Sharing the road with emergency vehicles

Posted on July 1st, 2015 by GEM Motoring Assist

The vast majority of road users want to help an emergency service driver. The difficulties come because it is not always clear what they are expected to do in order to provide the best help. As a result, too many members of the public are putting themselves in danger, breaking the law or risking damage to their cars while trying to assist an emergency vehicle on a blue light run.

A short video from GEM ( outlines the most appropriate course of action for drivers to take in a variety of situations where they may encounter an emergency vehicle. The video was made with the full support of the emergency services, and sets out to clarify what we should – and what we shouldn’t – do to assist a blue light vehicle, while also ensuring we stay safe and on the right side of the law.

GEM chief executive David Williams MBE comments: “Emergency service drivers make ‘blue light’ journeys because someone needs their urgent help. We in turn can help them by giving them the room they need. In so doing, we may well be helping to save a life.”

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.

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