Emergency vehicles like police, fire, ambulance and similar have to respond to urgent calls. Time is of the essence! Precious time lost could mean the difference between life and death.
The biggest problem for emergency vehicles to reach their destination quickly are motorists who don’t give way to them, especially in traffic jams, or worse, when they block the hard shoulders.
Other problems occur, when motorists panic at the sound or sight of emergency vehicles. Some drivers stop in the wrong place and others don’t give way at all, especially during rush hour.
How to do it right – when an emergency vehicle approaches:
- Keep the noise level down in your vehicle to hear sirens of emergency vehicles.
- When an emergency vehicle approaches, don’t panic, stay alert, and avoid being distracted.
- Anticipate the likely route the emergency vehicle will take.
- Make sure you keep the hard shoulders free.
- Avoid braking abruptly and blocking the road or a junction.
- Look ahead for a safe area where you can pull over.
- Slow down, signal and move to the right.
- At intersections, emergency vehicles often stop or slow down to check if they can pass through safely.
- At intersections , you must give way to an emergency vehicle even if you are facing a green traffic light.
- Wait for the emergency vehicle to pass and watch for more than one emergency vehicle.
- Check to make sure the way is clear and signal before merging back into traffic.
How to do it right – when you approach engaged emergency vehicles:
- Watch for emergency vehicles stopped on the road and shoulders.
- Slow down and pass with caution, and be prepared to stop.
- Watch for emergency staff walking around the incident site.
- Clear the way for arriving additional emergency vehicles.
- Follow the directions of police or traffic guides.
- Do not rubberneck!
Watch out for this:
- Never drive on or block the hard shoulders
- Never tailgate or overtake emergency vehicles
- Do not race after emergency vehicles
- Never speed to allow emergency vehicles to pass
- Do not jump a red light to allow an emergency vehicle to pass
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