GEM marks NHS 70th birthday with a reminder to be ‘Blue Light Aware’
AS THE National Health Service marks its 70th anniversary, breakdown and road safety organisation GEM Motoring Assist is encouraging all road users to spare a few minutes to watch its Blue Light Aware video.
The video gives clear and simple advice on how to assist emergency ambulances and other blue light vehicles.
GEM road safety officer Neil Worth says: “Just about anyone who has had experience of NHS emergency healthcare will want to salute the amazing levels of service provided by front-line ambulance staff, often in the most challenging conditions. As the NHS turns 70 this week, we urge all road users to watch our video and refresh their understanding of how to stay safe and legal if they need to make way for an emergency ambulance.
“We all acknowledge the 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 sometimes 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.”
Blue Light Aware includes details of how drivers can help at junctions, on motorways and on stretches of road where overtaking is not permitted. It was produced in partnership with ambulance services across the UK, as well as other emergency service organisations. It is regularly reviewed by experts to ensure it still represents good practice.
Since its launch in 2011, the Blue Light Aware video has attracted more than 430,000 views on YouTube. In addition, most emergency service organisations have downloaded the video to use as part of their driver training programmes and at public events.
GEM aims to boost safety with its five simple tips for drivers:
- 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.
To watch the video, or to find out more information, please visit www.bluelightaware.org.uk
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