by Dan Windham
Emergency vehicles have right of way when they are flashing their lights, meaning drivers must move out of their way. But, this does not mean that you will automatically avoid a hefty fine if you break one of the rules of the road while doing so.
Drivers who go through a bus lane or a red light while letting an emergency vehicle pass can still be penalised. Cars need to move out of the way of emergency vehicles in the correct way if they want to avoid a fine.
How to make sure you don’t get fined
The Highway Code states, “You should look and listen for ambulances, fire engines, police, doctors or other emergency vehicles using flashing blue, red or green lights and sirens, or flashing headlights, or traffic officer and incident support vehicles using flashing amber lights.
“When one approaches do not panic. Consider the route of such a vehicle and take appropriate action to let it pass, while complying with all traffic signs. If necessary, pull to the side of the road and stop, but try to avoid stopping before the brow of a hill, a bend or narrow section of road.”
The code adds that you should not endanger yourself, other road users or pedestrians and avoid mounting the kerb.
Also, avoid breaking harshly on the approach to a junction or roundabout in case the car behind has not seen the emergency vehicle.
If you’re snapped running a red light to make way for an emergency vehicle then this could land you with a penalty of up to £1,000 and six penalty points.
Never stop in a fast lane
Earlier this year, PC Martin Willis shared footage on Twitter of an emergency vehicle responding to an incident on the motorway. In the video, the driver in front of the emergency vehicle can be seen slowing down to a complete stop in the fast lane.
He tweeted that this is ‘not what you want to happen’ for emergency vehicles.
“If you see blue lights behind you, move over. If the emergency vehicle is going to a job, it will pass you,” he tweeted.
“If it wants to stop you, it will follow you onto the hard shoulder. NEVER stop in a live lane!”
This article originally appeared on our sister site, The Yorkshire Post