What do you do when you see an emergency vehicle behind you?
- October 20, 2021
- Posted by: admin
- Category: Road Safety
Here at Roadcraft we are dedicated to road safety and that means educating drivers on how to deal with a wide range of situations on the road. Many people are unaware of the requirements of them when an emergency vehicle with lights and sirens needs to pass them on the road.
If you’ve ever had the need for emergency services then you can appreciate their need to arrive as soon as possible. The best way for them to get to where they are needed is for everyone to get out of their way on route.
With thousands of emergency calls a year, you are likely to encounter an emergency service heading somewhere while you’re on the road. The Queensland Police Service, Queensland Fire and Rescue Service and Queensland Ambulance Service have vehicles equipped with lights and sirens, and are required to use them appropriately when responding to an emergency call.
So, when you notice the lights and sirens approaching there are a few things you need to do – and a few you should not do.
Situational Awareness and Correct Responses
Paying good attention to your surroundings is one of the most important skills to keep you and others safe on the roads – as is knowing what to do in traffic situations.
It is important that you do not panic when you hear sirens, or ignore them thinking they are going somewhere else. Remember that your reaction can delay the response time of the emergency service – and potentially place lives at risk.
What to do when an emergency vehicle is behind you?
When being approached by an emergency vehicle with lights and sirens, your responsibilities as a motorist are:
-Stay calm and in control of your vehicle
-If safe, indicate and move to the left as far as possible to allow the emergency vehicle to pass
-Maintain your situational awareness – other motorists will also be attempting to move left
-Let the emergency vehicle pass on whichever side they need to – though they will usually try to pass on the right.
If you are at an intersection and it is safe to do so, you may enter the intersection to make room for the emergency vehicle. The law allows you to drive onto the wrong side of the road or drive through a red traffic light to get out of the way of an emergency vehicle if it is safe to do so.
What shouldn’t you do if an emergency vehicle is behind you?
-You should not brake or swerve – dramatic movement can cause other motorists to panic, or cause a collision.
-Do not lose concentration on the road
-Do not enter the path of the emergency vehicle
Do not speed, run a red light, or otherwise drive unsafely to keep up with or beat an emergency vehicle at an intersection.
What are the penalties for failing to give way to emergency services?
Both moving into and failing to move out of the path of an emergency vehicle with flashing blue or red lights or sounding a siren can result in 3 demerit points and a fine of $321.
How you can help keep our roads safer
Roadcraft has a standing offer arrangement with Queensland Ambulance Service to deliver all their driver training for all their staff, right across Queensland. Working with drivers in the QAS is something we enjoy, but making sure everyone on the road is as well educated and trained as possible is our passion.
For more detailed information and some examples of giving way to emergency vehicles at intersections you can download this useful PDF produced by the Queensland Fire and Emergency Services in partnership with Queensland Police Service Queensland Ambulance Service Transport and Main Roads.
So, the next time you’re on the road and an emergency vehicle with lights and sirens you know exactly what to do.