Flashing blue lights ‘need not be stressful’

Flashing blue lights 'need not be stressful'

The Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) has highlighted some simple steps to help road users stay calm and collected when confronted with flashing blue lights in their rear-view mirrors.

Swiftly approaching emergency services vehicles can be a stressful encounter for some road users, but by following some pertinent advice, much of the stress of those blue flashing lights can be taken out of the situation.

The IAM recommends:

  1. Drivers should look for any turning signals being displayed by approaching emergency services vehicles, as this gives an indication of where the best position to take on the road might be to avoid causing a holdup.
  2. When pulling over, avoid mounting kerbs as this can place pedestrians in danger.
  3. When individuals hear sirens but are not sure where an emergency services vehicle might be coming from, they should begin to look out for appropriate places where they can get out of its way.
  4. Motorists should remember there may be more than one emergency services vehicle approaching, so mirrors should always be checked before resuming one's journey.
  5. Only pull over and stop where it is safe to do so.
  6. When travelling on the motorway in heavy traffic, avoid blocking the hard shoulder – this is the most likely avenue that emergency services vehicles will take to get past a large build-up of traffic.

IAM head of driving standards and former police driving instructor Peter Rodger commented: "Emergency drivers are trained to deal with awkward situations, and are allowed to use bus lanes, go through traffic lights, etc.

"Don't panic in front of them – stay calm and move out of the way so they can get past. Look at their indicators if you are near a junction – the emergency driver will try to let you know where they need to go."

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