Archived Story

Emergency vehicles rule the road

Published 5:59am Saturday, February 4, 2012

Excuse me while I go get my soapbox to stand on. Now, let me say this in perfectly clear English: emergency vehicles with lights on and/or sirens sounding ALWAYS have the right of way. No questions here, it’s a fact.

I was coming back from grabbing lunch yesterday headed down Highway 43 south. I got to the intersection with Michael’s and CVS when I had to stop at the traffic light. I heard a siren coming my way, and I checked all of my mirrors to make sure it wasn’t coming from behind me.

It turns out that it was an ambulance headed northbound up 43. The vehicle hit the turn lane of that intersection, but I was unsure if it was turning or just avoiding traffic to continue north. Either way, my appropriate response was an easy one: sit still.

Before the ambulance could cross the highway the light at the intersection changed to green.

This doesn’t matter in this situation. All drivers are supposed to clear the way and sit still until it passes.

This was too difficult a concept for the two vehicles ahead of me at the light. The light turned green, and off they went.

First, you both just broke the law.

Second, you just impeded an emergency vehicle on the way to help someone who may be in bad shape in order to save 10 seconds of your “precious” time.

Anyone who holds up an emergency vehicle ought to be ashamed of themself.

I understand that you have nothing to do with the accident, but imagine if someone you know or love has been in a wreck. This person is lying on the side of the road dying, and you see two vehicles blow through an intersection and cut off an ambulance because the drivers can’t wait a minute.

What would you think then?

I have been in an ambulance before, and not on a pleasure cruise either. I was in an automobile accident in Muscle Shoals, and the ambulance was transporting a 15-year-old kid who was in the van that pulled out in front of me and myself to Helen Keller Memorial Hospital.

I have firsthand experience what it’s like to be hurt and riding in an ambulance on the way to seek treatment.

By the grace of God no one involved was in any life-threatening shape, but it gave me a lot of insight as to why people SHOULD NOT get in the way of emergency vehicles.


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