Emergency Vehicles are sneaky.

They’re poorly designed. Poorly liveried. Poorly illuminated, and are very very quiet.

Here in the UK, we have something called the Highway Code. Allow me to explain. When we pass our driving test, we are all meant to be able to recount the highway code as gospel. We are meant to understand it, obey it, and follow it at all times. Unsurprisingly, this doesn’t happen much after day 2 of having your actual license and realising the accelerator doesn’t stop working at 70mph. However, one of the things I’d ask you to remember, is the passage about emergency vehicles and how to drive to help them.

For the sake of ease, I shall copy the abstract from the .gov website.

Rule 219

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.


Now understand me. I’m not saying what you’re doing is unimportant, where you’re going isn’t vital, and having your music so loud that I can hear it over the top of my 100Watt siren isn’t key. However, I can almost guarantee that it’s not as important as what we are going to.

Use your mirrors! Remember those funny ears your car has? And that funny one in the windscreen that allows you to watch the kids? Yeah them. Use them. If we are barrelling up behind you all singing and dancing, move. Pull over to the left. Stop. Don’t slam on, just slow down and stop so we can pass. Don’t pull over on a crossing or a traffic island because then we can’t get through either. Pick a gap where both of us can pass, and stop.

It may not be your family that we’re going to help, but it might be?!


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