How can I help emergency services on a blue light journey?

Some key changes can really help speed up an ambulance’s trip.


Ensuring that you create a clear path for an emergency services vehicle on a blue light journey is a key part of helping them out. It can be stressful on occasions; blue lights appear in your rear-view mirror and you’re not sure where to go in front of you in order to let them through.

Fortunately, GEM Motoring Assist has revealed some key ways that drivers can help clear the path for an ambulance when it’s on a blue light journey.

At traffic lights

An emergency services vehicle won’t want you to go through a red light, so don’t feel pressured to break the law and run a red. If you’re the first in a queue of traffic waiting at a light, then stay calm, patient and allow the ambulance to find a path around you.

At roundabouts and junctions

You should always leave space for an ambulance trying to pass

If you’re coming up to a roundabout and can see an ambulance approaching, look at its position and you’ll be able to judge where it’s planning to go. If you’re at the junction, be patient and wait for the emergency services vehicle to pass – be mindful that there might be another vehicle behind it, so check carefully before moving off.

Solid white lines

Emergency corridor
An emergency corridor can help an emergency vehicle through

When you’re travelling on a road with solid white lines, a blue-light vehicle will likely switch off its siren as overtaking isn’t allowed on these roads. So keep going – at the speed limit if possible – until the solid white lines end. At this point, it will no doubt switch its sirens back on and overtake you.

On dual carriageways and motorways

Whenever you’re travelling on a dual carriageway or motorway, always keep to the left when an emergency vehicle is approaching. When you’re in slow-moving or stationary traffic, an emergency vehicle will use the hard shoulder so keep out of it unless you’ve got an emergency of your own.

However, if there’s no hard shoulder, you can allow an emergency vehicle through by creating an ‘emergency corridor’ whereby the lanes of traffic divide to create a clear path through the middle.

Smart motorways

When you’re on a smart motorway, one or more lanes might be closed and it’ll be signified by a red ‘X’ on the overhead gantry. Always keep out of these red ‘X’ lanes as emergency services will use these in order to get to the problem quickly.

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