Helping out the emergency services

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Many of us experience confusion when there’s an emergency vehicle coming past us on the road. What should we do? Where should we go? Are we expected to take risks or break the law in order to clear a pathway? Confusion can lead to panic, causing drivers to make decisions that may not assist the emergency vehicle and could put the driver or others in danger.

The video above from advises drivers on the action they should take when they encounter an emergency vehicle. The video was made with the full support of the emergency services, and sets out to clarify what you should, and shouldn’t do to assist a blue light vehicle, while also ensuring we stay safe and on the right side of the law.

Vehicles used in the filming of GEM's Blue Light Aware video

Vehicles used in the filming of GEM's Blue Light Aware video

As well as informing drivers how to stay safe legal in an emergeny situation, the video also provides specific information on how to behave at junctions, through double white line systems and at traffic lights.

Here is a summary of GEM’s tips for assisting an emergency vehicle on a blue light journey:

• Stay safe and legal. No one expects you to put yourself at risk or break the law in an attempt to help an emergency vehicle.

• Remain calm and observant. The earlier you spot an emergency vehicle, the more time you have to plan.

• Don’t make judgements on which emergency vehicles deserve your help and which ones don’t. Aim for a consistently thoughtful and courteous attitude that puts safety first in every situation.

• If you slow down or stop, don’t move off or accelerate until the emergency vehicle has passed completely.

• There may be more than one emergency vehicle coming, so listen for different sirens, and look all round before moving off.