Stay­ing safe dur­ing state of emer­gency

Macclesfield Express - - SCHOOLS NEWS -

EMER­GENCY ve­hi­cles are ev­ery­where, go­ing at un­ex­pected speeds re­spond­ing to the needs of the pub­lic.

They do not expect you to put your­self or oth­ers in dan­ger to fa­cil­i­tate this.

This week’s tips give ad­vice on how to han­dle ap­proach­ing emer­gency ve­hi­cles whilst trav­el­ling on the roads, from IAM Road­S­mart’s head of driv­ing and rid­ing stan­dards Richard Glad­man.

If an emer­gency ser­vice ve­hi­cle is ap­proach­ing, re­main calm.

Try to look for the most suit­able place to give way. Re­act­ing out of fear can make the sit­u­a­tion longer and more dif­fi­cult than it needs to be.

Be pre­pared to pull over and stop if it is safe to do so, al­ways mak­ing sure there is enough room for the ve­hi­cle to pass.

Driv­ers of emer­gency ve­hi­cles have had the train­ing to ne­go­ti­ate you – al­low them to use the skills they have in ‘blue light’ sit­u­a­tions.

Re­main pa­tient. If you no­tice a road is closed it is be­ing done for safety or to gather ev­i­dence.

Take that into con­sid­er­a­tion and don’t take out any anger or frus­tra­tion.

If you see an emer­gency ve­hi­cle stopped, slow down and give it a wide birth – there could be peo­ple rush­ing around.

Let’s not add to the drama and place oth­ers in dan­ger.

For in­stance pass­ing through a red light to give way is not the cor­rect way to han­dle the sit­u­a­tion.

Do not put your­self in dan­ger by mov­ing through a red traf­fic light into mov­ing traf­fic, you have no ex­emp­tion and will be re­spon­si­ble for any ac­ci­dent caused.

At a roundabout re­mem­ber the traf­fic be­hind you may not be aware of an ap­proach­ing emer­gency ve­hi­cle so avoid an emer­gency stop.

This may not seem like rocket sci­ence but never try to over­take a mov­ing ve­hi­cle un­less you have been in­structed to do so by a mem­ber of the emer­gency ser­vices.

Sig­nal your in­tent; of­ten a near­side in­di­ca­tor and a slight slow­ing down is the only in­vi­ta­tion the other driver re­quires.

They can then make a pos­i­tive de­ci­sion to pass you.

Richard said: “Re­fer back to the High­way Code rule 219 which refers to emer­gency ser­vices, doc­tors and high­ways ve­hi­cles.

“Do not panic, con­sider the route of such a ve­hi­cle and take ap­pro­pri­ate ac­tion to let it pass whilst com­ply­ing with all traf­fic signs. Do not en­dan­ger your­self or other road users.

“Stay safe and help where you can but the last thing the emer­gency ser­vices driver wants is you hav­ing a col­li­sion as they will have to stop and not get to their emer­gency.”

Don’t panic when you hear those sirens

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