I could see from a distance that the signal had turned red and it would take a few more minutes to cross this path till I reach the next point and the story repeats. I took complete advantage of my playlist and stereo system while watching the count down for the green light to appear.
I’ve learnt to accept and enjoy the chaos that big cities offer you as entertainment in traffic! This is all part of your journey and you can be a spectator to this mini drama. People honking, space management of two wheelers, cutting lans without indicating etc etc are some of the shows you get to see as a part of street theatre!
Today, as I was waiting at a signal while heading home, I could hear an ambulance siren growing stronger towards me. In the review view mirror, i saw this ambulance trying to make it’s way forward without a need to stop. We were too far behind from the signal for the policeman to hear the siren and change the signal. Others were just helplessly watching the ambulance stuck in traffic like they couldn’t do much with a stone face.
There were just too many vehicles for the ambulance to move through the traffic and hence had to hault till the signal cleared. They were losing time and you could see that from the face of driver of the ambulance. Due to the metro work construction the lanes had been reduced from three to two but the inflow of vehicles was the same. He tried screaming at some vehicles to move but many people were just thick skinned to move away.
I could see from the silhouette that the doctor was trying to revive the patient till at least they reached the hospital to provide better treatment and facilities but time was running out. The were family members looking very helplessly at their loved one gripping onto life. The ambulance siren started running at a faster tone but still they were not able to move an inch forward and time was precious in every way to save the life of this patient.
As the siren grew stronger, I wasn’t able to bear this helplessness anymore, I had to do something and not just be a silent spectator to this. I got out of my car and ran towards the signal to inform the policeman of the stuck ambulance and their need to reach the hospital soon. He quickly stopped the flow of traffic from other lanes and changed the signal to green and cleared the traffic till the ambulance moved forward.
I watched hopefully that ambulance didn’t get stuck in any other signal. I don’t know what happened to the patient in the hospital but am really hoping s/he is doing ok. I couldn’t make sure that the entire journey till the hospital was traffic free but I couldn’t bear seeing them stuck in the signal near me. Trust me, you wouldn’t want to be stuck in traffic in an ambulance watching your loved one struggling for survival and you can’t do anything about it. One of the worst situations to be in.
My humble request to all those who sees an ambulance in their path:
1. PLEASE give way to them, move to the complete side if required but don’t try to overtake them. You definitely can afford to be late to your destination but they can’t.
2. If you see the ambulance is too far away from the signal and the siren cannot be heard, spread the word to the next vehicle if the need be till it reaches the policeman to change the signal.
3. Don’t take advantage of the leave way that the ambulance gets. Instead be a good samaritan and help clear the path ahead for them.
4. Even if the ambulance is empty please give way. It maybe on the way to pick up the patient from the location. Don’t be in their way and help them get there on time.
5. Remeber that Today a spectator, tomorrow a victim.
As they say, ‘A stitch in time, saves nine’. Let’s do our bit to help those who really need it!