What to do when an emergency vehicle approaches

Coles Driving Academy can provide you with training with regards what to do when an emergency vehicle is trying to pass you. To book a training session with us to cover this please give us a call or email us via the contact box opposite. To learn more about how to deal with emergency vehicles you may want to read our help and advice sheet below.

When you are approached by an emergency and, or an Incident support vehicle for example an ambulances, fire engine, police vehicle, doctor, highways agency traffic officer or other emergency vehicles using flashing blue, red or green lights, sirens or flashing headlights there are a number of things you should consider and do.

blue-light-patrol-car

Firstly do not panic, many people will panic as they do not deal with these vehicles very often and this can make the path, route for the emergency vehicles difficult to negotiate and therefore not being able to attend the real emergency. 

Consider the route of such a vehicle and take appropriate action to let it pass, while complying with all traffic lights and signs (highway code rules). Try to read what the vehicle may do, for example are they already taking a route around you? Along with this what other vehicles may do?

If necessary, pull to the side of the road and stop. Give clear signals and make your position known to others as quickly as possible without any harsh movements. 

When pulling up to the side of the road try to avoid stopping before the brow of a hill, a bend or narrow section of road or opposite any obstruction that would stop the emergency vehicle form making progress. 

Do not endanger yourself, other road users or pedestrians and avoid mounting the kerb, even though the highway code talks about allowing  you to mount a kerb in the case of an emergency consider how high it is first and what damage you may cause to your vehicle or other road users in general. 

Do not brake harshly whilst pulling up or on approach to a junction or roundabout, as a following vehicle may not have the same view as you or be able to stop as quickly for example a fire tender unit.

Coles Driving Academy. Correct at time of printing and for guide only. If you find any errors, please call us on 2920315355

Rule 219 of the Highway code states

 “Emergency and Incident Support vehicles. You should look and listen for ambulances, fire engines, police, doctors or other emergency vehicles using flashing blue, red or green lights and sirens or flashing headlights, or Highways Agency Traffic Officer and Incident Support vehicles using flashing amber lights. When one approaches do not panic. Consider the route of such a vehicle and take appropriate action to let it pass, while complying with all traffic signs. If necessary, pull to the side of the road and stop, but try to avoid stopping before the brow of a hill, a bend or narrow section of road. Do not endanger yourself, other road users or pedestrians and avoid mounting the kerb. Do not brake harshly on approach to a junction or roundabout, as a following vehicle may not have the same view as you.”


This training video will teach you how to deal with blue light drivers.


© Anthony Coles 2001 - 2017