Earlier this week I found myself stuck in a traffic jam. Cars had come to a complete stand still, and I could hear the sirens of emergency vehicles making their way to the rescue. The majority of the drivers and I made our way to the right in a not so orderly fashion, a few headed to the shoulder on the left, and still one or two drivers were oblivious, not moving until the fire truck was blasting it’s horn at their bumper. Watching as everybody clumsily maneuvered out of the way I wondered just how many drivers have forgotten these rule of the road.
Emergency vehicles approaching, what do you do?
There is a traffic safety act that governs the road for each province, but the rules that relate to emergency vehicles are fairly consistent from province to province.
When emergency vehicles approach:
- Clear intersections in the safest manner possible.
- On a roadway with one or two lanes, all vehicles should navigate out of the way to the right.
- On a roadway with three or more lanes, all vehicles should navigate to the closest curb with drivers in the centre lane moving to the right.
- Once out of the way, stay stopped until ALL emergency vehicles have passed safely.
- Keep at least 150 metre clearance when driving behind emergency vehicles
And what about emergency vehicles or tow trucks already stopped?
If you are approaching a police car with a vehicle pulled over, the scene of an emergency, or tow trucks assisting at a scene, you need to:
- Make room for those attending. Moving over a lane or two over where possible to provide a safe distance for everyone to work.
- Slow down. Slow to 40 kilometres per hour on roadways with posted maximum speed limits below 80 km/hr or 60 km/hr on roadways with speed limits 80 km/hr or greater.
In all cases it’s important to stay calm and navigate the scene carefully. Use your signal and make eye contact with other drivers. Avoid coming to an abrupt stop or harshly cutting into other traffic – as always, do your best to be aware of other drivers around you.
Want to know more? Review these sources and resources.
Have More Questions?
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Everyday Insurance With Allie
Working mom, lover of the great outdoors and self-professed know-it-all. Our resident blogger, Allie isn’t the insurance guru she claims to be – but she’s learning and we are happy to help guide her. All the while keeping you in the loop on the “insurancey” stuff you need to know. #AskAllie