EMS explains how to properly move over for an emergency vehicle ahead of busy holiday season
BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - As you’re driving to and from work, you might notice an emergency vehicle with flashing lights on the road. First responders said drivers who do not move over fast enough are part of an ongoing and dangerous problem when every second counts.
East Baton Rouge EMS said their average response time to get to a scene is about seven to eight minutes.
Crew members are familiar with traffic patterns around the parish and said they try to avoid the more congested areas. They need more people to do a better job clearing the way for emergency vehicles.
Here’s what EMS says you should do:
When an emergency vehicle is approaching along a congested one-way street or a two-lane road - you should immediately move to the right.
On a four-lane highway, drivers should move into the second lane and continue at normal speed, move to the left or right-hand edge of the road, or into the first or third lane.
“It’s always been an issue for people that don’t yield to our vehicles,” said Brad Harris with East Baton Rouge EMS. “It is state law to yield to an emergency vehicle so the best thing to do if an ambulance is coming up behind you is to slow down and pull to the right if possible, and let the ambulance pass you to the left.”
So what’s the right way of moving over for an emergency vehicle at an intersection?
When at or near an intersection, officials said you should avoid entering the intersection if an emergency vehicle is behind you and stop on the right-hand side of the road to yield.
What can you expect emergency vehicles to do on the interstate?
“They take the left lane on the interstate typically because they are going out typically faster than the vehicles around them so we like to pass on the left if possible, said Harris. “However, if there’s an accident on the right shoulder, we might have to get on the right side, so just always be aware if you see an ambulance coming behind you just slow and watch them in your rearview and see which direction they’re going and try to stay out of the way.”
He said one of the big problems is people coming to a complete stop in front of them and they either don’t have enough time to break or go around them.
So instead of just stopping, Harris said to keep moving but slow down and get to the right. All of these are important reminders ahead of the busy holiday season.
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