Emergency workers on the roadside? Slow down and move the hell over!

I understand and accept that being a firefighter is a dangerous profession, but this scenario just makes my blood boil.

It’s four o’clock in the morning. Fire apparatus is sitting there, on the interstate, lights flashing, and traffic cones are deployed. The striking vehicle isn’t some drunken meathead or a kid who recently got his license, but a Greyhound bus driver-one whom I’d presume to be a professional, one who holds a CDL.

None of the news articles I’ve read indicate why the driver failed to obey the Illinois law requiring vehicles to slow and move at least one lane away from emergency workers. Pennsylvania finally enacted a similar statute this year, and I still see clueless people whizzing past police and tow trucks, affording them only a few feet of safety.

If you’re a person who slows, and moves, thank you. If not, wake the fuck up, put down your cell phone, sammitch, or what-fucking-ever, and pay attention to emergency workers.

That’s heartbreaking. :frowning:

We had a young emergency responder who was killed a couple of years ago here on I-55 … working an accident, and some yahoo who wasn’t paying attention cut him down. This was a young man who was following in his Daddy’s footsteps as an emergency responder, just was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

I don’t get people. Are you that late? That busy with your self? Do you not know that you are in command of several hundreds (sometimes thousands) of pounds of metal with a forceful momentum?


Mississippi recently enacted one of those ‘duty to yield to emergency vehicles’ laws. For the life of me, I don’t know why we had to. Grrrrrrrrrrrr.

I hope we’re not limiting this to just emergency workers? I try to move over if I can for anybody that could be in harms way of my vehicle.

Huh. I’d never heard about that law here. Still, though, it only seems like common sense. I always do it - usually it’s a case of a police cruiser having pulled someone over well onto the shoulder, but still, better safe than sorry.

Most people I’ve seen (at least in the Harrisburg area) seem to do it, too.

It seems to me that being alert and slowing down would be of much greater benefit than trying to do change lanes on short notice while every car behind you is doing the same thing. That is more likely to result in an accident that might involve the emergency workers. Sounds like a dumb law.

I think that really depends on the volume of traffic. If you physically can’t get into the left lane, then there’s not much else you can do besides getting as close as safely possible to the left lane.

OTOH, if you are forced to pull over, either by the cops or a mechanical emergency, do everyone a favor and GET THE FUCK OFF OF THE ROAD…oh yeah, and be aware of passing traffic when you enter/exit your vehicle. Seems like common sense, but I’ve seen a number of people on the shoulder within a foot or two of the dividing line, so close that when the cops park to try to ‘protect’ that vehicle, the front bumber of their cruiser is actually in the roaway.

A couple of months ago I had to make an emergency lane change when a woman suddenly pulled off in front of me; as soon as her SUV had stopped, she got out abruptly, swinging a door open and stepping out within inches of traffic. I was able to avoid any sort of accident, but it burns me up that, had traffic been any heavier, I could have been up for manslaughter charges because of her fucking stupidity (not to mention the psychological trauma that comes with having killed someone). Oblivious people everywhere make this your mantra; The shoulder of an interstate highway is not the fucking parking lot at your local Wal-mart.

Whenever there are vehicles on the side of the highway, it’s like a magnet for the reckless and stupid fucktards. They drive TOWARDS instead of away from. Like some invisible fucking force is pulling their steering wheel, fucking morons.

Many,many times in my nursing career, I’ve seen victims of the “hit at the side of the road”. Mostly poor souls just trying to change a tire.

This sucks that a young guy was senselessly killed for no other reason than one driver’s carelessness. Pay attention assholes!

Obviously, if you can’t change lanes safely, then don’t. Slow down, and be aware of your surroundings. Don’t just change lanes without looking - if there’s no one else around, then get the hell over and out of the way.
It’s not a dumb law. It’s designed to save lives.

Too many people are dazzled by the pretty lights and big trucks, and the sense of, “I need to see what’s going on!” and don’t pay attention to the road and other vehicles around them.
Part of Emergency Vehicle Operations (EVO) training is knowing how and where to park the vehicle so as to block the scene from oncoming traffic, so the emergency workers and victims are safe.

Which is what the law requires. If a lane change is not permissible owing to traffic volume, you’re expected to slow down.

PSP press release here.

The law in Ohio states that you need to move over one lane from any emergency vehicle with flashing lights or slow to 10 mph below the posted speed limit.

One of my cops got hit by a car a couple of weeks ago. Ironically, he was on the scene of a vehicle vs. pedestrian accident trying to help the pedestrian when some stupid bitch who was D.W.H.U.A* plowed into him.

Fortunately all he suffered was a broken leg and various bumps and bruises. The pedestrian got off with minor injuries, as well. But, DAMN, people, those bright flashy lights are visible from WAAAAY back, pay some fucking attention already!

[sub]*Driving With Head Up Ass[/sub]

May I put in a plug for the folks out there for other reasons, too? When you see orange cones, “utility work ahead” signs, reflective vests…please don’t gawk around to see what we are doing. For HEAVEN’s sake, don’t stop and ask us for directions! (happens at least once a day.) Just drive like you were taught to - the way you managed to pass your driver’s test. That is all I ask.

Thank you.

Right you are. I had already been driving an ambulance for roughly 4 years when I had to become EVOC. Learned a LOT that I wish I’d been told before I was put behind the wheel. Most of it was just that- vehicle placement. How to be in and around traffic and other emergency vehicles.

What a horrible accident. Moving to the left is the first option. Lacking that, slow down in the right lane and as best as you can, work to the left side of your lane without crossing lanes, of course. Keep a sharp eye out on the vehicles as you move past them.

I swear. Aside from being involved in Sept. 11th, doing M.V.A. calls was hands down the most difficult part of being an E.M.T.

Cartooniverse, NYS EMT (Ret.)

No, sorry, I’m not going to slip you a 50.