It can be alarming when an emergency vehicle (e.g. fire truck, police car, ambulance) approaches with its siren on. Be aware of your surroundings and make sure you're ready in case you need to take action. Here's what you should do when an emergency vehicle is approaching with its siren on.
- An emergency vehicle with its siren on has the right of way over all other vehicles.
- Immediately pull over parallel to and as close as practical to the curb as you can, and make sure you are not in the middle of an intersection. Typically, you should pull over to the right.
- Stop and remain stopped until the emergency vehicle has passed and it is clear no other emergency vehicles are approaching.
- Be courteous and let everyone who pulled over pull back into traffic.
- Do not drive within 150 meters of an emergency vehicle with its siren and/or flashing lights on. To help give you a reference, 150m is nearly 1.5 times the length of a football field!
INTERSECTIONS, MULTI-LANE HIGHWAYS, ONE-WAY HIGHWAYS
Usually, you should pull through an intersection and over to the right curb when an emergency vehicle approaches with its siren on. But sometimes, that's not possible or safe.
If you're in an intersection when an emergency vehicle approaches and you can't safely clear the intersection, move as far from the center of the intersection as you can and leave the largest path possible for the emergency vehicle to move through. Be careful when moving back into traffic.
If you're on a divided highway that has more than two lanes or on a one-way highway, pull over parallel to and as close as practical to the nearest curb. This might be the curb to the left. If you're in the center lane, you should move to the right.
When the emergency vehicle has passed and it's safe to continue driving, be courteous and let drivers ahead of you back into traffic. Use your turn signal both when pulling over to allow emergency vehicles to pass and when moving back into traffic.
Watch this video created by the Alberta Motor Association, Alberta Health Services, Fire Rescue Edmonton, and the City of Edmonton demonstrating how to yield to emergency vehicles.