How to deal with emergency vehicles is an important part of driving, you should know how to move your vehicle safely out of the way so that you do not delay the emergency vehicle, but you also don’t want to create a potentially dangerous situation for other road users, or inadvertently break the law.

Rule 219 of the highway code states:

Emergency and Incident Support vehicles. You should look and listen for ambulances, fire engines, police, doctors or other emergency vehicles using flashing blue, red or green lights and sirens or flashing headlights, or Highways Agency Traffic Officer and Incident Support vehicles using flashing amber lights. When one approaches do not panic. Consider the route of such a vehicle and take appropriate action to let it pass, while complying with all traffic signs. If necessary, pull to the side of the road and stop, but try to avoid stopping before the brow of a hill, a bend or narrow section of road. Do not endanger yourself, other road users or pedestrians and avoid mounting the kerb. Do not brake harshly on approach to a junction or roundabout, as a following vehicle may not have the same view as you.

Types of emergency vehicles

When responding to an emergency these vehicles will have blue flashing lights, flashing headlights, and may be using sirens. The following are the types of emergency vehicles you might encounter:

  • Police
  • Ambulance
  • Fire engine
  • Coastguard
  • Mountain Rescue
  • Bomb Disposal
  • National Blood Service

Blue Light Aware

Blue Light Aware is a short video, produced on behalf of the Fire, Police and Ambulance services. Their crews rely on the help of other road users when they’re on an emergency journey. Watching the video will help you know how to deal with emergency vehicles.

How to deal with emergency vehicles