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Giving way to emergency vehicles

chedabobchedabob Posts: 1,133
edited December 2012 in Commuting general
The other evening on the way home from work I approached a mini roundabout, and there was a fire engine coming from my left ( with lights on but no sirens. I only noticed the lights at about where the street view camera is, but I thought it was stopped, so I committed to rolling through the roundabout (I'd slowed down already) as I couldn't see headlights or hear any other vehicles approaching the RAB. At about the RAB sign I spotted the fire engine moving towards the RAB, but I'd already committed to it so I rolled through.

Did I do anything wrong by not yielding right of way? The only thing I think I could have done differently is come to a complete stop at the give way line, but I may have put myself in the turning circle of the engine by doing so.


  • BOYDIEBOYDIE Posts: 528
    As a Firefighter and an appliance driver Ill answer this one.

    You did nothing wrong,people panic all the time or just don't see/hear us coming,if you didn't see the pump then its just one of those things. When approaching junctions and roundabouts an appliance driver should really be using two tones and lights,this is to warn drivers in good time that a blue light vehicle is approaching. The only reason I would not be using two tones would be late at night and early morning out of respect for folk sleeping, unless it was a persons reported fire, and trust me you would hear me coming.
  • redveeredvee Posts: 11,921
    One of my YT videos shows rapid response Ambulance caught behind two cars that chose to ignore the lights & sirens, I saw the lights from 1/2 mile away and pulled over ready for the EV. The cars had plenty of opportunity to move over.
    I've added a signature to prove it is still possible.
  • BOYDIEBOYDIE Posts: 528
    We get it all the time, some folk just don't see us, or the folk who panic and slam on the brakes in the middle of the road. The worst offenders are usually the ones with the radio turned up full whack so can't hear the siren.
  • The rule I was told was: be predictable. Keep on doing what you're doing, or make it clear you're going to do something else.

    I've had several waves and thanks from emergency drivers (when cycling or driving) simply because I make it clear what I'm doing and let them sort out what needs to be done.

    One of the more impressive sights is an Ambulance negotiating the A52 into Derby at rush hour. Moses has NOTHING compared to the parting of the traffic when one goes tanking down the middle.
    Chunky Cyclists need your love too! :-)
    2009 Specialized Tricross Sport
    2011 Trek Madone 4.5
    2012 Felt F65X
    Proud CX Pervert and quiet roadie. 12 mile commuter
  • cookdncookdn Posts: 410
    The rule I was told was: be predictable. Keep on doing what you're doing, or make it clear you're going to do something else.

    Hmm, maybe this is what the car driver had in mind when they overtook me (cycling) on a urban-residential road directly into the path of an oncoming paramedic ambulance doing blues & twos. The ambulance had already moved into the center of the road (straddling the threshold line) to pass a stationary bus. :shock:

    In retrospect entirely predictable that they should be overtaking me at any cost. Also entirely predictable that less than a minute later I passed the same car at the back of a stationary queue waiting at traffic lights. :roll:

    Best regards
    Boardman CX Team
  • graeme_s-2graeme_s-2 Posts: 3,382
    As a cyclist I long ago learned that the biggest risk when an emergency vehicle comes through is other drivers doing crazy censored without looking properly. I tend to get well out of the way as quickly as possible these days.
  • EssiePEssieP Posts: 25
    It surprises me how often, on seeing an ambulance on sirens & lights, some drivers pull stop but then actually block the road. The emergency vehicle then has to stop and manouver round that stopped car.
    In their panic, the car driver has made the situation worse.
  • bails87bails87 Posts: 12,998
    Agree with both of those posts above.

    On the bike I tend to just hop up onto the pavement/into a bus stop. Stop, watch what's going on and let the chaos pass before I get back on the road. In the car I keep moving as long as that means the emergency vehicle isn't going to be trapped behind me by a traffic island or something. If the'yre stuck behind me due to oncoming traffic or a narrow road, it's better that I keep moving than stop. A police car doing 30mph is going to reach you quicker than a stationary one, after all.

    "As I said last time, it won't happen again."
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