Error parsing XSLT file: \xslt\FacebookOpenGraph.xslt Simon Best's blog: 25 October 2013 - Responding to emergency vehicles
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Simon Best's blog: 25 October 2013 - Responding to emergency vehicles

Date: 25 October 2013

Simon Best is chief executive of the IAM

Whether you're driving for work or not the reality is that we often come into contact with the emergency services in one way shape or form.

You're familiar with the scenario, when you're driving along a residential road or a dual carriageway. And you'll suddenly hear the faint sounds of sirens and spot the flashing lights out of the corner of your eye. In your rear view mirror you can see an emergency services vehicle approaching. What do you do next?

In our latest survey, 35% of respondents admitted that they don't know the rules on how to deal with an approaching emergency service vehicle. Here's some advice on how to avoid making any mistakes.

Do you panic? Do you follow the actions of the cars in front of you? It's easy to be startled a bit by the blaring sounds of the ambulance service vehicle but the key is tackling the situation calmly.

The first thing to do is use your mirrors to look at the space you have around your vehicle. This will help to you to work out the best action to take. Pull over to your left as soon as you can safely do so to give the services vehicle(s) enough room to pass with ease. Use your indicators to warn the road users around you as long it won't confuse them.

In the rush of the emergency services, we can often overlook that pulling into a bus lane, a yellow box or over a stop line at a red light could mean a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN), so don't risk it.

The emergency services vehicle drivers are all specially trained, so they'll know how best to overcome a situation as quickly as possible.

Don't pull over on kerbs, verges and pavements. You could put pedestrians or other road users at risk.

If there's one emergency service vehicle approaching, it is likely that there will be more to follow - so take time to check before moving off.

Remember, emergency service vehicles need to get to their destination as quickly and as safely as possible. Don't take any risks to help them progress to their destination.