Seeing the flashing blue light, or hearing the siren of the emergency services can be one of the most stressful parts of driving, especially if you don’t know fully what is expected of you.
The initial thought of many drivers is to just STOP and let them come past immediately or move out of their way without any thought behind what they are doing.
Think about this scenario ?
You are waiting at the front of a queue of traffic whilst the traffic lights are on red, and you see / hear an ambulance flashing his blue lights, wailing his siren and weaving his way through the traffic behind you. WHAT WOULD YOU DO NEXT ???????????
If you answer is to move through the red light and or up the kerb then unfortunately you can expect a 3 point penalty on your driving licence along with a nice fine for £100, especially if there was a safety camera associated with the lights. There is no defence in court for proceeding through a red light. The correct thing to do would be to wait where you are, and allow the emergency vehicle to find a way around you. THIS IS WHAT THEY ARE TRAINED TO DO.
Spending on average 50 hrs a week on the road its amazing how some people actually deal with emergency vehicles without actually thinking about it. For example its quite common to see someone react to a blue light by simply pulling over on the left relatively quickly OPPOSITE BOLLARDS OR A SERIES OF PARKED CARS, where they then end up blocking the road so nobody can get past.
The next time you are faced with having to deal with a blue light why not just follow the advice of the highway code which states
“Emergency vehicles. You should look and listen for ambulances, fire engines, police or other emergency vehicles using flashing blue, red or green lights, headlights or sirens. When one approaches do not panic. Consider the route of the emergency vehicle and take appropriate action to let it pass. If necessary, pull to the side of the road and stop, but do not endanger other road users.”
Watch this video “Blue Light Aware” created by the emergency services, telling you what is expected of you.
Additional information is also supplied via The Met police web site who state.
- We do NOT expect you to risk damage to your tyres, wheels or steering by bumping up kerbs to make way for us.
- We do not expect you to put yourself in danger by crossing red traffic lights to make way for us.
- We do not expect you to risk road camera fines by, for example, moving in to bus lanes during hours of operation to make way for us.
- We would however, appreciate your co-operation by looking well ahead and choosing sensible places to pull over. If possible avoid stopping before bends, brows of hills or narrow sections of roads where we may have difficulty passing.