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Why do emergency vehicles always get the right of way?
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Why do emergency vehicles always get the right of way?

Yes, I know they got places to go, crimes to solve, lives to save and fires to put out, but I don't know if its just me who gets annoyed at the speeds some police cars etc, go at, sometimes they are the ones who cause the accidents! If you have any points, please tell me, I would love to debate with you! x
Additional Details
Right, ned ted, if you think kids have no SENSE, maybe you should try looking in a dictionary! x


John T
They don't actually have the right of way as such.
Other drivers should get out of their way or let them proceed when it is safe for them to do so, effectively giving them right of way.

Yes occasionally they have accidents, more often than not though these are caused by other drivers not having the road sense or awareness to get out of the way properly.

This is not a debating forum, this is where you ask a question and others answer.

this is beyond debating
hopefully you will not need an ambulance in an emergency
words fail me !!!!!!!

bob (robert) ned ted
dont think that way... get over it... the world does not revolve around how you think. Kids these days, have no sence.

When you are older and have kids and a bit more experience in life, then you might think to yourself 'why the hell did I make an idiot of myself asking such a stupid question'.

Sam Vimes
If its YOU in that burning house I expect you want them to tear down the street too.

Rock Firestorm
Okay, this is perhaps the dumbest question I've ever seen here. You don't want police and ambulances speeding because it inconveniences you. Unless you're the one in danger, I would assume you'd want the police there as fast as possible. But there might be some other 13 year old that the police are inconveniencing somewhere. Amazing.

They are emergency vehicles used by emergency crews employed by the government to keep the country's people safe. They are granted a 'special status' in the eyes of the law.

And yes, there are occasionally accidents caused by emergency vehicles - but they are few and far between. Please remember that police, fire crews and ambulance crews all get special training. They have to get an additional advanced driving licence. They don't just turn up for their first day and get told to drive as fast as they can.

They will only drive as fast as the situation requires and/or allows. They don't just fly down side streets hoping not to hit someone. And even at the high speeds they travel at, they are able to control their vehicles better because they have the extra training.

> They are not allowed to drive around breaking each and every law. They are however, allowed to bend these laws slightly if it is safe to do so. And only certain laws are allowed to be 'bent'. If an emergency crew is found to have used excessive speed when it is not necessary, or caused a hazard for other road users, then they can be punished as equally as all other road users.

I don't believe it!
You ever seen London traffic when it's really bad? If they drove at normal speeds in that they'd never get to where they're meant to be going.

Speed is of the essence. Every second wasted could literally be the difference between life and death, maybe your life and death.

From what i believe even if the blue lights are on then cops can only run red lights speed etc if the traffic is flowing in a way that they can do it safely and responsibly but surely that is the reason the big blue lights and sirens are on right????

Because if they didn't have the right of way then many more people would die of things that kill or brain injure you quickly e.g. heart attacks where having the right of way means the difference between life and death.
The proportion of accidents involving emergency vehicles is tiny compared to ordinary drivers as they're trained specifically for the high speeds.

Because they are a emergency vehicle and you are to watch out for them and yield to them period. No debate that is the law.

ok i'll put it this way if you was having a heart attack and the nearest hospital was 10miles away and who was with you didn't no cpr only what the 911 operator told the person who was with you and your life is flashing before your eyes you would want them to get there fast. wonder if someone broke in your home wouldn't you want the police get there fast if the robber had you tied up minutes are golden to you in the bad scenario's isn't it but you have the right to ask q's if this is a answer web site PLUS IT'S THE LAW !!!!!!! YOU DON"T PULL OVER AND GET OUT THE WAY YOU'LL GO TO JAIL !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Picture this. You are in a car, the front foot well has crushed around your legs. You are bleeding and in pain, probably a few broken bones. The driver you are with is unconscious and you cam smell petrol and other cars are just going around and not stopping to help. Do you want the police, who will help control things, to dawdle? The firebrigade who will cut you from the wreckage and prevent you getting toasted doing 30mph. The ambulance that will have drugs to ease the pain and get you and the driver to much needed medical care, do you want them to take their time? I think not.

insert name here
just a guess but maybe they are attending an EMERGENCY
if a drug fueled, crazy rapist was on the loose outside you house weilding a gun would you want the police to sit in traffic and dawdle to the scene.
they have flashing lights and sirens to warn you they are travelling at speed!
as for causing accidents police are highly trained and occasionally it happens but very rarely.
so yes you are the only one worried about the speed of a police car travelling to do something important

Iv been in fire service driving 11 years
To clarify your point emergency vehicles do not have right of way.
But the road trafic act allows
1/treat a red light as give way (but must stop at red pelican crossing)
2/ Go wrong way around roundabout/keep left/right bollard
3/ leave engine running unattended
4/ exceed speed limit
5/ use hard shoulder
There are others,but can only do any of these if safe to do so.
They can and have been charged under road traffic act

They don't get right of way. They are permitted to break various traffic laws if it is safe to do so. For instance a fire engine on an emergency call may cross a red light, treating it as a "give way" instead, but only with the safety caveat.

Friendly Stranger..
Well as you stated, they have the right of way because they do have emergencies that may arise. I do agree with you on one thing. It is absurd for emergency vehicles to travel at speeds that are over the limit in normal situations. (Without emergency lights on) They do it just because they can. But here is what you must understand. The only time these vehicles have the right of way is when they have their lights flashing. When they do not have their lights on and they are driving as regular vehicles, they should be treated as any other driver. The lights are there to send a message to other drivers to get out of the way. That is the only time they have the right of way, because the lights indicated an actual emergency. Otherwise you should treat them like any other driver and still follow the laws in place as it relates to driving safely.

Edit: And they must increase their speed in emergency situations to get to their destination on time. Every moment they use wastefully could be the difference between life and death.

Keith B
Perks of the job moron. Does the work emergency not mean anything to you???

Rapid Fire
What's to debate. You answered your own question in order to initiate a debate.

A practise which is illegal here. Read your YAHOO Terms of Service.

Ask a direct question


Answer a question.

Anything else is considered chatting and is not allowed.


The only safe entry for this type of message is to expand on the way some areas of the emergency services believe they can flaunt the rules... such as when they know that the incident they are attending is not as serious as to warrant blue lights or sirens.
Going for the chips does not count, nor does dashing back for break-time or fore-warning crooks with a siren just so as trouble-some arrests might be cowardly avoided.
Life or death is a standalone Ideal with the public entered equally into the equation.

My own two brother-in-laws were crushed into a Woollies window in the late fourties by a fire-engine on a hoax call... I never got to meet them and my wife was so young she can barely recall their faces.

desert camel
well there are regs in place to ''stop'' and police chase if it gets to dangerous but the police rarely stop the chase...milton keens [according to tv prog] has only just started pursuing drivers again..they stoped doing it for a while but car thefts dramatically went up...i wonder why.

Agreed. A little girl was run down near where I live. Crossing on a zebra crossing none the less.

Guys, it's the speeds in which they go she has a problem with, as do I. Dangerous speeds kill.

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