The driver of a Lexus automobile which was filmed blocking the way of a fire truck on duty in Vietnam has blamed “inaudible” siren and firemen’s public addresses for his action.
A fire broke out at a warehouse in Vinh, the capital of the north-central province of Nghe An, at around 12:00 pm on Friday.
As firemen responded to the emergency, a Lexus driver purportedly refused to give way to a fire truck that was dispatched to the fire site.
In footage filmed on a phone by firemen in the truck, the Lexus car kept on driving on the left-most lane despite wailing sirens and repeated demands that it moved to the right-hand lane.
“Vehicle 38A-176.36, move to the right-hand lane to make way for fire truck on duty,” firemen could be heard speaking through a vehicular public address system installed on the fire engine.
The car continued driving for another minute, only switching to another lane at an intersection, after being signaled by another driver.
The footage was posted to Facebook on the same day and shared across the social network.
The Lexus driver has been identified as Nguyen Bac Vinh from the neighboring province of Ha Tinh, the provincial vehicle registration center confirmed with Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper on Saturday.
Vinh, 59, told Tuoi Tre he was not aware that there was a fire truck behind him at the time of the filmed incident.
“There was too much noise on the road that I couldn’t hear the siren and firemen’s addresses at first,” Vinh said.
“It was only a short distance,” he added.
|Lexus driver Nguyen Bac Vinh is summoned to a police station in Nghe An Province, Vietnam. Photo: Doan Hoa / Tuoi Tre|
According to the Lexus driver, he immediately pulled aside upon realizing that he was blocking a fire truck.
“I was alone in the car, didn’t have any music on, and wasn’t talking on the phone either,” Vinh claimed, adding that he had gestured an apology to the firemen after making way for them.
Nghe An traffic police have slapped the man with an administrative fine of VND2.5 million (US$110) and temporarily revoke his driver's license for two months for the violation of blocking an emergency vehicle.
“I’m aware of what I did wrong and willingly accept any repercussion in pursuant with the law,” Vinh told the police.