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Old 29th October 2011, 09:30   #1
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Default How should Emergency vehicles be driven?

I am sure all of you must have seen such scenes more often than not. An ambulance, blazing its siren hopelessly, stuck in the ever growing traffic mess in our cities. Or those gigantic Fire trucks trying there best to squeeze in here and there to reach there destination. Now in our cities a pizza is delivered in 30 mins flat but an ambulance may not come on time and that precious life is lost. We keep hearing about cases everyday in the newspapers etc that the victim succumbed on the way to the hospital. Or fires that gut multiple houses and sometimes whole of the colony because the fire tender could not arrive on time. It is heart wrenching to see these vehicles getting caught in the midst of traffic specially during peak hours.

What will be the best way for them to enable them to reach there destination in the shortest time possible?

Here are some of the suggestions that I could think off:
1. These vehicles should coordinate with some type of central Traffic police station and they should deploy traffic policeman at junctions that the vehicle will be crossing so to ensure that traffic in that direction is moving. I am not sure how feasible this is.

2. These vehicles should be allowed to ply on the wrong side of the road? I guess they already might be doing it wherever they can ( is it legal?). But I have always felt that they should be allowed to do so because most of the times in our cities ( particularly Delhi) the traffic is more dense in 1 direction depending on the time of the day for ex. in morning you will see more traffic towards CP ( central Delhi) and in the evening from CP in the reverse direction. Same is also true of many other routes like towards Gurgaon ( including the ring road) etc.

Do throw in your suggestions. What is the best possible route for these vehicles?

Regards,
Mohit

Last edited by drmohitg : 29th October 2011 at 09:53. Reason: mistyped
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Old 29th October 2011, 11:18   #2
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Default Re: How should Emergency vehicles be driven?

A little bit of common sense and respect for fellow citizens will help a lot in these situations.

I have seen people make way for a politicians car which comes with blaring sirens, but not the same for ambulances. People just do not bother to move and make way for an ambulance.

I have witnessed in the US that whenever they hear a siren, the motorists move to the side and stop, irrespective of which lane or direction the emergency vehicle is travelling.
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Old 29th October 2011, 11:21   #3
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Default Re: How should Emergency vehicles be driven?

Simple solution: fire all the current drivers and recruit new drivers with prior experience in driving school vans. They are the gutsiest and the fastest too.
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Old 29th October 2011, 11:54   #4
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Default Re: How should Emergency vehicles be driven?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mitrajdeep View Post
I have seen people make way for a politicians car which comes with blaring sirens, but not the same for ambulances. People just do not bother to move and make way for an ambulance.
+1. Also the fact that there cars are fitted with much better sirens. The sirens on ambulances atleast ( the old maruti omni types) are so hard to spot or hear. Now most of us drive while listening to music and sometimes you cannot even hear the siren until the car comes right behind you. If you could hear it from a distance and also probably spot it ( like the vans being used these days with those large sirens which are present along the whole width of the vehicle) its much easier for you to move before the vehicle comes close. This way it will enable it to go much faster I believe.

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I have witnessed in the US that whenever they hear a siren, the motorists move to the side and stop, irrespective of which lane or direction the emergency vehicle is travelling.
Thats true. But I doubt if this can be implemented in our cities with the massive traffic on the roads almost at all times of the day.

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Originally Posted by wildsdi5530 View Post
Simple solution: fire all the current drivers and recruit new drivers with prior experience in driving school vans. They are the gutsiest and the fastest too.
. May be Hire some of those DTC bus drivers or the ones working in Haryana roadways. They will be the fastest.

But on a serious note doesn't an experienced old driver better? Because shifting someone to the hospital in an emergency must be a very stressful job. And you also don't want the ambulance itself to hurt someone on the road or hit a car while trying to rush to its destination.
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Old 29th October 2011, 12:00   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wildsdi5530
Simple solution: fire all the current drivers and recruit new drivers with prior experience in driving school vans. They are the gutsiest and the fastest too.
LOL. Going by this logic, all ambulances should be driven by Indicab drivers

On a serious note though, its only when people gain enough civic sense to let them through will things improve.
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Old 29th October 2011, 19:08   #6
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Default Re: How should Emergency vehicles be driven?

Most people try to make way for the ambulance by moving ahead, so that the ambulance can follow them. They never want the ambulance to overtake them, lest they lose their position on the road!

And what kind of emergency vehicles do we have?! They hardly have any pick up and top speed. I have not seen even one such vehicle with a powerful engine and automatic transmission.
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Old 29th October 2011, 23:37   #7
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Default Re: How should Emergency vehicles be driven?

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Originally Posted by rohanjf View Post
Most people try to make way for the ambulance by moving ahead, so that the ambulance can follow them. They never want the ambulance to overtake them, lest they lose their position on the road!

And what kind of emergency vehicles do we have?! They hardly have any pick up and top speed. I have not seen even one such vehicle with a powerful engine and automatic transmission.
Thats true. Even if they move I have seen them trying to follow the emergency car as much as possible in the hope that they will get a free passage which never happens mostly and in the end complicates the traffic movement further.

Many people don't understand that even if they are in a different lane they need to stop/slow down to let the vehicle in front of the ambulance move into there lanes. Afterall those cars can't just disappear altogether by some magic.
The end result is that most times the ambulances only have to zig zag though traffic.

As far as type of vehicle is concerned well thats really a let down too. Those age old Omni's cannot fulfill the role totally although they do offer a lot of space. But anyways this is not supposed to be the topic of discussion on this thread.

