Celebrities in Iran found riding ambulances to avoid traffic

21 August 2019, 16:10 | Updated: 21 August 2019, 17:58

Celebrities in Iran have been found riding ambulances to avoid sitting in traffic jams, according to the head of the private ambulance service.

Mojtaba Lohrasbi said "some very famous actors" were included on the list of offenders, as well as private tutors and other wealthy individuals.

He made the comments in an interview with the state-supported Iranian Students' News Agency, and suggested police were "too busy to cooperate".

In Iran, it is illegal for an ambulance to be in use without a medical-related reason, which includes carrying passengers who are unwell.

A prosecutor general has since issued a judicial order requiring police to arrest anyone found to be violating the rules by using ambulances to skip Tehran's traffic.

Under the order, the vehicle would be seized and the individuals would be "treated by law".

Mr Lohrasbi said the issue is not as bad as some might think, despite also suggesting that police were too busy to implement the order.

He pointed to increased surveillance resulting in a decline of offences over seven months.

"This phenomenon is somewhat present and it has been reported to us," he said.

Ali Abdulali, an Iranian university professor, was also quoted by INSA recently as saying private tutors were paying ambulance drivers to transport them from class to class "which is nothing compared to the tuition they receive".