It can be a harrowing experience when you are travelling on one of our roadways and an emergency vehicle with lights activated and sirens blaring approaches your vehicle expecting you to move out of the way. Many motorists experience confusion when this is occurring, especially when travelling in heavy traffic on a multi-lane roadway. For emergency services personnel engaged in an emergency response the experience can be just as distressing. Firefighters are planning their search and rescue of people trapped in a burning building, paramedics are considering which lifesaving care will be required for their patient and police officers are planning how to safely diffuse a life threatening situation for all those involved. All of this pre-planning is occurring while the emergency responder is navigating traffic trying to anticipate every motorist’s next move.
It is important to remember that provincial law found in the Highway Traffic Act governs what to do when being approached by an emergency vehicle. In addition, motorists should be reminded not to assume that there is only one emergency vehicle approaching your vehicle. They often travel in pairs or from different locations.
Often motorists advise that they did not hear the sirens of the emergency responders. To remedy this please keep your music at a volume that allows you to hear what is going on outside of your vehicle and check your side and rear view mirrors regularly to ensure that you are aware of what is occurring around your vehicle.
Following this law and heeding these safety tips will not only keep you safer on our roadways but will also assist our emergency responders in getting to their destinations safely.