Clearing the way for emergency vehicles

Clearing the way for emergency vehicles

Would you know what to do if you looked in your rear view mirrors and spotted a ‘blue light’ emergency vehicle following you with its sirens and lights on?

The sight and sound of ‘blues and twos’, as emergency vehicles’ driver warning kit is known, can make riders panic and take actions that are not advised.

One of the biggest mistakes riders make is to speed up, thinking that they are helping the ambulance, fire engine or police car by ‘ploughing a clear path’ for them.

Actually, that’s the one thing the emergency driver DOESN’T want us to do, as it puts riders at risk and more likely to have a crash of their own.

Rather, what they want is for bikers to stay calm and come over as far as we can to the kerb, giving the emergency vehicle as much chance to pass as possible.

If the road is narrow and there is no chance to pass, or we’re at any risk, the emergency vehicle will tuck in behind us and stick to the speed limit until a safe   passing place arrives. They’ll turn the sirens off, switching them back on when a safe passing place arrives.

If it is safe to do so, indicate and pull over and stop – but only if you can do so safely.

One other important thing to remember is that we mustn’t ride in any way that breaks the law. Having an ambulance on an emergency call is not a reason to ride through a red light or fail to stop at a Give Way sign. We can’t ride in a bus lane that excludes motorbikes either.

The emergency driver is trained to handle situations like this, and knows that often they can create panic among other road users when they are on a ‘shout’. That’s why what they really want from us is a clear sign we know they are there, for riders to stick to the speed limit, stay as far left as we can and indicate and pull over when possible, allowing them to continue on their way in safety.

Don’t become a crash stat, when someone else is on the way to help out at a crash!



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