Now, a device to give ambulances right of way

Ambulances and other emergency vehicles will not get stuck in the City’s harrowing traffic anymore if a cutting edge device, that enables the traffic signal to turn green, is fitted in each of them.

As a pilot project, the device has been installed at Sadashivanagar and M S Ramaiah Hospital traffic signals, and fitted in three select ‘108’ ambulances. The initiative, a first-of-its-kind project, has been launched in collaboration with Arogya Kavacha project.

“Very soon the facility will be extended to the entire City. The device will be installed at all 374 signals and fitted in all 108 ambulances,” said Padma Shri awardee D R Karthikeyan, who is associated with the project. “I will write to the chief minister and the home minister in this regard. It will make Bangalore the first city in the country with a system that can help ambulances get out of gridlock and save previous lives in the golden hour.”

A red signal will turn green once the ambulance is within 760 metres. According to officials of the company which is installing the devices, 2,800 cities across the globe have the system.
At present, the City traffic police manually change signals upon getting an alert that an ambulance is to pass by a particular road. Explaining how the system works, G L Ganesh of the company said that when the signal detects an ambulance because of the device, the traffic signal will turn green from any other mode (red or amber) and revert to the original mode once the ambulance gets past the junction.

Once the system is in place at all signals in the City, it will be an automatic grant of priority to the movement of ambulances or fire tenders at traffic signals.

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