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On the road with emergency vehicles

Like most people, you will have probably not noticed or heard a fire appliance until, you have one in your rear view mirror, trying to pass you.

 **   Don't panic the driver has had a very high degree of training. **

It is widely known and recognised that the panic reaction in drivers is usually caused by a combination of the sudden awareness of an emergency vehicle being in close proximity and a desire to make a clear path for such vehicles. The emergency service drivers appreciate these efforts.

By following this advice drivers should be able to provide a clear passage for emergency vehicles without endangering themselves or other road users:

Look and Listen
Looking and listening form part of the everyday task of driving, however they are not necessarily the same as seeing and hearing. If you think you may have seen a blue flashing light or heard a siren consider - lowering the window, turning down the radio etc., in order to enhance the looking and listening opportunity.

Signal Your Intentions
To enable the emergency service driver to make a better judgement of your intentions, indicate to them what you intend to do using you indicators or even hand or arm signals.

Double Parking

Do not double park on either side of the road. This creates a narrow road where no vehicles can pass each other. Remember a fire appliance needs a little more room than an average car. Watch this video of Double parking outside a school and how difficult it is for the fire appliance to pass in an emergency.

Pull in Safely
Try to identify a place where you can pull in, which does not create a further obstruction for instance, alongside bollards. Never put yourself or any other road user at risk when you pull in, be particularly aware of pedestrians, cyclists and other vehicles around you.

Pull in as far as you can
Once you have identified a place where you think it is safe, pull in as far as you can. Avoid places where you can only get the front of your vehicle in, which would leave the back sticking out, or alongside vehicles already parked especially in narrow roads.
On some types of roads e.g. dual carriageways and one way streets it may be beneficial to pull into the right depending upon your position and that of the emergency vehicle.

Leave a Gap
When you have pulled in remember to leave a gap that is large enough for the emergency vehicle to get through-considering its size, length and weight of the emergency vehicle trying to get past. Bear in mind also that if you pull into the mouth of a road or entrance to a school or factory etc., to let an emergency vehicle pass, it may be intending to turn into that road or entrance.

Stay Alert
It is not uncommon for more than one vehicle, or more than one emergency service to attend the same incident. Consideration must be given once an emergency vehicle has passed as there may be others following that are hidden from sight by the first one. They may of course be coming from a different direction. So even when an emergency vehicle has passed you, keep looking and listening for any other emergency vehicles that are approaching before you continue your journey.

When you park your vehicle on a road, even for a short time, consider if the emergency services especially those with larger vehicles can get past safely. This is particularly important in narrow residential roads. Do not park too close to corners and junctions as some emergency vehicles require larger turning circles.

The RSA have brought out an information leaflet for the general public in relation to sharing the roads with Emergency Blue Lights, below is a link to the leaflet

RSA Information Leaflet Sharing the Road with Blue Lights

Last updated Wednesday November 30, 2016  This is not an official Donegal County Fire Authority site and is compiled and owned by

 Bundoran Fire Brigade    www.bundoranfirebrigade.com     Paul Kelly            Best viewed with Internet Explorer 7 1024x768