What to do when following an emergency vehicle?

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neonaiken
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What to do when following an emergency vehicle?

by: neonaiken on
Sun Sep 08, 2019 2:27 pm

Hi guys, a rather new driver in Ontario here,
so this question bothered me since the other day a police car was driving in front of me with his sirens and lights on. Under the Ontario traffic law, what's the right way to react to this situation? I searched online but all of the topics are on what to do when an emergency vehicle is behind you.

Put it into an example, if an ambulance with lights on in front of me, can I follow it (with saving distance and speed of course) and drive like normal?

Thanks
bend
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by: bend on
Sun Sep 08, 2019 7:59 pm

Lots of people might think this is an easy question to answer, yet tons of official Ontario government websites and associations will give you different answers. So it's a good question.

Example, the Ministry of Transportation says "... it's illegal to follow a fire vehicle or ambulance responding to a call, within 150 metres."

The Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police say "...remember it is illegal to follow within 150 metres of an emergency vehicle."

As far as I can tell, following restrictions only apply to fire department vehicles. The Highway Traffic Act states:
Following fire department vehicle
(4) No driver of a vehicle shall follow in any lane of a roadway at a distance of less than 150 metres a fire department vehicle responding to an alarm.
It doesn't list any restrictions for any other emergency vehicle.

So proceed normally as long as it's safe to do so. Also, there's some common sense involved.
neonaiken
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by: neonaiken on
Mon Sep 09, 2019 12:52 pm

bend wrote:
Sun Sep 08, 2019 7:59 pm
Lots of people might think this is an easy question to answer, yet tons of official Ontario government websites and associations will give you different answers. So it's a good question.

Example, the Ministry of Transportation says "... it's illegal to follow a fire vehicle or ambulance responding to a call, within 150 metres."

The Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police say "...remember it is illegal to follow within 150 metres of an emergency vehicle."

As far as I can tell, following restrictions only apply to fire department vehicles. The Highway Traffic Act states:
Following fire department vehicle
(4) No driver of a vehicle shall follow in any lane of a roadway at a distance of less than 150 metres a fire department vehicle responding to an alarm.
It doesn't list any restrictions for any other emergency vehicle.

So proceed normally as long as it's safe to do so. Also, there's some common sense involved.
Got it, thanks bend!
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