Tag Archives | blue lights

Sirens and flashing lights

If you’re caught up by an emergency services vehicle with flashing blue lights, your instinct will be to get out of the way as fast as possible, but be careful, your good intentions could land you with a fine as you still need to comply with relevant traffic signs. Perfect examples include entering a bus lane, stopping in a yellow box junction or driving through a red traffic light. When an emergency vehicle approaches, don’t panic just stay alert. Turn off any music and plan your next move. Consider the route it is taking and how to let it pass, even if it’s on the other side of the road. If necessary, pull to the side and stop, but avoid stopping before the brow of a hill, a bend or narrow section of road. Indicators can be used to show you’ve acknowledged the approaching blue lights and intend to move, but don’t use them if it could confuse other drivers. Never mount the kerb or verge and don’t brake harshly on approach to a junction or roundabout, as a following vehicle may not have the same view as you. Again, resist temptation to stop in the middle of the road, this could block the emergency vehicle’s route. The best advice is to keep driving until there’s a suitable place to pull over and use your common sense to avoid coming into conflict with other road users. Always listen for more than one siren and look around before moving off. Remember this advice and you’ll be ready to respond legally and safely the next time you encounter flashing lights.

Flashing blue in your rear view

Loud sirens and flashing blue lights can cause drivers to panic, mainly because we are not routinely taught how to respond to them. Emergency vehicle drivers want you to help them reach the emergency as quickly as possible, so behave calmly, legally, safely and predictably.

Follow these tips from the Institute of Advanced Motorists: