What to do when emergency vehicles approach?
Everyday police, fire and ambulance vehicles respond to urgent calls. Precious time lost getting there could mean the difference between life and death. The biggest problem for emergency vehicles in reaching the scene of an emergency is motorists who panic at the sirens and two-tone horns. Some drivers stop in the wrong place and others don’t give way at all, especially during rush hour. By following a few simple rules, you can help the emergency services get to the scene faster and safer!
Emergency drivers are especially trained to drive in emergency situations. When you hear emergency vehicle sirens, don’t panic, stay alert, and avoid being distracted. Keep the noise level down in your vehicle, continue to look and listen and be prepared for more than one emergency vehicle.
Sometimes it can be difficult to work out where the siren noise is coming from. If you can’t see the emergency vehicle, other driver’s reactions such as slowing down or pulling over, may give you a clue to which direction the emergency vehicle is coming.
You should not slam on your brakes or stop abruptly blocking the road or a junction. Look ahead for a safe area where you can pull over. You should use your vehicles indicators or hand signals to let other drivers and the emergency vehicle driver know your intent to pull over.
Wait patiently 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.
Never try to overtake a moving emergency vehicle displaying flashing lights unless directed to do so by a police officer or emergency personnel.
Every day drivers face the dilemma of breaking the rules to help expedite the emergency vehicle. Of course, we can debate the rights and wrongs of these situations. But the fact is that the only person with the proper training and legal exemptions to break the rules is the emergency driver!