A busy time of year – in our homes and on our roads
- October 22, 2023
- Posted by: Roadcraft_Admin
- Category: News
The end of the year is looming and whether you’re looking towards summer with anticipation and excitement or if you’re not a fan of rising temperatures and double sunscreen – we’re focused on one particular aspect of the festive season.
Whenever there is a long weekend or festive period there is an increase in media attention on road crashes and fatalities – and you might notice that you’re reminded more often to ‘drive safe’ or ‘don’t rush’.
The Christmas period is defined, for statistical purposes, as the fixed 12-day period starting on the 23rd December each year. During this time you’re likely to see an increase in emergency vehicles on the road, whether attending an incident, heading to one, or as a part of road safety stops. Most people abide by some common courtesy actions – but did you know there are legal obligations as well?
Emergency lights behind you
When you notice emergency lights or sirens approaching from behind you should remain calm and act deliberately to:
- Slow down
- Move left to give the vehicle a clear run down the middle of the road
- If you can’t move left safely, stay where you are and let the emergency vehicle overtake you
- Do not move your vehicle suddenly
- Do not drive into the path of the emergency vehicle
Giving way at intersections
Give way rules can be complicated, especially at busy intersections with many roads converging, but in this case it is quite simple.
- Always give way to emergency vehicles with active lights or sirens at intersections – even if your light is green.
- Don’t assume that because an emergency vehicle has slowed down they don’t need right of way.
- If you need to drive on to the wrong side of the road or enter an intersection showing a red light in order to give way to an emergency vehicle with active lights or sirens – that’s legal so long as it is safe to do so.
- However, any action taken to give way to emergency vehicles with active lights or sirens needs to be undertaken with utmost care.
How to pass stopped emergency vehicles
When approaching an emergency vehicle with active lights or sirens that is pulled into the side of the road, make sure you slow down and give plenty of room for them to work.
Be attentive to the road and follow any directions given to you by emergency services workers.
Awareness and education
Watch out for emergency vehicles by looking ahead and checking your mirrors regularly, and maybe even head onto the Transport and Main Roads website and have a go at the practice road rule questions – you might be surprised to see how much has changed since you first sat your test!