Is it illegal not to move for an Emergency Vehicle?
Posted on 10th August 2019
It can cause a bit of a panic on the roads when you’re driving or walking and hear the sound of sirens heading your way. Most of us will do our best to move out of the way, slowing down, or even stopping, to ensure that the Fire Engine/Police Car/Ambulance can get to their destination.
However, just because we all try to move out of the way, doesn’t mean that this is always possible. Sometimes, it can be quite a struggle, and on some occasions, unfortunately, people have suffered a catastrophic personal injury.
Take for example the case of the lady who heard the sirens, and saw the blue flashing lights, but still wasn’t able to get out of the way in time, and was hit by a police car.
The incident occurred during rush hour, around 5:20pm, with the woman, aged 57, being taken to hospital by Air Ambulance. She died the following morning, around 9:30am.
As with all incidents involving police officers, the Independent Office for Police Conduct, as well as the Directorate of Professional Standards, have been informed.
Our team of Personal Injury Solicitors in Preston’s thoughts are with the woman’s family and friends at this sad time.
Like everyone, we hope that incidents like this don’t occur often, so our team of solicitors in Preston have put together a list of things you should and shouldn’t do when faced with the sound of screeching sirens.
The first, and most obvious thing we can say, is if the vehicle is heading for you (such as a police car), and they want you to stop - STOP. We’re not trying to help you commit a great escape!
Now we’ve got the (hopefully obvious) point out of the way, our team of personal injury solicitors in Preston should point out that just because you’re trying to move out of the way of a vehicle, doesn’t mean you will get away with breaking the law.
For example, if moving out of the way means jumping a red, you could still face a fine of £100.00 as well as three points on your licence - more if you’re taken to Court. Similarly, stopping in a box junction or popping into a bus lane are still offences.
So, rule 219 of the Highway Code states that you should ‘not panic’ when you see an emergency vehicle, including Highways Agency Traffic Officers and Incident Support Vehicles, approach. You should carefully consider the route of the vehicle and move out of the way whilst observing traffic/road laws.
One common misconception is that you have to stop. According to rule 219, this is not actually the case, and you should pull to the side of the road and stop ‘if necessary’.
Whilst pedestrians do not have to worry about their vehicle blocking the route, they should be careful to get out of the road as quickly as possible and, if you hear sirens, make sure to remain on the pavement until you’re sure of the path they’re taking. Likewise, if you hear a police or emergency services vehicle approaching, try and stand well back out of the way.
If we can all do our bit to help the emergency services on their routes, we can remain safe and prevent further accidents from occurring.
If you’ve been involved in a Road Traffic Accident that wasn’t your fault, you can contact our specialist team of Personal Injury Solicitors in Preston on 01772 783 314 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Our team deal with all claims on a “No Win, No Fee” basis, and you can keep up to 100% of your compensation. AND, our team of solicitors in Preston also offer home visits.
Any questions or queries? Don’t delay - call our team today.
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