was no fire — the only emergency was that the driver's boss was about to be late for a meeting.

Where's the fire?
Rajendra Trivedi, assistant commissioner of police (Sion division), had just finished conducting a meeting at the Sion police station and was on his way to his office at Antop Hill, when he saw the fire brigade jeep rushing ahead, with beacon and siren blaring. The driver — identified as Nizamullah Farooqui — jumped the Sion hospital signal and drove ahead in the wrong direction, breaking multiple traffic rules.

"I assumed a major tragedy had taken place nearby, so we followed the vehicle. Meanwhile, I started checking with all police stations under my jurisdiction to find out what had happened. But I found nothing. When the jeep got stuck in traffic near Antop Hill, I asked Farooqui why he was rushing. Instead of answering, he sped off again," recalled Trivedi.

Couldn't handle the heat
The ACP could think of no good reason why Farooqui had fled, so he stopped the vehicle near the Antop Hill bus depot, and questioned him again. At first, Farooqui lied and said he had been assigned some important work. But he couldn't handle the heat when Trivedi called the fire authorities to verify this. "The fire officials said they had not assigned any work to the jeep. Then, the driver told the truth and said he was rushing to pick up his senior, who was getting late," the cop added.

Trivedi called the Antop Hill police and asked them to register an offence against the driver. Fire officials called the police station to request that Farooqui be allowed to go. But the police ignored their pleas and fined him Rs 500 for misusing fire brigade's privileges.

The police are now verifying whether the fire department's jeeps are even allowed to use the beacon and siren as per the law. If not, the cops will take appropriate action.

Rs 500 Amount the driver was fined

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