Drivers need to see, think and do when sharing the road with emergency vehicles

Drivers still fail to slow down and move over when possible, putting the safety of emergency workers at unnecessary risk

Not much has changed since this law dictated what drivers passing emergency vehicles on the shoulder of the road must do in 2009.

Drivers still fail to slow down and move over when possible, putting the safety of emergency workers at unnecessary risk. Our provincial Learn to Drive Smart guide speaks of the See, Think, Do method, and that’s exactly what is needed in these situations.

You have to see the lights of the emergency vehicles, think that an action may be required of you and do plan for and then take the required action. It is not something that you do alone either.

When the road is busy, all drivers in the vicinity of stopped emergency vehicles have to co-ordinate and co-operate in order to be successful.

It’s not easy to do either.

I watched a police vehicle light up and disappear from view ahead of me. I was in the right hand lane of the two northbound lanes so I slowed and anticipated that I might find them stopped ahead.

Sure enough, I found them stopped in a corner within a short distance.

No one else slowed and no one would make room, despite my signalled request, to make room to allow me to move over. I couldn’t stop as it would likely mean being hit from behind by someone driving at 90+ km/h.

So, I slowed right down, moved as close as I dared to my left and crossed my fingers. Thankfully, it all worked out!

For more information on this topic, visit www.drivesmartbc.ca. Questions or comments are welcome by e-mail to comments@drivesmartbc.ca. Tim Schewe is a retired RCMP constable with many years of traffic law enforcement experience. His column appears Friday.

Comox Valley Record

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