If you do it incorrectly, you could be handed a fine!
Drivers are being warned about how moving out of the way wrongly for an ambulance or another emergency service vehicle could land them in hot water and a fine.
When we hear or see an emergency vehicle on the roads, our natural instinct if it’s coming our way is to move over so that it can get past. But what we think is the right thing to do might not actually be the best course of action, meaning that how we react could see us in trouble with the law.
A fine could be handed out to a motorist if they do a number of things wrong whilst getting out of the way, and these rules are stated in the Highway Code. According to rule 219 which relates to ‘Emergency and Incident Support vehicles’:
“You should look and listen for ambulances, fire engines, police, doctors or other emergency vehicles using flashing blue, red or green lights and sirens or flashing headlights, or traffic officer and incident support vehicles using flashing amber lights.
When one approaches do not panic.
Consider the route of such a vehicle and take appropriate action to let it pass, while complying with all traffic signs.
If necessary, pull to the side of the road and stop, but try to avoid stopping before the brow of a hill, a bend or narrow section of road.
Do not endanger yourself, other road users or pedestrians and avoid mounting the kerb.
Do not brake harshly on approach to a junction or roundabout, as a following vehicle may not have the same view as you.”
This is where many of us come unstuck as a good number of drivers mount the kerb to get out of the way but according to the Highway Code, this could land you a fine.
You could also be penalised if you cross the line at the traffic lights or enter a bus lane, whilst Blue Light Aware confirmed that drivers could risk being fined if they use the wrong way to let an emergency vehicle pass.
According to Blue Light Aware, drivers of ambulances, fire engines and police cars are trained to avoid situations where another road user might be tempted to use the wrong way.
What happens when you’re at a red light?
The penalty for entering a bus lane is £90, whilst you could receive a £100 fixed penalty notice if you run a red light.
Generally, when an emergency service vehicle approaches a traffic light junction it presents itself so that drivers know it’s coming through and can move out of the way safely.
Emergency service vehicle drivers know that other motorists can’t ‘jump’ a red light, so they would never drive up behind another road user and expect them to cross over the solid white line at the junction.
If this situation was presented to them, they would not activate their lights or sirens until it was safe for the vehicle in front to move across the white line, and if necessary, would use a uniformed police officer at the lights to direct the motorist through a red-light traffic signal.
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