Tuesday, June 16, 2009

don't make me give you the finger

I am not sure why it isn't a mandatory question on each and every driver's written exams what to do when you see or hear an emergency vehicle running lights and sirens. From my observations most drivers do this:

They speed up. Uh... you're not supposed to drive faster than us. Unless you have 2000 litres of water and 800 feet of hose in your car, let us get there first.
They slow waaaaaaaaaaaay down so the firetruck is boxed in. Seconds count in heart attacks and emergencies folks.
They don't move at all. Yes. I just love gridlock. And the person whose house is on fire I am sure just loves the delay.
They suddenly brake. Kinda dangerous don't you think?
They follow right behind you thinking they have an open and free lane with a 'pace vehicle'.

And when we're pulled over on the shoulder of a road or a highway, please please please dear drivers don't rubberneck. It causes traffic jams for the commuters and delayed response for the other emergency vehicles such as the ambulance to arrive. And rubbernecking is just plain rude... would you like people to stare at you when you are in an accident? Besides, dear drivers, you should be looking where you are going when you drive. Oh.. and those big bright orange cone things we put out beside the scene... those are called PYLONS. Please don't run over them. And that big big red shiny truck with the red lights flashing. Please please do not run into the back or side of it. Believe me, it has happened. Give us a full lane to work. It might be you one day who needs some help so please give some consideration.

Children in kindergarten already know how to stop, drop and roll. So dear drivers, when an emergency vehicle is running lights and sirens to a call is it too much to remember to pull over to the right and stop? And if you can't, pull over to the left. Make sure you signal. You can even throw your hazard lights on for fun. I have been close to giving the old one finger salute trying to get to a call but I don't because that of course isn't very professional and I was raised me better than that.

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