Be ‘Blue Light Aware’ and stay safe around emergency vehicles, says GEM Motoring Assist

Posted on April 6th, 2016 by GEM Motoring Assist

A fire appliance, driven by Bill Dawson of West Sussex Fire and Rescue, overtaking a learner vehicle on a rural road near Chichester.

Road safety and breakdown organisation GEM Motoring Assist is encouraging all road users to be ‘Blue Light Aware’, and to assist emergency services vehicles when required. GEM’s short video outlines the best course of action for drivers to take when they encounter an emergency vehicle.

GEM chief executive David Williams MBE says: “We all want to help emergency service drivers, and most of the time it’s just a simple case of pulling over to let them past. But we need to ensure that anything we do as drivers is safe and legal.

“We occasionally experience difficulties because we don’t know what’s expected of us. There is the risk that we could be putting ourselves or others in danger – or on the wrong side of the law.

“Our video includes details of how we can help at junctions, on motorways and on stretches of road where overtaking is not permitted. It was produced in partnership with fire, police and ambulance services across the UK. It is regularly reviewed by experts to ensure it still represents good practice. The latest review has just been completed (March 2016) and all its advice remains correct.”

GEM offers five simple tips to promote safety for drivers and emergency vehicles:

  • Stay safe and legal. No one expects you to put yourself at risk or break the law in an attempt to help an emergency vehicle.
  • Remain calm and observant. The earlier you spot an emergency vehicle, the more time you have to plan.
  • Don’t make judgements on which emergency vehicles deserve your help and which ones don’t. Aim for a consistently thoughtful and courteous attitude that puts safety first in every situation.
  • If you slow down or stop, don’t move off or accelerate until the emergency vehicle has passed completely.
  • There may be more than one emergency vehicle coming, so listen for different sirens, and look all round before moving off.

For more information, please visit www.bluelightaware.org.uk

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