Step aside! There’s an Emergency!

What to do when you hear sirens.

Firetruck in car mirror

Step aside! There’s an emergency!

Each day emergency responders across our province rely on drivers to follow the rules of the road. In a situation where every second counts, and when medical care is often being performed in the back of an aipambulance, emergency vehicles need you to know what to do if you are driving and you hear sirens.

Let’s take a moment to go through what you should do.

Rules of the Road

According to the Alberta Traffic Safety Act, when an emergency vehicle is approaching you from any direction and is sounding a siren, you must yield the right-of-way. This means that you must:

  • Immediately move clear of any intersection
  • Drive your vehicle to the right side of the road if it has one or two lanes
  • Drive your vehicle to the nearest side of the road if it has three or more lanes. If you are in the centre lane, drive to the right side
  • Stop until the emergency vehicle has passed
  • Check that no other emergency vehicles are approaching

In addition, do not follow within 150 metres of any emergency vehicle that has its siren or lights operating.

If you see a vehicle with flashing green lights, treat it like any other emergency vehicle. In some municipalities, volunteer firefighters use flashing green lights on their emergency response vehicles when responding to a fire or other emergencies.

Remembering to take these steps helps emergency responders do their jobs!