Its a pity every time you hear the sound of the roaring [sometimes quite feeble] ambulances in Bangalore. There is nothing much , you , as an driver can do, nor the ambulance. That’s the sorry state that we all go through time and again. First of all, for a driver, there is no room to move whichever way, and to add to the predicament no one really knows, which side to move. Till date I haven’t personally seen any rules to guide an driver, as to which side of the road should he/she move.

Abroad, especially in the US, there are fixed rules that all vehicles should move onto the slowest moving lanes and leave the fast moving lanes for the Ambulances or Police etc as soon as one hears the siren. So everyone knows which side to move and so does the Ambulance Driver.
Here everyone is clueless. Its only when one hears the siren next to your ear, you start panicking and start looking for place to move. Please post your opinions and views and any rules which already exist on this front.

Worse, people don’t even bother to give them the right of way. Guys, just think that someone from your family is in the vehicle and you can save a life.

I just hope and pray that first of all the RTO makes some fixed rules and secondly makes everyone aware that these rules exist. The sole link that I have found on the web makes no mention as to where should a vehicle move. Please post your views or ideas on this issue.

9 Comments so far

  1. Arjun (roadsidetea) on September 1st, 2008 @ 2:35 am

    The problem is simple: unplanned infrastructure and traffic indiscipline.

    In traffic jams that stretch up to over a couple of hundred metres, the traffic cop at the signal wont even have a clue that there is an ambulance screaching away in the distance. As a result,for the patient, the journey from earth to Heaven could well be shorter than the journey from the his/her house to the hospital :(

  2. Deponti (bglr_deepa) on September 2nd, 2008 @ 3:02 pm

    Very often, I also find that even if motorists nearby want to give way, they, too, have nowhere to go. The problem is really acute. I pray that I never fall ill at peak traffic times, or on a day when a national or State leader has passed away…because if I do, I will pass away, too.

  3. vikz on September 3rd, 2008 @ 4:07 pm

    The problem is a mix of things. In Indian Context no problem remains simple, but yet they can have simple solutions.
    I have observed this same phenomenon quite a lot of time and more often than not on HAL airport road.
    The issues to be addressed are:
    1. Infrastructure : cant be improved in short period of time and has space constraints.
    2. Education : I think people need to be educated on the way they are supposed to behave.

  4. vidyut12 on September 5th, 2008 @ 4:18 pm

    The wailing of sirens always leaves a clammy tightness in my gut and i start panicking because, as you say, for all the noise and flashing lights, the vehicle hardly makes any progress in our congested roads. The traffic signals that are manned too have no effect as the cops are not educated enough to take spot decisions on how best to direct the traffic to make way for the emergency. And i feel terrified for the patients inside when the van rattles, bumps and totters on our perennially pot-holed roads. How can we be sure that tubes from some life saving equipment connected to the poor soul lying inside may not be jerked away by such a jig ? – All that aside, once, in sober traffic,i saw a few vehicles did make way for a screaming ambulance to pass. But some 200 yards away, the ambulance stopped ; the driver and a helper got down to buy some snacks. It turned out, the van was empty ! Gross misuse of the siren.

  5. rajeshm on September 10th, 2008 @ 11:26 am

    I remember seeing a ambulance caught in traffic bang opposite to the Pizza Hut in 80 feet Koramangala Road. The driver was trying to go towards Sony world signal. The moment he came to the wrong side of the road and sped, there were three bikers who followed the ambulance. One biker hit a small girl (12-15 yrs) and disappeared in a jiffy. As rightly articulated by Prasad, it sure is a pity, to see people doing these kind of stupid things and making use of someones pain to get leverage for their own benefits. BTW my office is in the same road, I have seen at least 30-40 accidents in the last couple of months, when I am trying to get home or lunch. This place is a killer zone where many violations happen and ambulances invariably get stuck for long. I can hear the siren going on for minutes from my office everyday. Further almost everyone from the opposite side tries to drive in the wrong side to get to the petrol pump(where most accidents happen). I don’t know if the authorities are reading this? I believe we can clean our own mess instead of looking up to U.S all the time Prasad, probably you can give examples from our country if they do exist!

  6. Prasad Govenkar (govenkar) on September 13th, 2008 @ 5:16 pm

    Thanks for all the feedback. We now need to take the next step to somehow get to the authorities. I will update on this soon. Any ideas are appreciated.

  7. bharath144 on September 25th, 2008 @ 12:36 am

    First of all, who says RTO hasn’t made any rules? They have a whole bunch of them. Agreed there aren’t enough awareness programs that the RTO has under its belt to "Enlighten" the people about ’em. I travel on the old airport road everyday to reach Marathalli. One thing that anyone would notice are the two-wheeler users riding on the footpath. Now RTO doesn’t have to have an awareness program does it? It should be inherent in the individual, a sort of civic and social sense, that an individual should have.
    To recall an incident, I remember seeing an Old man, walking on the footpath brandishing his walking stick at the two-wheelers who used the footpath to avoid traffic jam. Well, like the saying "Saama, Bheda, Lobha and now Dhanda".

  8. Prasad Govenkar (govenkar) on September 25th, 2008 @ 1:17 pm

    I still dont know what the rules are when an Ambulance comes next to you. Are we supposed to the left or to the right ? Thats what I was searching for, and I didnt get any hand. If you have, please send it across. We can take the first step towards implementation and making others aware towards whatever little difference we can make.

  9. bharath144 on September 25th, 2008 @ 2:20 pm

    I never said there are rules for figuring out what has to be done when an ambulance, its just common sense. The protocols here are antique and it was designed when there was very little or no traffic on the road and it still has remained the same. Well ideal thing would be to atleast figure out which direction the ambulance is headed and allow it to use that lane of the road which leads to its destination. This obviously isn’t ONE person’s job. Its a collective effort, which should come from within each of us.

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