Emergency vehicles

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viper1
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Emergency vehicles

Unread post by viper1 »

I have driven about 4,000,000 kilometers in the last 40 years (motorcycle/car/van/semi)

The other day entering the 401 from salem road. I saw 3 OPP vehicles. (1 van type and 2 fords with big v8)
sitting at the top.(ready for something).(staging as I call it)

At that point you get up to speed at about Lakeridge road.

I just got to 100KPH then hear sirens.

I check mirrors nothing visible.
I take foot off gas pedal and continue.

I hear siren again but much louder.
Again the mirror check.(nothing)

Next I hear their siren next to my door on the shoulder.As they sped by at at least 200 kph.

It shook me up as my first intention was to pull over.

I am sure that they scared a few others as they merged and got to the outside shoulder just after that and flew off to where-ever they were going.(3 extra cops in the last car/back seat)

This is the first time in 40 years to see them do this.(pass on the right at double the speed)
I have 3 different answers from pals but I am interested to see what others on this forum think is what to do in this case.

The cops where excellent drivers and nothing happened except shaken nerves.
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Simon Borys
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Re: Emergency vehicles

Unread post by Simon Borys »

Passing on the right is VERY dangerous. They teach you at police college never to do it, but they hardly need to say that for obvious reasons: everybody is taught to move over to the right for emergency vehicles. That being said, my opinion is that the only thing likely to make officers drive that fast and dangerously (unthinkingly perhaps?) is that they were going to assist another officer in distress. Not much else would have made me put my safety/life in jeopardy except to help another officer.
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viper1
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Re: Emergency vehicles

Unread post by viper1 »

Simon Borys wrote:Passing on the right is VERY dangerous. They teach you at police college never to do it, but they hardly need to say that for obvious reasons: everybody is taught to move over to the right for emergency vehicles. That being said, my opinion is that the only thing likely to make officers drive that fast and dangerously (unthinkingly perhaps?) is that they were going to assist another officer in distress. Not much else would have made me put my safety/life in jeopardy except to help another officer.
I have seen a lot of staged set-ups.This was one.(no disputing that)
I am curious what is the correct response on my part?
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Stanton
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Re: Emergency vehicles

Unread post by Stanton »

It seems like a lot of people really don't know what to do when they see an emergency vehicle with its lights and sirens on. Some are oblivious and just keep driving, some panic and lock up the brakes and some actually pull over and yield right of way. It seems faster sometimes just leave the lights off rather then wait for the gridlock to clear as everyone figures out what to do.

Case and point was about six months ago. I was on the 401 westbound near Trafalgar Road and all three lanes were stopped due to an accident. I was sitting in the left lane for about 10 minutes when two OPP cruisers and an ambulance passed me lights and sirens on the left shoulder. About 10 minutes later I started noticing all the cars behind pulling off to the shoulder. Eventually I could see another OPP cruiser approaching in the left lane. I know legally he was in the right getting everyone to pull off for him, but I couldn't help but think it would have been a lot faster to use the shoulder. It was wide, clear and paved and obviously a lot faster then trying to get several kilometers worth of stopped cars to pull out of your way.


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Simon Borys
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Re: Emergency vehicles

Unread post by Simon Borys »

In response to Viper: The staging could have been because someone up ahead was going to do a high risk takedown or something like that...who knows. You're correct response whenever an emergency vehicle is approaching is to move to the right, hence the reason why it's so dangerous to pass on the right. I would know what else to suggest you could do in a situation like this, except obviously don't move over to the right if they're currently passing you on that side. In that case I'd probably just hold your course and speed steady.

Also, I totally agree with Stanton from personal experience. Sometimes it's easier to leave the lights and sirens off and just drive. By the time people are aware enough of your presence to do something dumb or unexpected, you're already past them.
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Decatur
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Re: Emergency vehicles

Unread post by Decatur »

The correct response on a multi-lane highway is to pull over to the nearest edge of the roadway.

