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Old 16th July 2014, 07:11   #16
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Default re: Please give right of way to Ambulances & Emergency Vehicles!

I've noticed that in Bangalore people do try to make way for an ambulance with its siren blaring. It's another story that the ambulance suddenly becomes like Moses splitting the red sea with the hordes of vehicles jostling to follow it to the path of salvation.

The reason i feel ambulances in Chennai (as mentioned by fellow TBHPians above) and Bangalore (my own experiences) are able to make their way through traffic better is owing to the 108 ambulances which are more visible in terms of the LED flashing lights and louder sirens.

In noisy cities like ours, where people are tuned to ignore noise as long as it isn't too intrusive, the wailing sirens of the Omni ambulances don't command the same sort of attention as the much better equipped ambulances.
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Old 16th July 2014, 07:27   #17
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Default re: Please give right of way to Ambulances & Emergency Vehicles!

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Originally Posted by bravo6 View Post
How do you know he was returning after dropping off a patient? He could have been on the way to pick someone up.
This particular Ambulance had only the driver and a person on the front co-passenger seat. Moreover near Trichur the guy stopped at a wayside tea shop. Need one need more.
Further it is a common practice these days to go to hospital as an outpatient even for minor ailment in an Ambulance rather than in a Taxi.
Also in many places the Ambulances are used as hearse also.

Last edited by rajeev k : 16th July 2014 at 07:36.
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Old 16th July 2014, 08:27   #18
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Default re: Please give right of way to Ambulances & Emergency Vehicles!

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Originally Posted by rajeev k View Post
This particular Ambulance had only the driver and a person on the front co-passenger seat. Moreover near Trichur the guy stopped at a wayside tea shop. Need one need more.
Further it is a common practice these days to go to hospital as an outpatient even for minor ailment in an Ambulance rather than in a Taxi.
Also in many places the Ambulances are used as hearse also.
No system is perfect is all I can say. I agree that Ambulances and anyother emergency vehicle for that matter must be frequently involved in abuse of the power they are entitled to. This can be either the Ambulance driver going to meet his girl or just out on a joyride. But to keep that in check is the job of the Police. As a common citizen it is our duty to give them way because we never know which driver is out on a joyride and which one is carrying a serious patient. And at the end of the day it is much better and more morally satisfying to give way to an Ambulance than to PCR vans out on collecting "haftas" or government vehicles ferrying the "sahib's children from school".

Truth be told, I don't see any easier way to allow these vehicles to pass freely on our roads owing to the practical problems of lack of space, too much traffic etc. The only way they can manage this is by having a system in place where the Ambulances can coordinate with the traffic cops and the signals in its way can be managed allowing a smoother run for it. 99% of the drivers want to or intend to give way to an Ambulance but are forced to do otherwise because they do not have any space to move. Infact IIRC there was an experiment done in Chennai recently where an Ambulance managed to travel a distance of 15-20kms in the city from one hospital to another and was carrying a heart meant to be transplanted. With the help of the cops they could manage it in under 15 minutes or so. Usually the same distance would have taken it around 1 hour+. So we need to have such a system in place and only then we can expect things to get better.

Last edited by drmohitg : 16th July 2014 at 08:32.
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Old 16th July 2014, 09:00   #19
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Default re: Please give right of way to Ambulances & Emergency Vehicles!

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Originally Posted by drmohitg View Post
...The only way they can manage this is by having a system in place where the Ambulances can coordinate with the traffic cops and the signals in its way can be managed allowing a smoother run for it.
Ambulances should be given radios just like cops, and they should co-ordinate with the control room to have a clear route to the hospital. Why should VIPs have all the fun?
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Old 16th July 2014, 09:08   #20
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Default re: Please give right of way to Ambulances & Emergency Vehicles!

Playing the devil's advocate here, is it possible to drive your car on the kerb so as to let the Ambulance pass? No because most of them are almost a feet high or when you can, the space is occupied by a hawker selling street stuff. It is easy to draw parallels but the hard fact is that our infrastructure is just not there and if it is there it is not upto the standard.
The same infrastructure makes it impossible for the disabled folks to move around on their own, makes it difficult for the pedestrians to cross the roads etc etc.
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Old 16th July 2014, 09:47   #21
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Default re: Please give right of way to Ambulances & Emergency Vehicles!

