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Thread: Question for the boys in blue...

  1. #1
    Regular Member JuzzyD's Avatar
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    Default Question for the boys in blue...

    (Hypothetical ) Situation: You're stopped in traffic, second car back, in the outside lane of a dual carriage way at a set of lights that are on red (the lights are to allow traffic to join from a slip road to the left). You hear (and see in the mirrors) an ambulance approaching fast behind. The cars to your left can't go any further to their left because of armco, and the car directly in front has just bumped up on the kerb of the central reservation but somehow has managed not to allow enough room for you to the same and is oblivious to the fact despite a toot of the horn or two by yourself. All the traffic behind, except for the car directly behind you, has managed to mount the kerb. The ambulance is not far behind now.

    What would/should you do in the eyes of the law?

  2. #2
    Regular Member Jamie's Avatar
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    Get out of the way safely and try to avoid obstructing the path of the Ambulance.

    If you want me to tell you that running the red light is okay, I'm not gonna say that, it would still be an offence however you would have a mitigation!!!! At the end of the day, when stopped in traffic, you should leave enough room between you and the car in front to be able to manouvre in an emergency. Its the old "Tyres and Tarmac" rule all god driving instructors teach!

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    Regular Member parapaul's Avatar
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    From another perspective....

    The only obligation you have to move out of the way is a moral one. Believe me, we're VERY used to sitting behind people who either can't or won't move out of the way. It's just one of those things.

    If your hypothetical ambulance driver was half decent, he'd see well in advance that you had nowhere to go, back off and do his best not to sit right up your arris with all the lights and sirens going

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    Regular Member JuzzyD's Avatar
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    Thanks Jamie - I though that would be the case.

    The chap in front turned full lock, mounted the kerb and before I had chance to do the same he reversed back behind the line - before that I'm sure that I had left enough room.

    In the end I did make sure nothing was coming and ran through the junction and got the left lane immediately afterwards (and the car behind followed me) and when the ambulance went past with another one in toe the lady in the passenger seat gave me the thumbs up.

    Just not a situation that in 18 years of driving I've been in before!

  5. #5
    On a Sabbatical VauxVeteran's Avatar
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    I'm a barsteward for this, I will "safely" use anywhere I can to get out of the way for all blue lights, and will honk and gesture anyone around me who is in slow mode and gonna hinder them, I see it that one day it might be coming for me, and those few seconds I can save them might just be the difference.

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    Regular Member Harry's Avatar
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    this courtesy that you showed can come back to bite you in the a55 though. as jamie said, it's still an offence to run a red light, and my mum found that out all too well....she was sitting at the lights with an ambulance behind, she scooted forward just enough to let the ambulance pass, what she didn't realise was that her front wheel edged onto the yellow hatched box and she got hit with a fine and 3 points.

    no mitigation for her however, as even when she appealed asking how 'they' would feel it was their son/daughter they were rushing to save they still upheld the points and fine.....which is cr4p to be honest.

    if you can live with the points and fine then go ahead and do exactly what you did each time you see an amublance behing you at a set of red lights, but i for one will be second guessing whether i go anywhere. afterall, the police/ambulances have no right of way.

    not having a go at you Juzzy, just makes my blood boil a bit, like hearing ambulances and police cars getting clamps and parking tickets!

  7. #7
    Regular Member Jamie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JuzzyD View Post
    The chap in front turned full lock, mounted the kerb and before I had chance to do the same he reversed back behind the line - before that I'm sure that I had left enough room.
    I've seen this hapen al too many times.... some idiot decides he's gonna do an amazing job of parallell parking his car to get out of the way, and only ends up blocking the car behind or shunting someone or something!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by JuzzyD View Post
    In the end I did make sure nothing was coming and ran through the junction and got the left lane immediately afterwards (and the car behind followed me) and when the ambulance went past with another one in toe the lady in the passenger seat gave me the thumbs up.
    Exactly what I would have done, if there was a traffic light camera on the lights I'd have to think twice and try and get out of the way some other way, but if I did get a ticket for doing it i'd be more than happy to argue my case in court!!

