Sun films, curtains to be removed from ambulances

COVID-19
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Thiruvananthapuram: The transport department has decided to remove sun films and curtains from ambulances in the state.

Though the Supreme Court order on banning the use of sun film on windshields and windows of vehicles was implemented in Kerala, ambulances continued to have tinted glass. The departments concerned too did not take adequate action. Rules stipulate that the interiors of vehicles should be clearly visible from outside to ensure the safety of the passengers.

Authorities have finally woken up to the need for transparency after a COVID-19 patient was sexually assaulted in the ambulance by the driver at Aranmula in Pathanamthitta. 

The transport department will also direct the police to ensure more safety checks for the ambulance.  The department will recommend that the details of the ambulance and its driver should be submitted at the police station. Another recommendation is to make police clearance certificate mandatory for drivers, every six months.

Also, the order to install GPS in public vehicles has also not been implemented in Kerala. An order was issued in this regard by the Central government in 2016, and by the state government in 2017 and in 2019. 

Only 316 ambulances in Kerala have GPS installed in them. Most of these are 108 ambulances.

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