Its sad and irritating to see the lack of respect to another human's life. The lowest life forms of the universe are those bikers who follow the ambulance so that they can benefit from its clearance of traffic. Just like vultures feeding off the dead.

I had read an article a couple of years ago about how almost 857 errant ambulance drivers were fined in Bangalore for unnecessarily having the sirens blaring, when there was no emergency. In one case, one ambulance driver was getting late to meet his GF, so was using the ambulance's sirens to make way.

At the end of the day, what should you trust? I prefer giving way, even if its not an emergency, as its next to impossible to gauge when you are in traffic. But its is a fact that ambulance drivers also misuse the right of way rule and their profession.

Link from TOI a few years back:-

http://lite.epaper.timesofindia.com/...=&publabel=TOI

EDIT: Just saw Captainslow has posted the same thing a few posts back.

Last edited by hrman : 16th July 2014 at 09:51.
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Old 16th July 2014, 09:57   #22
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Default re: Please give right of way to Ambulances & Emergency Vehicles!

As others say above, drivers in Chennai do give way. Here is an excellent article about the recent case where a heart was transported 12km in 13 minutes during rush hour. It covers the ambulance driver, the police, the coordination between hospitals, the accident victim's mother who agreed to donate the heart. Most of all the point is there is a certain awareness here which did not happen by accident or because Chennai-ites are somehow nicer than other people (they aren't). So it can certainly be developed in other cities too. This particular incident attracted a lot of news coverage but it is far from a one-off: I see ambulances pretty much every day, assisted both by the police in stopping traffic and by ordinary drivers in pulling over, and the police see their role as "winning trust and affection" from the public.
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Old 16th July 2014, 10:40   #23
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Default re: Please give right of way to Ambulances & Emergency Vehicles!

When a minister or maybe even his PA is about to pass, one lane at toll plaza's is blocked about 15-20 mins before the big shot passes. On the other hand, many times, I have seen ambulances blaring their siren's but the operator's keep taking toll's from cars in front of the ambulance. Why can't they let these cars pass without taking toll? How many such cars will go without paying toll? 10? 20?

At traffic signal's, motorists keep honking and driving past even when there is red light but never move an inch when an ambulance is blaring it's sirens. I am not sure about the law but it should be legal for car's in front of the ambulance to drive through a red light. Of course, the other car's have to stop and let the line of vehicles pass and the cars behind the ambulance should not try and take advantage of this and get past a red light. Basically, problem with Indian's is we find loopholes in law and try to use it to our advantage.

The video here doesn't show anything new or something that we don't know. I am all for cars to move to the side to let an ambulance pass. Many of us have done it when driving abroad. Problem is if we move to the side we will be standing there for 10 minutes because other car's will take advantage of that 'gap' and block the waiting car out. Indians are impossible people & we never look beyond our comfort & convenience. We don't have a community attitude whether we are living in an apartment block or driving on the roads. Until we don't become less selfish, such things as giving way to an ambulance will only remain in our dreams.

Last edited by amit : 16th July 2014 at 10:42.
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Old 16th July 2014, 11:33   #24
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Default re: Please give right of way to Ambulances & Emergency Vehicles!

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Originally Posted by ecenandu View Post
As far as what I have seen in Chennai, people do give way to Ambulance better than what is shown in the OP video.

In fact today, I saw cars, even auto coming to a complete halt to give way for Ambulance('108') and that too on a narrow road.
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Originally Posted by VW2010 View Post
Not to boast but i want those who really experience the callous attitude of indians to my city, chennai. I think in chennai i am witnessing people trying their best to give way to ambulance. From auto drivers to even the rude cab drivers.
.
Completely agree! Even the chennai auto drivers who normally break every rule of the road otherwise, move to the left side to give space for the Ambulance!

Its another matter that nowadays we all get to do this at least twice a week & its could either mean the emergency services are truly working to meet the demand or more people are facing emergencies than in the past! Hope its the former reason
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Old 16th July 2014, 12:12   #25
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Default re: Please give right of way to Ambulances & Emergency Vehicles!

