When emergencies strike, police, fire and EMS personnel are dispatched to render assistance. If an infant is choking or someone goes into cardiac arrest, every second that passes can mean the difference between life or death. The chance of someone surviving a heart attack increases dramatically if trained personnel are able to reach them and provide aid within the first couple of minutes. Each year it appears that drivers become more complacent and in their hurry to get somewhere, forget the basic driving laws requiring them to pull to the right when being approached by an emergency vehicle with its lights and siren on. Emergency responders respectfully ask that when you see lights and hear sirens to pull over to the right and stop until the emergency vehicle has safely passed. The lights and sirens are how emergency responders request the right of way when responding to emergencies.
We are seeing a trend where drivers are not pulling to the right and stopping which makes for a dangerous situation for all on the road. We have had some drivers pull over to the right while others pull to the center turn lane. Some drivers just keep driving and lastly some stop right where they are. This combination of events makes it difficult and dangerous for the drivers of the emergency vehicle and other drivers to react to the situation. These situations are actually being made more dangerous by the way cars are being built to eliminate outside noise in the passenger compartment of cars. Compound that with stereos and heaters or air conditioning, drivers are not hearing the sirens until the emergency vehicles are extremely close to them. It is then they make the radical move to the right or just stop in front of the fire truck leaving little time for other drivers to react safely.
The reason for pulling to the right is to allow the emergency vehicle to safely pass on the left and be seen easier by motorists. Coming to a complete stop allows the emergency vehicle to make necessary turns onto other streets. If traffic continues to move, it produces blind spots that could potentially put civilian drivers into harms way. Drivers of emergency vehicles are trained to look out for the safety of everyone using the roadways. We need your help in keeping everyone safe and this can be done by following this simple rule:
When you see lights and hear sirens check for traffic next to your vehicle, signal and pull to the right shoulder stopping until the emergency vehicle has passed.
Your local Fire & Police Department