How to Deal With Emergency Vehicles

You could encounter an emergency vehicle at any time while on the road. It's important that you know what to do as delaying emergency vehicles could cost lives.

The Highway Code Rule 219 says :- Emergency and Incident Support vehicles. 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 Highways Agency 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. Do not endanger yourself, other road users or pedestrians and avoid mounting the kerb. Do not brake harshly on approach to a junction or roundabout, as a following vehicle may not have the same view as you.

Video Lesson - Dealing with blue lights and sirens of an emergency vehicle

Different types of emergency vehicles include:-

If an emergency vehicle approaches using flashing blue lights, headlights and/or sirens, follow these tips to help it to get through safely:
  • Look and listen.
  • Signal your intentions by using your indicators or hand signals.
  • Pull in safely and be aware of pedestrians, cyclists and other vehicles around you.
  • Pull in as far as you can.
  • Leave a gap large enough for the emergency vehicle to get through.
  • Stay alert - more vehicles may be coming.
  • Stay calm.
  • If you're a pedestrian, keep off the road.
All vehicles on both sides of the road must slow down or even stop to leave a clear path, but do not endanger other road users. Don't stop in the middle of a junction. (If you're blocking the path of the emergency vehicle, you may have to turn the corner to get out of the way.)