Simple steps to help emergency vehicles

Published 5:00am 17 February 2024

Simple steps to help emergency vehicles
Words by Nick Crockford

The flashing lights and sirens of emergency service vehicles can startle and confuse some motorists, especially on congested roads.

Options may seem limited in peak hours, on such as Deception Bay Rd and Anzac Ave, with nose-to-tail traffic and queues at traffic lights.

But the message from fire, police and ambulance is simple – slow down, move left, do not drive your vehicle suddenly or into the path of an emergency vehicle.

QAS Advanced Care Paramedic Melissa Webster added: “Don’t panic, move to the left carefully and when you can safely.

“If you cannot move left, stay where you are - and we will manoeuvre around you."

Motorists must give way to emergency vehicles, even with a green light or arrow at an intersection when an emergency vehicle may slow or stop to check the road ahead is clear.

Ms Webster said the also law allows motorists to go through red traffic lights onto an intersection - if it is safe to do so - to move out the way of an emergency vehicle.

Simple steps to help emergency vehicles

“Emergency vehicles can also go on the opposite side of the road (to get through traffic)," Ms Webster said.

On two-lane roads, moving left gives an emergency service vehicle a clear run down the middle.

On dual carriageways or highways, it should open the right-hand lane for an emergency vehicle to overtake traffic.

Ms Webster, who is based at the Emergency Services Complex in Kedron, said: “Drivers are generally very good.

“We know they try to get out the way and we can see when they are making the effort to help us.”

Not trying to make way for an emergency vehicle can lead to a fine of $361.

That rises to $464 for “unsafe passing of parked emergency response vehicles displaying flashing lights”.

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