Imagine this: You’re driving down the road, listening to your favorite song, talk radio show or podcast, and suddenly you see flashing lights. Next thing you know, emergency sirens are overpowering the sound of your radio. What do you do?
Many people are unaware of how to handle this situation appropriately. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when an emergency vehicle approaches you on the roadway:
- Alabama state law requires that when an emergency vehicle approaches, you should yield the right-of-way and immediately drive to a position parallel and as close as possible to the right-hand edge or curb of the roadway.
- Once you are stopped, keep your foot on the brake. This will keep your brake lights on and show the emergency vehicle drivers you have stopped.
- Stay clear of any intersection. Stop and remain stopped until the emergency vehicle has passed, unless you are directed otherwise by a police officer.
- Once the emergency vehicle has passed, check your surroundings to make sure no other emergency vehicles are approaching before pulling back onto the road.
- Stay at least 500 feet behind any moving emergency vehicle displaying flashing lights and a siren. Never race after an emergency vehicle to make it through a traffic light.
- Never pass a moving emergency vehicle displaying flashing lights unless directed to do so by emergency personnel.
- The Alabama Move Over Act states: If you pass an emergency vehicle stopped on the road, pull into another lane when possible. If it’s not possible to pull into another lane, slow down at least 15 mph and proceed with caution.
Keeping these tips in mind when driving. Following these rules will help emergency responders get to their destination quickly and safely and keep you safe on the roadway.