How to respond to emergency vehicles

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 MOVE OUT OF THE WAY: If you spot approaching emergency vehicles, move out of the way. Also, don’t rubber-neck when passing a crash scene. ~ Youtube
As millions of road users embark on holiday journeys across South Africa, sadly ambulances are an all too common sight. Read our guide on what to do if you’re the in path of approaching emergency vehicles.

South Africa’s roads are dangerous and doubly so during the holiday seasons. With increased crashes, emergency services will become all too common sight. But what should you do if you spot an ambulance approaching?


There is specific legislation governing emergency vehicles in SA. Regulation 308(1)(h) states:
 (1)  No person driving or having a vehicle on a public road shall— (h)   fail to give an immediate and absolute right of way to a vehicle sounding a device or bell or displaying an identification lamp in terms of section 58(3) or 60 or regulation 176.

Regulation 308 makes it an offence to not move out of the way. If you can safely move out of the way, do so. Confused or nervous drivers are likely to cause a hindrance to rescue efforts or worse collide with other road users or the emergency vehicle.

What to do when you spot an approaching emergency vehicle:
1 Be prepared - look and listen for ambulances, fire engines, police or other emergency vehicles using flashing blue, red or green lights, headlights and sirens.
2 Be aware of vehicles around you. Check your rear-view and side mirrors to estimate the speed of the approaching emergency vehicle.
3 Be ready to pull over. If it would be unsafe to bring the vehicle to a safe stop move forward at a safe speed.
4 Always signal your intent to emergency vehicles and other road users by indicating. Pull over to the inside lane if possible and wait for the emergency vehicle to pass.
5 When passing the scene of crash do not be distracted or slow down unnecessarily.