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Thread: OMG, lights and siren!!!?

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    countybear's Avatar
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    OMG, lights and siren!!!?

    Often when running code to a call, police experience problems getting through traffic. Most of the time, this is caused by one (or more) motorists refusing to move out of the way, slamming on the brakes, pulling to the left of the roadway, or even just stopping in front of the patrol car.

    Do you know what you are supposed to do when an emergency vehicle comes up behind you?

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    Ummmm, hit the accelerator to speed up, try to figure out where he's going, and try to beat him there.

    No?

    Oh well, I tried.



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    Holy hell. Just reading the OP makes me pissed off. Not at anyone here, but just thinking about all of the motorists I've literally come to a stop behind and laid on the air horn because I REFUSE to pass on the right.
    "If anything worthwhile comes of this tragedy, it should be the realization by every citizen that often the only thing that stands between them and losing everything they hold dear... is the man wearing a badge." -- Ronald Reagan, in the wake of the deaths of 4 CHP troopers in the Newhall Incident, 1970

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    Quote Originally Posted by 121Traffic View Post
    Holy hell. Just reading the OP makes me pissed off. Not at anyone here, but just thinking about all of the motorists I've literally come to a stop behind and laid on the air horn because I REFUSE to pass on the right.
    121T, do you think the public knows why we can't pass them on the right?

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    Quote Originally Posted by countybear View Post
    121T, do you think the public knows why we can't pass them on the right?
    I've never heard of a requirement to pass on the left, but I would imagine that passing on the right would be more hazardous unless on a divided access controlled highway. Especially if there is not enough pavement to keep the wheels on the road. Thats about all I can think of.
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    What I do is put on my turn signal, get over to the right, and stop until the emergency vehicle passes.




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    Quote Originally Posted by countybear View Post
    121T, do you think the public knows why we can't pass them on the right?
    That's honestly something I've never thought about, but my guess would be that it's too hazardous, among other things and depending on the type of road there could be pedestrians or disabled vehicles - plus, traffic is supposed to move to the right, so passing on the right could potentially bring the emergency vehicle to a stop.




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    Quote Originally Posted by countybear View Post
    121T, do you think the public knows why we can't pass them on the right?

    I doubt it for the most part, but can't fault people for not knowing the reasoning behind it. All they're required to know is that their driver's test tells them they are required to pull right. That's all I ask.
    "If anything worthwhile comes of this tragedy, it should be the realization by every citizen that often the only thing that stands between them and losing everything they hold dear... is the man wearing a badge." -- Ronald Reagan, in the wake of the deaths of 4 CHP troopers in the Newhall Incident, 1970

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    Quote Originally Posted by 121Traffic View Post
    I doubt it for the most part, but can't fault people for not knowing the reasoning behind it. All they're required to know is that their driver's test tells them they are required to pull right. That's all I ask.
    Well I'm curious now....
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    It relates back to the design of highways, actually. On multi-lane roadways, the right lane is for slower traffic, while the left is intended for passing. The rules of the road (in the US) dictate that upon approach of an emergency vehicle from behind, vehicles will move right to vacate the left lane of travel, pull to the rightmost of the right-of-way, stop, and allow the emergency vehicle to pass to their left. On two lane roadways, vehicles are to move to the right of the roadway to allow the emergency vehicle passage.

    Given this, most department policies for emergency response clearly dictate that responders are to stay to the left-most right-of-way to allow vehicles ahead to react and move right accordingly. If an emergency vehicle moves right to pass, and the vehicle ahead responds as directed by law, a collision hazard is created, and the emergency vehicle's response is slowed by the confusion created as drivers attempt to assume to move other than as legally required to get out of the way.

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  11. #11
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    I personally find that people (at least here in MA) don't react well if you come up blaring into stopped multi-lane traffic... I get through much faster by "woop woop woop" on the manual button mixed in with the airhorn. Basically they panic if you try to press through like your personal house is on fire... which it may be, but even so, all pushing forward while hitting "phaser" does is get people into your way instead of out of it.

    That being said, in the ambulance especially there are a lot of people who just won't move, they glare at me like I'm inconveniencing them. Only once has it had the good fortune of happening in front of a state trooper, who called afterwards to inform me that the guy was not only cited for failure to yield, etc, but had several outstanding warrants for drug offenses.

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    Quote Originally Posted by APB View Post
    I personally find that people (at least here in MA) don't react well if you come up blaring into stopped multi-lane traffic... I get through much faster by "woop woop woop" on the manual button mixed in with the airhorn. Basically they panic if you try to press through like your personal house is on fire... which it may be, but even so, all pushing forward while hitting "phaser" does is get people into your way instead of out of it.

    That being said, in the ambulance especially there are a lot of people who just won't move, they glare at me like I'm inconveniencing them. Only once has it had the good fortune of happening in front of a state trooper, who called afterwards to inform me that the guy was not only cited for failure to yield, etc, but had several outstanding warrants for drug offenses.

    I haven't done a formal test of this, but now that you mention it, it does seem to get a smoother response from the vehicles I'm approaching when I do it.

    I'm just glad I'm dealing with it in a Patrol Car where I can manuever better. I still shudder when I think of my Fire Service days and trying to fight through traffic in an Engine or Med unit.
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    Quote Originally Posted by APB View Post
    ... Only once has it had the good fortune of happening in front of a state trooper, who called afterwards to inform me that the guy was not only cited for failure to yield, etc, but had several outstanding warrants for drug offenses.
    I made it a habit to ease along behind a fire truck or ambulance, running my lights when I got the chance, waiting for someone to fail to yield. We were required for years to respond along with fire on any call but it was low priority so I could make the stop if it happened. Guaranteed citation everytime, no warnings.
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    I trail behind engines and ambulances all the time. I never give warnings for failing to yield to an emergency vehicle.
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    Back when I drove a marked car, I used to LOVE it when I'm running hot trying to get around some brain-dead coonazz, and comm would cancel me on the call.

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    Im with 121traffic. When Im running code 3, I stay in the left lane. Early in my career, I had a few close calls where I went to pass on the right, right when the driver finally decided to move over. Now I do the same as 121, lay on the horn, put the spotlight right on their mirror, until they get the message and move.

    I pulled a car over the other day. We were getting onto an interstate and were on the ramp when I lit her up. We went the entire length of the ramp, then a good quarter mile on the interstate before she stopped. When I asked why it took so long to stop, she said that she didn't realize that I was trying to stop her, and thought I was trying to get past her to an emergency. I then asked if she thought I was trying to get past her with lights and siren going, why the hell she didn't pull over anyways to let me past. All I got were a couple of stutters before I cut her off and asked for her license and registration.
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    Happened to me yesterday . Come up behind car in the left lane of a two lane highway putt-putting along. I'm trying to assist my patrol units on a silent alarm at a business. I hit the lights and sirens on the driver hoping they will simply move over in the right lane so I can get by and be on my way. The jackass exits the highway by turning left at the next intersection. I continue on my way and shut off my gear since I'm getting close to the business. The dumbass was probably cussing me out but stupid shoulld be inconvenient.
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    I find that screaming at people with my PA works well. Especially when you use lots of 4 letter words.

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    I pull over to the right when I can safely. Sometimes other motorists freak out and get in my way of doing so, which could end up causing an accident. If that's the case I try to get out of the way as soon as possible for the emergency vehicle. (pulling to the right)

    Is this OK? Or is there something different you would rather motorist to do?

 

 
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