In an attempt to create awareness among road users of the significance of clearing way to ambulances, the Rotary Club of Madras Perungudi is set to conduct a campaign on Saturday.

Addressing mediapersons about the ‘Give Way to Ambulance’ campaign here on Tuesday, the Club’s project head V.Veerappan said a survey conducted by it revealed that nearly 18,000 patients who are transported in ambulances every year could be saved from medical complications if the vehicles could reach hospitals faster.

About 300 ambulances in the city make three or four trips daily to transport about 1,000 patients. Of the patients, at least 40 per cent need to reach the hospital within the golden hour, he said.

With the increasing traffic on the roads, ambulances have a tough task in taking the patients to hospitals on time. The campaign would emphasise that other motorists must move left making way for the ambulance on hearing the siren, he said.

Launching the campaign mnemonic carrying message of ‘Fatality Free Chennai 2020’, Additional Commissioner of Police (Law and Order) Shakeel Akhter said last year nearly 620 people lost their lives due to road accidents in Chennai. The economic cost of fatalities due to road accidents in the country is close to 2.5 per cent of India’s Gross Domestic Product.

Pointing out that the traffic rules were not often followed in the city, he said the campaign would have to inculcate habit of adhering to the rules among motorists. Ambulance drivers must also be educated not to misuse the vehicles.

Club’s president N.Selvanathan said though the awareness campaign was started two years ago, it was restricted to Thiruvanmiyur, Besant Nagar and Perungudi. Now, it has been expanded with year-long programmes to increase awareness among people. The club would also coordinate with the city traffic police.

Walkathon

It would organise a walkathon on Saturday from Labour Statue on the Marina beach in which hundreds of the students are expected to participate. As part of the campaign, a meeting would be conducted at Queen Mary’s College. There are also plans to produce a short film and distribute 10,000 table mats to city restaurants as part of the campaign. S.Sundaresan, senior vice president of Star Health and Allied Insurance also spoke.