[Public Service Announcement] – Giving Way to an Ambulance

Hi all, this is a Public Service Announcement, or PSA that I had developed two years ago as an assignment. The concept is to give way to Ambulances in Traffic. Please do listen to it, and post your feedback in the Comments section. Thank you!


Copyright 2016, Srikanth Ramakrishnan and Deepak Kumar. If you would like to use this elsewhere, I’d request you to please share the link to this post. A short link to this page exists at: http://j.mp/AmbuPSA

Click here to leave feedback.


Premise: A lot of people lose their lives because an Ambulance is either unable to reach them on time, or reach the hospital on time. There are two causes for this:

  • Lack of ambulances on the road.
  • Traffic on the road.

The latter is the cause of a vast majority of such deaths as most people simply do not give way for an ambulance when it is on the road.

In many cases, if people are unable to get an Ambulance, they resort to getting into an Auto-Rickshaw, which by virtue of it’s three wheels, can navigate its way. In several places, an ‘Auto-ambulance’ has been set up to help move patients quickly.

Listen to this PSA to understand what could go wrong if Ambulances are stuck in Traffic Click To Tweet


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Author: Srikanth

BEST? Bus! Vroom, *pulls bellpull* Hi, I'm Srikanth. I'm a freelance media fellow with a fascination for buses, toll plazas, fire trucks and drones.

23 thoughts on “[Public Service Announcement] – Giving Way to an Ambulance”

  1. A very well done PSA. If only this could actually be broadcast on radio, that too in peak hours when people driving would hear it. Or maybe during dinner time when those ordering Pizzas could hear it.

    1. That is a nice thought indeed. It is the driving class, be it a driver employed by someone, or people who drive their own cars who need to hear this.
      As for the Pizza Eaters, I can imagine this:

      On the phone: Your Pizza will be there in 30 mins. *cuts*
      *Ad plays on Radio*
      Oh my god, did my Pizza order cause someones death? No! I must confirm that it won’t!

  2. You’ve nailed it! Hope it gets the attention it deserves and hammers some sense into those thick-heads who just don’t budge to give way to any emergency vehicle.

    Somehow people in India feel that if an ambulance is empty with a blaring siren it could be for the following reasons:

    1. Driver is simply trying to get through the traffic (pretending to be on emergency duty when he isn’t).
    2. Oh it’s empty! Even if I move there are so many who will not. If I move, it will only make a difference of one-minute. Hardly makes a difference. Why bother.

    When ambulance is occupied and the siren is blaring, people think “there’s a doctor inside so he/she would be taken care of”. Why move?

    People should stop asking “why” at an incorrect point i.e. when it comes to being humane.

    Feedback: Towards the end, when you wanted to the voice to remain soft it has achieved that target but has gone down in volume (or whatever is the technical term for it). It might get missed if it is being played on radio and someone hears it amidst honking. Else it’s brilliant. Good job!

    1. Thank you very, very, very much! Your feedback is very valuable and will help the two of us in the future.
      As for people’s reactions, it’s all part of our mindset. Nowhere are we taught that we need to give way for ambulances and firetrucks when we are young for it to be present in our growing up. It’s only when we now see signboards on roads asking to give way that it slowly strikes us.
      As for the sound, yes, I figured the issue. We had reduced the volume too much to keep an emotional feel, but when I re-encoded the file for the internet, I ended up making it a little too low. Will fix the issue.

  3. Brilliant concept. You could not have taken a better comparison. Traffic sense is more of an attitude issue rather than a regulatory one. The only solution to this is that ppl should really feel what happens if there is nobody giving way for an ambulance. This will only happen when ppl dearest to them is stuck in an ambulance. Until then it’s just a case of why me.

    Keep up the good work.

    1. Thank you sir!
      Yes, it is indeed an attitude issue as we were rarely told to give way to emergency vehicles on the road.
      Youngsters need to be taught to respect traffic and allow Emergency Vehicles to pass thru, rather than justifying their attitude with “I’m the only person doing it, it won’t help”.

  4. Nice work, Sri and Deepak!
    I liked the concept of keeping it subtle and letting/forcing people to think rather than being preachy, which usually does not get much attention. Like has already been said above, traffic sense is more about thinking and doing the right thing than being regulated to do so. Looking forward to many more such initiatives.

  5. An excellent initiative. Keep up the good work.

    A few observations
    – A pizza is delivered on a two wheeler. Which can navigate through traffic easily. It does not need medical equipment.
    – Every pizza joint will have its own radius of delivery. Ambulances have much larger distances.

    I think the only solution (as has been discussed) is to make the public more aware of giving way to the ambulances and simply having more ambulances per capita and area. There also needs to be classification of ambulances from the biggers ones which can treat patient within to those who can reach people quickly. The three wheeler is a good initiative. In my local area many Maruti Omnis have been converted into ambulances.

    1. Hi MeMumbaikar, thank you for your valuable feedback.
      While I agree entirely on the issue of two wheelers vs larger vehicles and the delivery radius, the fact still remains that the Pizza guys get into some cubby hole and reach their destination, while an ambulance is unable to. In Goa, I’ve seen a 2-wheeler Fire Service vehicle stuck in traffic.

      We need to innovate and find more ways to get Ambulances more accessible.

  6. I think it could have been made better if the background music had a bit of more chaos to show traffic and the dialogues and other sound would have been a bit loud.

    1. Thank you Nikhil. Yes. We’ve been doing our best to promote it on Social Media. Your tweet will help a long way in spreading the message. 🙂

  7. This is exactly the sort of awareness needed.
    We get it, food is important but lives are much more valuable.
    This needs to go around and not just spreading the word, but for need of change too!

    PS. The last line, could be tweaked to be slightly louder as almost inaudible.

      1. The contrast between a pizza delivery service and an ambulance both fighting for the same resource -the road, effectively drives home the point that while commuting, we must change our attitude of indifference to emergency services like an ambulance and do our bit to help them reach their destinations in time. After all, someone’s life is at stake here! Great effort to spread the word!
        Nice use of sound design, too!

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