The common motorist etiquette of allowing emergency services to pass is encouraged in the Code however, if drivers do an illegal manoeuvre or stop at an unsuitable place to facilitate this, they could pay a hefty price.
The Highway Code states that motorists should give way to emergency service vehicles using flashing lights, including ambulances, fire engines and police vehicles.
But in order to clear the way for ambulances and police cars, road users should be aware that most rules remain off-limits such as stopping in a yellow bus stop, entering a bus lane or running a red light.
Rule 219 of the Highway Code states: “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 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.”
RAC experts said they often have to give legal advice to motorists who are slapped with a steep fine after doing the wrong thing while giving way.
They told The Sun: “Keep driving until there’s a suitable place to pull over and use your common sense to avoid coming into conflict with other road users.”
The experts also warned that a lack of awareness of the correct driving rules when allowing emergency services to pass could result in dangerous incidents and block people from the urgent help they need.
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