BHPians please do share your views on this. We never know when someone we know might be stuck in a similar situation.
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Old 30th October 2011, 09:38   #8
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Default Re: How should Emergency vehicles be driven?

Here is an idea: keep an emergency lane on every main road. Normal traffic can use it in normal conditions, but has to move out of it the moment they hear a siren. Oh yeah, increase the volume of that siren please!

They could also keep a camera in front of every emergency vehicle, and use its recordings as evidence in cases where motorists don't yield quickly.
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Old 31st October 2011, 20:53   #9
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Default Re: How should Emergency vehicles be driven?

Well, most (if not all) cops nowadays carry wireless sets. I don't see why they (hospitals) cannot coordinate with a central helpline, to make way for ambulances under all conditions, they (the cops) seem to be able to make way very well in case of politicians crossing the city. They all get informed via Wireless 10-15 mins. ahead of time or something.
I have actually seen an ambulance stuck in a traffic jam NEAR the traffic signal, with the cop not doing anything about it (there was only 1 car ahead of the ambulance, which refused to budge because of the red light). These are daily sights on bannerghatta road where there are about 3-4 hospitals (Dairy Circle to Apollo/Wockhardt hospital etc.) in bangalore - and only 1 or 2 approach roads, all crammed.
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Old 31st October 2011, 23:45   #10
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Default Re: How should Emergency vehicles be driven?

Quote:
Originally Posted by amitwadhwa View Post
Well, most (if not all) cops nowadays carry wireless sets. I don't see why they (hospitals) cannot coordinate with a central helpline, to make way for ambulances under all conditions, they (the cops) seem to be able to make way very well in case of politicians crossing the city. They all get informed via Wireless 10-15 mins. ahead of time or something.
This has a big con to it. Take an example mount road Nandanam Signal Chennai. I see at least 5 ambulances crossing every hour. This is one ambulance every 13 minutes. If this lane is kept clear / traffic flowing, This will choke up the traffic flowing in perpendicular direction.

The only way is to have Air-Ambulance (helicopter) like how they have in the US / UK.
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Old 1st November 2011, 00:36   #11
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Default Re: How should Emergency vehicles be driven?

Atleast in delhi you have the BRT. it is designed for emergency/police movement just like the european roads.
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Old 1st November 2011, 01:25   #12
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Default Re: How should Emergency vehicles be driven?

Quote:
Originally Posted by rohanjf View Post
Here is an idea: keep an emergency lane on every main road. Normal traffic can use it in normal conditions, but has to move out of it the moment they hear a siren.
All countries in the middle east (and probably all western countries too) have an emergency lane on the outer side of every road with a thick yellow line to mark it.

No civilian traffic is allowed on this lane, and any usage invites severely heavy fines. So I have, in my 18 years living there, never seen an ambulance or police car getting stuck in traffic.
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Old 1st November 2011, 10:10   #13
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Default Re: How should Emergency vehicles be driven?

We cannot have different lanes in our cities at the moment. There is hardly any space and the existing roads to earmark a lane. The BRT in Delhi has also been a failure of sorts with people complaining about the waste of space. Although I agree it will be easier for a ambulance to travel that stretch.

I have always wondered what to do in this scenario. Lets say I am at the signal and an ambulance comes up behind me. Do I break the signal to let it go? The problem is doing this is that first I am not sure if the traffic which is moving at that time will understand my actions and yield way. They might consider me to be an errant driver who is jumping the signal. Also I risk someone banging into my car as they will be least expecting me to jump the signal and suddenly disrupt the flow of traffic.
Secondly what will the cops do in such a case? They might stop me and challan me right?
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Old 1st November 2011, 14:21   #14
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Default Re: How should Emergency vehicles be driven?

Quote:
Originally Posted by drmohitg View Post
We cannot have different lanes in our cities at the moment. There is hardly any space and the existing roads to earmark a lane. The BRT in Delhi has also been a failure of sorts with people complaining about the waste of space. Although I agree it will be easier for a ambulance to travel that stretch.

I have always wondered what to do in this scenario. Lets say I am at the signal and an ambulance comes up behind me. Do I break the signal to let it go? The problem is doing this is that first I am not sure if the traffic which is moving at that time will understand my actions and yield way. They might consider me to be an errant driver who is jumping the signal. Also I risk someone banging into my car as they will be least expecting me to jump the signal and suddenly disrupt the flow of traffic.
Secondly what will the cops do in such a case? They might stop me and challan me right?
At the risk of sounding rude, I would like to say yes, break the signal, take the challan, because you don't know who is in that ambulance and how serious he/she is. Ask the family thats inside the ambulance, they would be willing to pay for a hundred challans to let the ambu. pass.
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Old 1st November 2011, 14:34   #15
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Default Re: How should Emergency vehicles be driven?

Quote:
Originally Posted by amitwadhwa View Post
At the risk of sounding rude, I would like to say yes, break the signal, take the challan, because you don't know who is in that ambulance and how serious he/she is. Ask the family thats inside the ambulance, they would be willing to pay for a hundred challans to let the ambu. pass.
+1.

But what does the rule say? Thats what I was asking. The rule says we have to give way to a car with the siren right? So that rule must have also got some section dealing with this scenario that what happens at a signal?

I am a doctor mate. I have seen many cases where the patient could have been saved if brought a little early. So I always give way to these vehicles and feel really sorry for the patient and the family whenever I see an ambulance stuck in traffic ( which has become an extremely common sight these days) and hence started this thread.
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