I make it a point to give way to ambulances.
If unable to move, I just stop so that when the traffic moves, he can at least get past me, if not anyone else.

But the worst bit is all the morons chasing the ambulance, as if its their school bus they've missed, and want to crash into it.

I'd rather not justify blocking an emergency vehicle thinking ,"hmm, empty, only the driver, or just two people, looks like they're joy riding". An ambulance will come up behind you once in, what, 3-4 days?Maybe even more. Its no skin off your back letting him go.


I remember, once my nephew cut his hand quite badly on a window pane, and was bleeding quite badly. I had to rush with him from pandara to RML. People were making it a point to block me cos I was coming in with lights flashing, horn blaring, weaving left and right. Eventually I had to fish out one of the blood soaked T-shirts that were being used, and wave it outside the window. People moved after that. Even then there were some people who I hope are rotting in hell at this time.
The time when they were not letting me through, it was the worst 20 minutes of my life. I was SO angry, and so helpless.
The wound was not that serious, eventually, but imagine the plight of someone transporting someone where every minute literally matters.
Dont be a wanker with these guys. Life is full of other opportunities to be one if you're so inclined.
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Old 16th July 2014, 12:28   #26
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Default re: Please give right of way to Ambulances & Emergency Vehicles!

The traffic signal at around 4.0 minutes, where no one is getting out of the way. I doubt Indians can be that dumb, wonder if the audio of the Siren was added later.
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Old 16th July 2014, 12:33   #27
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Default re: Please give right of way to Ambulances & Emergency Vehicles!

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Originally Posted by amit View Post
When a minister or maybe even his PA is about to pass, one lane at toll plaza's is blocked about 15-20 mins before the big shot passes. On the other hand, many times, I have seen ambulances blaring their siren's but the operator's keep taking toll's from cars in front of the ambulance.
Which toll plaza is this? Here in KA, on most multi lane highways, the left most lane at a plaza is reserved for exempted vehicles such as bikes, fireengines, ambulances, big shots, etc.

On a related note, if there is no dedicated lane, even if the cars in front of an ambulance are allowed to pass through without a ticket, they can pay the same when exiting the toll road right?
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Old 16th July 2014, 13:39   #28
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Default Re: Please give right of way to Ambulances & Emergency Vehicles!

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Which toll plaza is this? Here in KA, on most multi lane highways, the left most lane at a plaza is reserved for exempted vehicles such as bikes, fireengines, ambulances, big shots, etc.
I see this happen regularly on the Vashi toll between Navi Mumbai & Mumbai.
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Old 16th July 2014, 14:04   #29
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Default Re: Please give right of way to Ambulances & Emergency Vehicles!

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But the worst bit is all the morons chasing the ambulance, as if its their school bus they've missed, and want to crash into it.
That's very true. A rushing ambulance is almost always followed by few opportunists who want to take advantage and weave through traffic. Just two days back I had my car almost scraped by a taxi when I stopped on the side of a narrow road to give way to ambulance and was trying to get back in the lane. Caught up with the taxi at the next signal and gave him a piece of my mind.
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Old 16th July 2014, 14:20   #30
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Default Re: Please give right of way to Ambulances & Emergency Vehicles!

The Video is 100% accurate. While a few of us do actually give the right of way to an Emergency Vehicle, it hardly makes any difference as the majority of the drivers are either unaware or do not care.

We BHPians need to inculcate driving etiquette amongst us, teach the same to our children and others. If a person is blocking the way, the most common reaction is to abuse the person. I am sure that no likes being abused, even if he is in the wrong. If he is told of his wrongdoing gently but firmly, it will go a long way.

Another way of spreading awareness is to educate the people through television. This is the most widely used media in the world today. The Ministry of Surface Transport should seriously look at making short videos can be aired regularly to show driving etiquette.

One way to tackle this is to increase the fines significantly. However, this can have other side effects. I recollect that in 2008 my friends wife was caught speeding near Bergen. The fine was NOK 3000 (roughly INR 21,000) + points on her license. Lesson surely learnt

Last edited by rpunwani : 16th July 2014 at 14:49.
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