    Well done for noticing the lights and sirens in enough time to make a decision... you'd be amazed how many drivers are oblivious to us!!

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    Thats London for you H, the land of Ken Killitstone, and all the other parasites by the river.

    I had a guy bang my door last night who wants to remove half of our council, they are using our money to fight him off, he wants them out because they are bent, the flyer he left me last night just confirms what I already knew about these ppl, and all the time ppl like this are in power us mortals will suffer, and the cost of the pain will rise, sorry to hijack slightly.

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    Regular Member sonic's Avatar
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    That is one of those case where you are dammed if you do and dammed if you don't.
    When I am on a call all I want people to do is see me... I can do the rest!
    Sometimes you just cant get through so you just have to wait.

    This is the info my force gives out via our website;

    The Highway Code offers little advice on the correct course of action to take upon seeing emergency vehicles travelling on an emergency call. This aide memoir seeks to address that shortfall in order to enhance road safety and improve the public understanding of the intentions of emergency vehicle drivers.
    Here are some dos and don’ts.

    Do not mount kerbs to avoid emergency vehicles. You may damage your vehicles steering tyres, wheels, and suspension. Larger vehicles may damage the pavement. There is also a risk to pedestrians.


    Do not stop opposite vehicles or obstructions if such positioning would not allow the emergency vehicle to pass.


    If you are about to emerge from a side road and see or hear an emergency vehicle on the major road, do not try to emerge until it passes.


    If, whilst travelling across a traffic light junction, you become aware of an emergency vehicle approaching from either side, do not brake harshly. This may cause an accident. If you cannot stop by gradual braking keep travelling across the junction. Emergency vehicles must give way to traffic crossing on the green lights.


    Similarly, if you are on a roundabout and see an emergency vehicle approaching, do not brake harshly to allow that vehicle to enter the roundabout, there may be a vehicle behind you that is unable to stop. If possible reduce speed gently without causing danger to yourself or other road users to allow the emergency vehicle to enter the roundabout.


    After one emergency vehicle has passed be aware that a second vehicle may be approaching. Check your mirrors and listen for the sirens. When there are two vehicles running towards the same incident, different types of sirens should be used to assist other road users identification.


    If an emergency vehicle is approaching from behind whilst you are travelling along a double white line system, where the line nearer to you is solid, maintain a safe speed and do not exceed the limit. The emergency vehicle will hang back from your vehicle and may even turn off some of the emergency equipment. If you see an obvious area to pull off the road signal your intention to do so. At the end of the white line system or where the lines change priority find a safe place to stop or slow down to allow the emergency vehicle to pass.


    Where emergency vehicles are travelling on dual-carriageways or motorways drivers in front should move to their nearside lanes. This will allow the emergency vehicle to use the outer lane. When moving into the nearside lanes, drivers should signal their intentions and take care not to pull directly in front of a vehicle already in that lane.


    Where the traffic is stationary, or very slow moving on multi-laned roads, the emergency vehicle may straddle the lane markings. Other road users should then move in the appropriate direction to facilitate the progress of the emergency vehicle.

    __________________________________________________ _____________


    I would never expect anyone to go through a red light to allow me through, and neither should any emergency vehicle driver
    As has been said there are cases where you can but dont expect to get away with it in court if you do. Stated cases say that you will get points

    There is nothing in that advice to cover the specific incident that JuzzyD mentioned but the best piece of advice is what Jamie said, "Tyres & Tarmac," always leave enough room between you and the car in front, so you can see the back wheels of the car ahead and some of the tarmac between you car and the one in front. That way you can always get out of the way or get around the car ahead.

  10. #10
    Regular Member Vid's Avatar
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    Some good advice there mate. At least I've learned something, I thought mitigation was almost guaranteed in these circumstances, evidently not!!

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