The Beaverlodge Fire Department is reminding drivers to pull over when they see the flashing lights. On November 12th, Chief Stan Metcalfe says crews from the department were responding to a call on Highway 43 and encountered a number of vehicles that refused to move over or stop.
He says that can really prevent them from helping people when time is of the essence.
“They’re probably having what’s maybe the worst day of their life and they shouldn’t be unduly delayed because either somebody’s unaware or just fails to yield the right of way to an emergency vehicle.”
In his experience when people don’t pull over, he says it’s usually that they don’t know they need to, they panic or they just aren’t paying attention to their surroundings.
He adds that clearing the way for a fire truck isn’t just common courtesy, it’s also the law.
“It’s not just pulling over and stopping for a police car; that law includes all emergency vehicles whether it’s a fire truck, an ambulance or a police cruiser. You are to pull over to the side of the road and then actually stop and allow that emergency vehicle to pass.”
Metcalfe says people should also stay back at least 150 metres from a fire truck with its lights and sirens on, especially when the weather is bad.
“That’s another one we encounter in adverse weather conditions; maybe we’re lights and sirens but we’re only doing 105 kilometres an hour on a double lane highway because weather conditions don’t allow us and we will have people pass us. That’s not a lawful thing to do.”
According to the Alberta Traffic Safety Act, if the road a person is driving on has one or two lanes, they have to pull over to the right side. If the road has three lanes or more, drivers have to move to the nearest side of the road.