Access for Emergency Vehicles

Access for emergency vehicles

It is critical to ensure there's suitable access for emergency services to provide a swift and effective response at all times.

Fire appliances are generally larger than vehicles used by other emergency services. Poor or inadequate access can result in a delayed response to often life-threatening incidents.

This can have a direct impact on the safety of our residents and the protection of property.

Being 'Blue Light Aware'

Driving on the roads of Royal Berkshire and hear sirens and see blue lights? How should you react? What should you do?

Blue Light Aware is a short video, produced on behalf of the emergency services. Emergency crews rely on the help of other road users when they're on a 'blue light' response.

The golden rules are:

CALM: Don’t panic or speed up in an attempt to get out of the way. Don't go through red lights or veer into a bus lane as you will still be prosecuted. Do not attempt to outrun a fire engine. You are not allowed to drive down the hard shoulder. You will still be breaking the law.

ALERT: Turn distracting music down and check mirrors to help determine the direction and number of emergency vehicles. Look for somewhere safe to pull in but avoid kerbs, pavements, bends and junctions. Watch out for other motorists braking suddenly.

RESPONSE: Indicate, check your mirror and move to the left when it is safe to do so. Wait patiently to ensure all emergency vehicles have gone and then safely move back out into traffic.

In addition to these guidelines the public are urged to give a stationary emergency service vehicle a wide berth when moving around it.

It is never acceptable to park on the grounds of a fire station without a legitimate reason.

The Highway Code rule 219 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.

“Do not brake harshly on approach to a junction or roundabout, as a following vehicle may not have the same view as you.”