Emergency Vehicles

Information related to emergency vehicles and their operation.

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.

NEWS - Slow Down, Move Over on Shaw TV Victoria

video iconThis video from Shaw TV on Southern Vancouver Island follows the Capital Regional District's Integrated Road Safety Unit and highlights the difficulties the officers face from drivers who do not slow down or move over when passing stopped emergency vehicles. Also discussed is lack of information for drivers and the fact that the rules must be repeated publicly and often in order to have drivers comply.

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.

VIDEO - BC's Slow Down, Move Over Law

video icon"Slow Down, Move Over" legislation was added to the BC Motor Vehicle Act in 2009. With more than 400 roadside workers injured or killed in BC since 2001 --this law is essential in helping to protect the professionals who risk their lives to assist us when we need help. This video was produced by the Office of the Superintendent of Motor Vehicles in British Columbia.

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.

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