Sunday, August 24, 2008

Right of Way

One of the more interesting questions that I have heard asked over the years, and have certainly asked myself, was what happens when two emergency vehicles transporting "code 3" both attempt to enter the same intersection. In this scenario, who has the right of way? In eighteen years, sixteen of those driving, I have never come across this first hand until recently.

While transporting an ALS patient to an out of the way hospital, I was approaching a major intersection only a block away. Having the red signal, I sounded the appropriate amount of sirens and air horns to notify the oncoming traffic that my rig and the ALS intercept unit were calling for the right of way. Seeing that traffic had yielded, I proceeded forward but then out of the corner of my eye I saw it. The bright flash of a Type V heading into the same intersection!

Depressing the brake and now waiting to see what their next move would be, I was relieved to see that he stopped and let me continue. As both of our rigs, backed into the ambulance bay, I leaned over and told my compatriot from the other rig that I had a life long question answered just then. He gave me a look and asked what I was talking about. I said, what would happen when two rigs both came into the same intersection. He laughed and said he wasn't sure either, but that in his book the rig with ALS always had the right of way.

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