[Letters] Be Patient with the ambulance

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[Letters] Be Patient with the ambulance

At least once in a lifetime, we hear the familiar yet warning sign of the siren. When an ambulance drives us by, we immediately pick up the sign that someone is in a trouble; he or she may be in a desperate help, suffering in a live-or-die situation. However, it is so rare to see drivers make way for an ambulance. Most people ignore the ambulance despite its ear-hammering sound.

In the case of Seoul, where traffic jams are impossibly horrible, it is much harder for an ambulance to pass through the cars and reach the destination in time. Also they have to confront illegal parking in the alley, which owes to overpopulation in Seoul, to arrive at the place. Only about 30 percent of the ambulances arrive on time.

It was sheer culture shock when I saw how people in Michigan behave in a similar situation. When they heard a siren from an ambulance, they immediately slowed down and made way for the ambulance to pass through. Drivers even stop for school buses. This case is not to revere American manners, but to emphasize that this kind of attitude can make a great difference to those who need instant help.

This cultural lag should be remedied soon. It is said that it takes only 10 seconds to let the ambulance go before you. Ten seconds will accumulate as more and more cars let the ambulance go first, possibly giving the paramedics the time to save someone’s life. Mere 10 seconds can actually make a difference.


Park Seo Hyeon,

freshman, Division of International Studies, Hanyang University
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