Monday, July 12, 2004

Traffic woes take lives

The city’s traffic situation is now costing precious lives
GEETHA RAO Times News Network

Fifteen days ago, a man died near Kudlu gate and the ambulance couldn’t reach him on time. Reason: traffic jam On June 7, it took the ambulance 45 minutes to travel between Ulsoor and Manipal Hospital. Reason: traffic jam. On June 9, the victim expired on the spot at Electronic City phase II. The ambulance took 33 minutes to reach there from Airport Road. Reason: traffic jam. In June 2004 alone, the Comprehensive Trauma Consortium (CTC) control room recorded 17 misses.

In the last six months, ambulances operating under the Operation Sanjeevini co-ordinated by the CTC have missed many emergency calls caught as they were in traffic jams. In the process, sometimes, precious lives have been lost. “We have had problems reaching patients, because of traffic jams. This is in spite of one-ways. It’s specially bad during peak hours (5pm-8.30pm),” says Dr NK Venkatramana, project co-ordinator, CTC.
“Of the 125 missed calls in the past six months, 20 per cent were missed because of traffic jams,” says V Madhusudhana, manager, operations, CTC.

“We have have been caught in traffic jams on both sides of Hosur Road near the Forum mall. The traffic w a s j a m m e d all the way from Dairy C i rcl e. A t B i s h o p C o t t o n Boys School Circle, there are two-three misses every month because of traffic jams. The Bellary Road from Yelahanka to Hebbal is an accident-prone area, and there is at least one call a day for help here.”

Dr Venkataramana has approached the police commissioner, S Mariswamy, and requested for certain ambulance privileges. “These are internationally accepted privileges for ambulances; not all may be applicable here, but those which can be, should be provided,” says Madhusudhana.

The main traffic jam spots are MG Road (Trinity Circle onwards); Mekhri Circle, Yeshwantpur Circle, near Kendriya Bhavan in Koramangala. Ironically, many of the missed calls happen in areas where the CTC has a network with hospitals.

Next time around, when you want to jump lanes and add to the traffic chaos, think twice —you might be preventing that ambulance from reaching the victim in time. Bangalore Times requests its readers to follow traffic rules and maintain lane discipline. Your action might save some lives.


To park at strategic locations in the city to be available readily for emergency.

To cautiously proceed through the red light signal, pass other vehicles in no passing zones.

To exceed the speed limit posted over the area as long as it does not endanger lives or property.

To drive ambulances on the wrong way down a one way street or driving down the opposite side of the street.

To turn in any direction at any intersection.

To park anywhere as long as it does not endanger lives or property to rescue individuals.

To leave the ambulance in the middle of the street or intersection if necessary.


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