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II. Dealing with particular situations
 
Reacting to an approaching emergency vehicle
 

When you see red or red and blue flashing lights, or hear the bells or sirens of an emergency vehicle approaching from either direction, you must immediately slow down, move as far to the right side of the roadway as you can, and stop.

Illustration of a bus driver reacting to an approaching emergency vehicle

Diagram 3-1

Stay alert. When you see an approaching emergency vehicle with its lights or siren on, prepare to clear the way.

  • React quickly but calmly. Don’t slam on the brakes or pull over suddenly. Use your signals to alert other drivers you intend to pull over.
  • Check your rearview mirrors. Look in front and on both sides of your vehicle. Allow other vehicles to also pull over. Pull to the right and gradually come to a stop.
  • Wait for the emergency vehicle to pass and watch for other emergency vehicles that may be responding to the same call. Check to make sure the way is clear and signal before merging back into traffic.
  • Don’t drive on or block the shoulder on freeways. Emergency vehicles will use the shoulder of the road if all lanes are blocked.

Never follow or try to outrun an emergency vehicle. It is illegal to follow within 150 metres of a fire vehicle or ambulance responding to a call in any lane going in the same direction.

Failing to pull over and stop for an approaching emergency vehicle can result in a conviction and a fine.

Note: Some firefighters and volunteer med­ical responders may display a flashing green light when using their own vehicles to respond to a fire or medical emergency. Please yield the right-of-way to help them reach the emergency quickly and safely.

Take lights and sirens seriously. Clear the way! Pull to the right and stop. It’s the law.