Move Right for Sirens and Lights!
If you or someone you love were in need of emergency assistance, you'd want help to get there right away. Did you know that there’s one thing everyone can do to help emergency personnel respond as quickly as possible? It’s as simple as Moving to the Right for Sirens and Lights!
Each year in the U.S. there are almost 16,000 collisions involving fire department emergency vehicles while responding to or returning from incidents. These collisions result in over 1,000 firefighter injuries and almost fifty deaths.
Many people panic or simply don’t adhere to the rules of the road regarding approaching emergency vehicles. The law is very specific; drivers must yield the right-of-way to an emergency vehicle, and failure to do so can cause serious accidents or delays for those responding to the scene of an emergency. Emergency vehicle operators must assume that drivers will move to the right and therfore always attempt to pass on the left. However, the cooperation of ALL vehicles on the roadway is essential to making this work.
Here are some simple rules to follow when you’re on the road and encounter an emergency vehicle:
Pull to the right and come to a complete stop.
If you’re traveling on a high-speed road or if there is no room to stop, slow down as much as possible.
If you are in the left lane, pull over into the right lane as traffic in the lane to your right moves over.
If you cannot move to the right because of another vehicle or obstacle, just stop. Your action will let the driver of the emergency vehicle know what you are doing and allow the driver to anticipate where to drive.
When an emergency vehicle approaches you from behind while you are stopped at an intersection, stay where you are unless you can pull to the right.
On a 4-lane highway or street without barriers, both sides of traffic should pull to the right.
Be careful when driving by or around a motor vehicle accident or any situation where emergency vehicles are parked and the firefighters are working.
Drivers should stay at least 500 feet behind emergency vehicles.
- Don’t panic.
- Don’t play your radio so loudly that you are unable to hear sirens.
- Don’t stop in the middle lane when there is room to pull to the right.
- Don’t pull to the left in the center lane or left turn lane.
- Don’t race ahead to make the green light or turn before the emergency vehicle gets there.
- Don’t turn quickly to the left onto a street or driveway.
- Don’t drive through a red light or stop sign when an emergency vehicle approaches from behind.
- Don’t disregard the presence of the emergency vehicle by continuing to drive.
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