Emergency Vehicles

Information related to emergency vehicles and their operation.

Q&A - Slow Down, Move Over Ticket

Q&A ImageI was caught by surprise, and although I realize ignorance of a law is no defence, I wonder how I might have known about this change in BC traffic law.  I had moved away from BC in 2001, not returning until 2012.  When I returned to BC in 2012, I was given a BC drivers licence again, but no info about any changes in traffic regulations which had happened while I was away.  Apparently in 2009 or so, MVA Regulation

Q&A - Emergency Equipment for Volunteer Firefighters

Q&A ImageJust wondering what "discharge of a members duties" means? Also I'm wondering why BC doesn't have a flashing light policy for Volunteer Firefighters? There are quite a few volunteer halls here in Victoria that would benefit in response times if they could utilize flashing lights and possibly even sirens.

Q&A - Code 3 Driving Question

ambulanceWithin the BCEHS (bc ambulance service) our communications system has become staffed with new, non medically trained personell that use a computer system to triage calls. Due to many reasons we're being sent "code 3" (emergency driving mode) for calls that are at times ludicrous.

CASE LAW - R v Kaiser

BC Courts Coat of ArmsRichard Kaiser was ticketed for failing to slow while passing a police car while that car’s emergency lights were activated. He disputed that ticket on two grounds, the regulation offended the Charter by being too vague and that the officer was merely making notes concerning a previous violator at the time and so had entrapped Mr. Kaiser. Judge Takahashi convicted Mr. Kaiser.

CASE LAW - Singh v British Columbia

BC Courts Coat of ArmsOn September 12, 2007, the plaintiff, Mr. Prem Singh, was travelling northbound on Scott Road (also known as 120th Street) in Surrey, B.C.  Mr. Singh approached the intersection at 96th Avenue. The traffic light was green for Mr. Singh.  As Mr. Singh went through the intersection, he hit a westbound RCMP vehicle driven by Constable Kerri Parrish who was responding to an emergency call of a man with a knife threatening to stab a child.

Keep Back 150 Meters from Fire Apparatus

Fire TruckFire apparatus have a special privilege granted to no other emergency vehicle in British Columbia. You must not follow them within 150 meters or 500 feet unless you are also driving an emergency vehicle. Having never been a firefighter I was curious and thought that I would ask the experts and find out why this rule exists.

Expect the Unexpected from Police Vehicles

Police VehicleI used to smile when I saw closely spaced traffic, a large gap, a police vehicle, another large gap and finally more closely spaced traffic. Everyone is afraid of the cop I thought. Having spent 25 years driving a marked police vehicle I recognize both that I rarely see this anymore and that it was a wise thing to do. Police vehicles often make unexpected starts, stops and turns.

Official Vehicles: The Tow Truck

Tow TruckThe tow truck is a bit of an orphan when it comes to being an "official vehicle" as defined in our slow down, move over laws. Drivers happening across a tow truck working at the side of the highway must slow down and move over if possible just as they would for an overtaken police vehicle, fire apparatus or ambulance. The latter three types of vehicle are easily identified by the colour of their flashing lights but the tow truck blends in with all the other flashing yellow light equipped vehicles on our highways.

Slow Down, Move Over Revisited

slow down move overNot much has changed since this law dictated what drivers passing emergency vehicles on the shoulder of the road must do in 2009. Drivers still fail to slow down and move over when possible, putting the safety of emergency workers at unnecessary risk. Our provincial Learn to Drive Smart guide speaks of the See, Think, Do method, and that's exactly what is needed in these situations.

Q&A - Stopping for Emergency Vehicles

Q&A ImageQUESTION: When driving I noticed a police car with flashing light following the vehicle that was following me. I pulled over - the car behind me went by followed by the police vehicle - who put on his siren on a little ways up the street. Was I right by pulling over for flashing lights. My husband says I should have kept driving until the police used the siren.... who is right?

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