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What To Do If You See An Ambulance Approaching

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Emergency Services Vehicles

What To Do If You See An Ambulance Approaching

Matt Hubbard
January 10, 2014

The question of what to do if you see a blue light ambulance approaching in your mirrors was posted on the Speedmonkey Facebook page recently, and we got a response from an ambulance driver with some sage advice.

UK Ambulance
Facebook page admin Bill Whitehouse asked:

"Interesting dilemma; do you drive up the kerb to allow the increasing number of para-ambulances to pass or do you expect them to do similar and trash their wheels? BW"

The response came from "blue light response ambulance driver" Dave Tillyer:

"I believe drivers should be educated on the best way to handle emergency vehicles. We would never expect a member of the public to mount a curb or to move their vehicle in such a way as to potentially cause damage.

There are a few things you can do we would appreciate:

1. Slow down significantly or stop. It is very frustrating trying to pass a vehicle doing just below the speed limit. Our ambulances aren't very powerful.
2. Don't stop near central bollards or vehicles that have stopped on the opposite carriage way.
3. If a car stops in front of you, use your mirrors before swerving around them (although this should be common sense).
4. We often use the opposite side of the road. If you see this try to slow and allow a larger gap for us to slot back in. Other than that most road users are courteous and helpful. Ultimately we are trying maintain progress and get to sick or dying people as quickly as is safely possible."

So there you have it. Follow Dave's advice and you'll make the roads a safer place.

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