Emergency Vehicles

Picture this. You are driving down the road listening to music and then you hear something different. It is a siren, but you can’t see it and have no idea where it is coming from. What should you do?

Some drivers freeze in these situations while others act methodically. How do you react?

Here are some ideas to help you manage an approaching emergency vehicle:

  • Take a quick look around your vehicle for the emergency vehicle(s), turn down the music, roll down a window on each side of the vehicle.
  • Continuously look around your vehicle and scan mirrors to determine where the emergency vehicle is approaching from.
  • Prepare in advance and move over to the right lane if you are not already driving in it.
  • If the emergency vehicle is approaching from behind you slow down, signal, pull over to the right side of the road and stop.
  • If the emergency vehicle is coming towards you and there is a medium in the road, no action is required unless there is a traffic light in your path. If there is no medium separating you, then you must slow down, signal, pull over to the right side of the road and stop.
  • When driving during rush hour or on a highway, traffic may impede your ability to move over to the curb lane. In this case, it is best to pull as close as possible to the right side of the road or to the cars to your right.
  • When approaching a stopped emergency vehicle, drivers are required to move over. If the driver is on a multi-lane roadway, drivers need to move over a complete lane. If a lane change is not possible, slow down and pass cautiously leaving as much space between you and the emergency vehicle as possible.

If you do not stop, slow down or move over, you can be charged. Also, remember to stay back 150 metres behind a fire truck. Emergency responders need drivers to give them the space to do their life saving work.