VIDEO: Helping emergency vehicles pass safely and legally on UK roads

Date Posted 17th June 2022
Read Time 2 min read

Do you know what to do when you spot an emergency vehicle trying to get past on UK roads? There are some simple rules to make sure you are safely and legally letting emergency vehicles pass. GEM Motoring Assist, is encouraging all road users to be ‘Blue Light Aware’.

The road safety and breakdown organisation has released a short video that outlines the best course of action for drivers to take when they encounter an emergency vehicle. It shows how drivers can help at junctions and roundabouts, on motorways and on stretches of road where overtaking is not permitted.

Watch the video below:

It’s important to stay safe and legal when helping emergency service vehicles. The call comes as councils across England and Wales begin making use of new powers to charge drivers for traffic offences such as driving into bus lanes or not stopping at red traffic lights.

GEM chief executive, Neil Worth, says: “We all want to help emergency service drivers, and most of the time it’s just a simple case of pulling over to let them past.

“Blue light drivers have certain privileges, but the rest of us do not,” he continues. “So, if we drive through a red traffic light or into a bus lane to make space for an ambulance, we risk a substantial fine, even if we were simply trying to help.”

GEM’s five simple tips to promote safety for drivers and emergency vehicles:

  • 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.
  • Stay calm and alert: 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.