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What to do if you see a blue light

Our fire appliances use their sirens and flashing blue lights to alert other road users that we need to get to an incident as quickly as possible. But what should you do when you hear the siren and see the blue lights?

Follow this advice to stay safe when you hear sirens and see flashing lights.

  • Keep calm, look and listen, where is the emergency vehicle coming from? Is it behind you or approaching from a side road? Turn off your radio or music so you can work out where the noise and light are coming from.
  • Check your mirrors to see if it is giving any signals that might tell you where it wants to go.
  • Slow down gently, don’t break suddenly, drivers behind you might not react the same way as you do.
  • Pull over and stop if there is a safe place to do so. Don’t forget to indicate what you are doing. But don’t pull up onto kerbs, pavements or soft verges.
  • On a bend or brow of a hill or if there are solid white lines in the middle of the road keep going until you can pull over at a place with better visibility so the emergency vehicle can pass you.
  • If you stop ensure there’s enough space for a fire engine or similar vehicle to pass you, otherwise you’re just blocking the road.
  • While emergency vehicles can go through red lights you shouldn’t. Stay safe behind the white lines, move over if you can but don’t put yourself in danger or break the law.
  • Don’t enter bus lanes or block yellow hatched areas.
  • Allow the emergency vehicle plenty of time to pass, watch out for others following it, it might not be alone. Listen for other sirens and look around before pulling away again.
  • Once all the emergency vehicles have passed continue your journey but be cautious, they may have been on their way to an incident like a road traffic collision that’s just ahead. Follow at a safe distance.


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