159. (1) The driver of a vehicle, upon the approach of a police department vehicle with its bell or siren sounding or with its lamp producing intermittent flashes of red light or red and blue light, or upon the approach of an ambulance, fire department vehicle or public utility emergency vehicle with its bell or siren sounding or its lamp producing intermittent flashes of red light, shall immediately bring such vehicle to a standstill,
(a) as near as is practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway and parallel therewith and clear of any intersection; or
(b) when on a roadway having more than two lanes for traffic and designated for the use of one-way traffic, as near as is practicable to the nearest curb or edge of the roadway and parallel therewith and clear of any intersection.

I do agree with Simon though, the Ontario Police College does teach officers to drive in the left lane and have everyone move out of your way.


viper1
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Re: Emergency vehicles

Unread post by viper1 »

Decatur wrote:The correct response on a multi-lane highway is to pull over to the nearest edge of the roadway.

159. (1) The driver of a vehicle, upon the approach of a police department vehicle with its bell or siren sounding or with its lamp producing intermittent flashes of red light or red and blue light, or upon the approach of an ambulance, fire department vehicle or public utility emergency vehicle with its bell or siren sounding or its lamp producing intermittent flashes of red light, shall immediately bring such vehicle to a standstill,
(a) as near as is practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway and parallel therewith and clear of any intersection; or
(b) when on a roadway having more than two lanes for traffic and designated for the use of one-way traffic, as near as is practicable to the nearest curb or edge of the roadway and parallel therewith and clear of any intersection.

I do agree with Simon though, the Ontario Police College does teach officers to drive in the left lane and have everyone move out of your way.
If I did your idea I would at least be in a hospital along with the cops.

It seems not many people know the correct response.

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viper1
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Re: Emergency vehicles

Unread post by viper1 »

Some said slow down like I did.
Some said keep the same speed.
And some said pull right (fatal here)

I think slow-down and stay in lane is best.

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hwybear
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Re: Emergency vehicles

Unread post by hwybear »

200km/hr would not be accurate. Even with a pursuit rated front line marked cruiser, they barely get to a speed of that on a wide open flat area.
The 2nd vehicles being the big Ford, sounds like a pickup /SUV. I know those all have the normal factory speed govenor on them, each that I have driven is about 150ish govenor and that is it.

Have to take in the totality of the situation of what they were responding to. Were they able to merge across however many lanes at that point to get to the "fast" lane or was congestion enough that they had to go down the shoulder. If congestion is heavy enough those vehicles just dont have really anywhere to go, whereas the shoulder would be completely open.

Now talk about lack of move over......I am currently working up north on a 2 lane highway in cottage country. I have had to respond to priority calls (weapons, officer needs assistance, 911 calls with yelling, serious collisions etc..) several times.
I am completely disappointed in the lack of attention or whatever you want to call it (i do have choice words for them) for those that won't move over and stop.
The most visible to oncoming traffic, maybe 50% pull over the rest just keep on driving
Coming up from behind, they do not move over, then when they decide, they figure slowing down, riding half on road, half on shoulder is OK, so then they end up stopping partially on the road. Of course I can not go around b/c the previous sentence the oncoming cars do not move over either.

Then even worse is "stopped" traffic.....drivers just have to pull out of their lane or "nose out" b/c "they" just have to "see" down the road to see what is going on, thus blocking shoulders and emergency response......then you get those that just have to "get out" of their vehicles and stand on the highway to "see", which they can't anyway.
Above is merely a suggestion/thought and in no way constitutes legal advice or views of my employer. www.OHTA.ca


viper1
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Re: Emergency vehicles

Unread post by viper1 »

I just said what happened in my first post.
As to why your car won,t top 150 kph it is in the chip on your car cpu.(some OPP do have cars with HP chip).
My question was ""what is my best response?""

If it was a 10:33 then why would they be staging at that spot?

