Feb 18, 2014

    Give way to ambulances

    WITH reference to the article "Smaller ambulances hit the road" (MyPaper, Feb 17), I would like to share my thoughts on the way I see motorists interact with emergency vehicles like ambulances in Singapore. 

    The line "They will also be able to weave better through traffic" was especially remarkable, since there doesn't seem to be any "weaving" at all.

    A citizen of the Netherlands, I was flabbergasted when I came to Singapore about three years ago and saw ambulances waiting in front of red traffic lights. Other traffic did not give way as ambulances with sirens and lights on responded to emergencies.

    People seem totally oblivious of or wilfully ignore the fact that people's lives are at stake. 

    In the Netherlands and many other countries, it is common practice to give way to ambulances as soon as they are noticed. Everybody does so immediately, even in heavily populated, high-traffic areas.

    Seeing the situation here, I am extremely concerned for others and frightened that, if something were to happen to me and an ambulance was required, it would be almost impossible for the vehicle to arrive quickly.  

    Therefore, I would like to bring the matter to road users' attention and urge them to give way to ambulances, fire engines and police cars as soon as such vehicles switch on their emergency signals.

    We all have a part to play in helping emergency services to do their jobs as best they can. Moving a couple of metres out of the way is not too much to ask if it can save someone's life.