Sirens and Lights: Move to the Right

Thousands of Fire Department vehicles across the United States are involved in accidents when responding to emergency calls, resulting in many firefighter injuries and even deaths.

Sometimes while driving, many people panic or simply don't obey the law for approaching emergency vehicles. Drivers must yield the right-of-way to fire apparatus, fire command vehicles, ambulances and police cars. Firefighters are careful to avoid vehicle collisions by driving slowly in heavy traffic. Fire apparatus will proceed slowly or stop completely at intersections. Opticom systems at intersections change traffic signals to help emergency responders arrive on scene as quickly as possible.

Rules of the Road

  1. Pull to the right and come to a complete stop.
  2. If driving on a high speed road, slow down as much as possible.
  3. If you are in the left lane, pull over into the right lane as traffic in the lane to your right moves over.
  4. If you can not move to the right because of another vehicle, just stop. This lets the driver of the emergency vehicle know what you are doing and allow the driver to anticipate where to drive.
  5. When an emergency vehicle approaches from behind while waiting at an intersection, remain stopped unless you can move to the right lane.
  6. Show caution if driving by a motor vehicle accident where firefighters and paramedics are working. When approaching a motor vehicle accident, move to either the right or left of the accident to allow a safety lane away from emergency responders.
  7. Don't play your car radio so loudly that you can not hear sirens.
  8. Don't pull into the left turn lane or center lane when emergency vehicles are approaching.
  9. Don't speed up to make the green light or turn left in front of an oncoming emergency vehicle.
  10. Don't drive through a red light or stop sign when an emergency vehicle approaches from behind.
  11. Don't ignore the emergency vehicle by continuing to drive.

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