It is important to remember that emergency vehicles on the road always have priority
on if they are on call, you’ll know if they are on call as they will have their
emergency lights clearly flashing and possibly be sounding a loud siren. Emergency
vehicles come in all shapes and sizes, they include police vehicles, ambulances,
fire engines, or doctors with all having a range of blue, red or green flashing
lights and audible sirens to be heard as well as seen. With learner drivers, it
can be difficult to negotiate emergency vehicles as it is a rare occurrence but
if you hear/see an emergency vehicle on call you should ensure that you don’t panic
or do anything rash.
Can you give them way?
If you are directly in the emergency vehicles route, you should give way whilst
complying with traffic regulations and signs meaning you should not break the law.
Always consider the emergency vehicles route by checking their indicators or where
they are looking, try to pull over to the left side of the road (if appropriate) but ensure you are not
on a bend/hill to prevent being a hazard for unsuspecting traffic. You should avoid
any sharp braking or turning as this can throw off tailing traffic that won’t be
prepared for sudden changes in your driving behaviour. If you feel the only way
for you to give way is to pass through a red traffic light, you should refrain from
this as this constitutes to breaking the law, additionally you should avoid mounting
the kerb unless absolutely necessary.
The BlueLightAware initiative
The blue light aware initiative is an awareness program which was the outcome of
a conference that took place in 2009. The scheme was designed to reduce the number
of emergency vehicles being damaged while on call and to reduce the number of drivers
putting themselves at risk or breaking the law unnecessarily whilst trying to assist
an emergency vehicle when it is on a blue light call. They are devoted to helping
members of the public to correctly deal with emergency vehicles, and they have compiled
a very informative short video to help you with this matter. Please visit their
website at www.bluelightaware.org.uk or have a look at their video* below;
*This video is the property of the blue light aware scheme.
FINELINES guide to dealing with emergency vehicles
At the first point of realising that an emergency vehicle is on call within your
vicinity, you should follow Fineline Driving Academy’s step by step guide. Remember
to remain calm and collected and not to react in a sudden manner, this way the emergency
vehicle can attend to its duty and you can also go about your business.
1) Ensure you keep calm and don’t do anything sudden, look and listen and turn off
any music you might have blaring in your vehicle to help you hear where the emergency
vehicle is coming from. Opening your window a fraction can help identify which direction
the emergency vehicle is coming from.
2) Look for somewhere to pull over and stop if it is safe, even if the vehicle is
on the other side of the road. Dont forget to indicate if you intend to pull over
to stop any confusion with other road users. Avoid pulling over on a bend or verge
of a hill.
3) If pulling over, ensure you don’t mount any pavements, verges or kerbs unless
absolutely necessary. If you are blocking an emergency vehicle and the only way
they can pass is if you mount a kerb or pavement, ensure it is done safely and slowly.
4) Stay safe & legal, an emergency vehicle will not expect you to go through a red
light with the only exception being if a uniformed police officer guides you through
a red light. If this is the case, ensure you follow the police officers instructions
5) Upon seeing an emergency vehicle on call at a junction or roundabout, be patient
and let the vehicle pass even if it coming from the left at a roundabout.