I appreciate your response Hwybear

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ditchMD
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Re: Emergency vehicles

Unread post by ditchMD »

I wish that the HTA would direct drivers to always move right, regardless if on a 2, 4, or 6 lane road. When driving code 4 (lights/siren), we always use the left lane unless blocked by stopped traffic. When drivers move left on multi-lane roadways, I find myself stuck behind them because 1) there is no left shoulder; 2) drivers to my right continue on so I can't change lanes in safety; and 3) I am now honking at this driver because he occupies the only lane that was free.

Case in point: Last Tuesday we were going for an unconscious (read: sleeping on park bench, but nobody thought of attempting to rouse him before calling us). Fire is tiered. We arrive at an intersection on an urban 4 lane road with a left and a right turning lane. Cross traffic has the gree. All lanes, except the left turn lane, are occupied. Driver of big, shiny red truck decides to push traffic waiting in the right turn lane. Driving medic opts to use empty left turn lane to access intersection and turn right. Upon seeing shiny truck push traffic, one driver decides to go into the left turn lane and cut off EMS. This resulted in a spontaneous brake test. Firefighters give medics "WTF u doin'?" look. Car driver confused.

Long story short, if at an intersection, STAY PUT! We will move around you.


On a side note, if you find yourself on an urban 4 lane road with a centre turning lane that is jam packed with Boxing Day shoppers, please look before pulling a U turn. Why? Because when I was driving down said turning lane with lights/siren, and you pulled that stunt, I left rubber on the road, my partner's nails punctured the armrest, and you were totally oblivious that my grill was a mere foot from your door. Lucky for you that it was a 2 tonne ambulance and not a shiny, red truck!


Stanton
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Re: Emergency vehicles

Unread post by Stanton »

I’ve always kind of liked when motorists pull to the nearest edge. On a busy multilane highway with no shoulder, I often find it easier to drive right down the middle lane. That way everyone can pull over to whichever side has more room. Sometimes if you stick to the left lane motorists can’t move over because the centre lane is too blocked. But on a highway with a paved shoulder, then it usually is just faster to use the shoulder. You just have to hope nobody cuts you off because they’re technically doing the right thing and pulling over to the nearest edge.


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hwybear
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Re: Emergency vehicles

Unread post by hwybear »

viper1 wrote: My question was ""what is my best response?""

If it was a 10:33 then why would they be staging at that spot?
In this case, sounds like the emergency vehicle is not directly behind you, I would stay put in the lane you are in.

Calls just do not happen at a particular time of day/night. Often we stage or set up at a location for a variety of reasons.
If more than one are headed to a location, sometimes we wait for the 2nd, 3rd, 4th unit and travel as a group, particularily in heavier traffic, easier for motorists to just move out of the way just once (rather than for each cruiser a minute apart), there is more lights visible to motorists to see. If there is more than one cruiser, it is an situation where 1 unit can not handle the incident themself and getting to the call without backup is not safe, so wait for backup and then go to the call as a group.
Above is merely a suggestion/thought and in no way constitutes legal advice or views of my employer. www.OHTA.ca


avsky
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Re: Emergency vehicles

Unread post by avsky »

This is exactly why when driving, you were taught to stay to the right of the road. That way, when there's an emergency or an emergency vehicle passing, you're not obstructed by or obstructing others.


viper1
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Re: Emergency vehicles

Unread post by viper1 »

avsky wrote:This is exactly why when driving, you were taught to stay to the right of the road. That way, when there's an emergency or an emergency vehicle passing, you're not obstructed by or obstructing others.
That is why I asked the question: They passed by me on the right shoulder at a very high rate of speed.
?read from start?

My first idea was to pull over to the right but I held steady.

As I said originally it ws the first time in 40 years I had seen the like of this.

It happened in a different way the other day but just one car responding to an accident. (2nd time in 40 years)


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Viper1




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