Teach motorists what to do when they see an emergency vehicle

It seems that some motorists in Singapore do not know what to do when an emergency vehicle is behind them.

Instead of changing lanes immediately, they choose to speed up, hoping to "make space" for the emergency vehicle.

At traffic junctions, many vehicles do not give way, causing the emergency vehicle to have to stop, even though it has the right of way.

Motorists should change lanes when the emergency vehicle is far behind, so that it has free passage and does not need to slow down.

Vehicles in adjacent lanes should make space to allow obstructing cars to move into the lane.

In many other countries, when motorists hear sirens or notice emergency vehicles, they would move their vehicles to the roadside or stop, to allow the emergency vehicle to pass quickly.

Every second saved by the emergency vehicle could increase the chance of survival for the patient or success in its mission.

We should have similar practices, if possible.

I hope the Traffic Police can conduct some public education for motorists on what to do when there is an emergency vehicle around.

Every second saved by the emergency vehicle could increase the chance of survival for the patient or success in its mission.

Ong Keow Meng

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 19, 2017, with the headline 'Teach motorists what to do when they see an emergency vehicle'. Print Edition | Subscribe