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GEM offers safety tips to help blue light vehicles

By Kyle Linsay
Wednesday, September 23, 2015 - 09:33

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Road safety and breakdown organisation GEM Motoring Assist today renews its support for the work done by our emergency services, with a reminder for motorists on how to stay safe and legal when making room for a ‘blue light vehicle’.

GEM has also published a short video clip showing exactly what NOT to do in front of an emergency vehicle.

The safety call comes ahead of this year’s Emergency Services Show (22/23 September at the NEC).

GEM chief executive David Williams MBE comments: “Everyone wants to help clear the way for an emergency vehicle, but sometimes it can be difficult to understand the expectations of the emergency driver.

“That’s why we are issuing a set of simple tips that will hold good for just about any situation.

“Awareness and observation are the most useful skills when you’re driving, as you will see and hear an emergency vehicle earlier, and will have more time to plan what – if anything – you need to do whilst staying safe and legal in the process.

“Often, all that’s needed is a brief, considerate move to the left to give some extra space to the emergency vehicle. Just remember that you have no exemptions to the law, so don’t exceed speed limits, don’t go through red traffic lights, don’t use bus lanes and don’t do anything dangerous in your attempt to help.”

What not to do

The short video clip was filmed from a Suffolk Police vehicle responding on blue lights to a road traffic collision near Ipswich. It perfectly illustrates the need for drivers to be calm and not to react suddenly.

Safety tips for drivers from GEM for assisting emergency vehicles:

Stay calm and avoid sudden braking. You’re responsible for your own actions on the road, so whatever you do mustn’t break the law or cause danger.

If you can, indicate left and pull over, keeping an eye out for pedestrians and cyclists. Avoid pulling over on the brow of a hill, a bend or on a narrow section of road.

Don’t mount the kerb, as this could put pedestrians at risk and may cause damage to your vehicle.

GEM’s ‘Blue Light Aware’ video is available at www.bluelightaware.org.uk and on YouTube.

Follow GEM on Twitter @MotoringAssist for the latest industry news.

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