It can be a nerve-wracking experience, even for experienced drivers, to let emergency vehicles pass with the blues and the twos.
Against this background, the traffic safety organization GEM Motoring Assist offers advice for motorists, which was developed in discussions with emergency services and Highways England.
From Tuesday, December 1st, 10 animations will be put online within 10 days, aimed at learner drivers and instructors and providing advice on how to deal with blue light vehicles.
Neil Worth, CEO of GEM, said, “We know that most people want to help a ‘flashing light vehicle’ but that they can be surprised and don’t always understand what ‘doing the right thing’ is.
“We are confident that these videos will help learners become more confident as there is less confusion in situations where an emergency vehicle needs your help. As the confusion is reduced, the risk also decreases. “
This campaign follows the latest advice published in September. Here we summarize some of the key points in GEM’s recommendations.
Keep calm and find a place to stop by
(GEM Motoring Assist)
If you stop on the road without an emergency vehicle passing by, you will only be stopped. Instead, stay calm and find a good place to dress.
When approaching a curve or hill, keep driving as it is very dangerous to force an emergency vehicle to drive on the wrong side of the road if it cannot see what is coming.
GEM recommends staying away from bus lanes, not climbing curbs, or stopping near traffic islands. You should also not go through a red light to let a vehicle pass.
When approaching a roundabout
As you approach a roundabout, keep an eye on the vehicle in your mirrors. The lane position and gauges should tell you where to go so you can decide if you need to take action.
If you have already stopped at the roundabout, move to the side if you can give the emergency vehicle space to overtake. However, if it is not safe to do so, do not go into the roundabout and if a second blue-light vehicle approaches, look around before driving off.
On the highway
In free flowing traffic, move left when it is safe to do so. An emergency vehicle only drives past you on the right.
If there is a hard shoulder in stationary traffic, it will likely be used by emergency vehicles to avoid the traffic.
However, if there is no hard shoulder on a road with more than three lanes of traffic, then drivers in the left and middle lanes should move left and the rightmost lane should move right. This creates an “emergency corridor” in which vehicles can drive safely. Keep the corridor in place even when vehicles have passed in case more are coming.
(GEM Motoring Assist)
Remember, it is illegal to use a red X lane on a smart highway. So when you see these run over as soon as it is safe, even if you cannot see an incident. Emergency vehicles use these lanes when it is safe to do so, creating a safe barrier between drivers and an impending incident.
Occasionally police or motorway officials use a “rolling road block”. This is the case when a highway patrol vehicle or police car slows down traffic. As a rule, the lights flash and instructions such as “do not pass” light up in the rear window.
Follow the directions and stay behind the vehicle. Stop safely when prompted. The vehicle will turn to the left indicating that you must drive by when an incident has been resolved.