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How to Deal with Priority Vehicles

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Emergency vehicle which are responding to an incident have priority over other vehicles.

During any drive we must be forever conscious of our surroundings, allowing all of our senses to combine to provide special and location awareness, so that we can constantly react to changes as they happen, or, ideally, prompting situations and proactively preparing for these changes.

The security services such as the police and Guardia Civil, and rescue services such as the fire service or ambulances are to be given a clear run when they have their lights flashing or sirens sounding, so long as this can be done safely. If we hear sirens or see emergency vehicles with flashing lights, our first reaction should be to make way, but in as safe a way as possible.

On a clear and open road, if you are aware that a priority vehicle is approaching from behind, move over to a position which will allow the emergency vehicle to pass. It may be useful to indicate so that the driver of the emergency vehicle is aware of your intention. Carry out the manoeuvre without rushing, panicking or with any sudden movements. Once the emergency vehicle has passed, you may continue on your way.

In the event of a queue of traffic of two lanes, the emergency vehicle will attempt to cut a path through the middle, so that vehicles on both sides are able to move to the side and allow for a safe passage.

At junctions or intersections, vehicles should pull over to the side to allow the emergency vehicles to pass. Do not attempt to cross the path of an oncoming priority vehicle.

If you are on a roundabout when an emergency vehicle approaches, give way to the priority vehicle where possible and safe, allowing it to pass freely.

Never attempt to follow an emergency vehicle and never pull out in front of them, always stay well clear and well back, without carrying out any sudden movements, remembering to move over where safe and possible.

In the event of approaching an emergency scene, pay close attention to those who are directing traffic, acting on their instructions and directions. Always pass the scene giving as much space as possible and always pay close attention to the traffic and the situation, never letting curiosity get the better of you and distract you when you pass.

The DGT has created a series of short videos which show the correct procedure for each of the circumstances listed, they can be viewed on the DGT website, dgt.es

Priority vehicles save lives, always allow them safe passage where possible.


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