Public Service Announcement
I feel that some assistance may be needed among my fellow drivers in identifying the strange flashing blue lights, often accompanied by a strange siren like noise that you occasionally spot while driving. And more importantly the correct way to react in these situations.
When you see the lights or hear the siren do not panic, you are not about to be attacked by aliens or some mythical creature. All that is happening is an emergency vehicle (Ambulance, Fire-engine, Police Car, etc.) has been called to an emergency and is passing close to you in its route. There is nothing to fear.
The correct response is to “Safely” pull over to the side of the road if needed to allow the vehicle past you. Remember time is of the essence, so they need to get to the emergency A.S.A.P. to possibly save lives. So as long as it is safe do what you can to allow the speedy process of the vehicle. Its as simple as that.
Here ends the Public Service Announcement.
And I will recount the instance that has prompted this post. It happened today on my way home from work. I was traveling along the road and had come to a crossroads. The lights were on for cars joining the road from a side road, only those turning right had come to a stop due to lights further down the road. It was at this point I heard the sirens of an Ambulance travelling towards me. As it got nearer and was about to pass the junction a large Van decided it was not waiting for space and pulled out to turn right even though there was no space, so it was on the “Yellow Box” which in UK road laws you are not allowed to enter unless your exit is clear. Worse than that, as it was a large van, and at an angle it completely blocked the junction forcing the Ambulance to come to a stop, and wait for all the other cars to move and mount pavements so the van could go on its way freeing up the junction for the Ambulance. Hopefully the delayed arrival time did not make the difference between life&death. It did make me wish a little maliciously that it was heading to the home of the van driver.