Saturday, August 16, 2008

Traffic Law & Safety

Even though I have a number of stories to tell, I've been resisting the urge to dive into my war chest. For this blog, I'm trying to limit myself to things that have just happened to me during my recent shifts. This means it'll probably be a rant, but then there isn't much about that I can do.

For today's anecdote, I have chosen the topic of family members following emergency vehicles. From a traffic law stand point, just because someone that you are related to is in back of a rig, this doesn't give you this right to blow through traffic control devices and cut people off. You would think that this would be obvious but I can't tell you how many times I'll look in the side view mirror and see a car with its four ways on, tailing me and cutting through lights. Hell, last month I had a family cut between my trailing ALS intercept unit, almost hitting them!

I know that you need to be by your family member but really, this is unsafe and just stupid. There is nothing more that you can do for them. Any information that the hospital needs will either be obtained by us or can be acquired after you get there. Not to mention that after you arrive all you'll be doing is sitting in the waiting room until they come to get your insurance information.

Driving emergency vehicles for as long as I have, I can tell you that it's hard enough having people see us with all of the lights on and the sirens blaring. Try getting cut off by a little black car with its four ways on. And I wouldn't even mention what will happen if the cops catch you.

In the end, just use your head and take your time. I know your first reaction is to be near your loved one. If that's the case leave the car and take a ride with us.

1 comment:

snowmedic said...

I appreciate this thinking. There is such a thing as poetic justice, though. One time I had a guy who was obstinately refusing to get out of the left lane then paralleled me in the right lane. I happened to pass a city cop and pointed at the car thinking then, "whta exactly did I think that would accomplish?" Coming back from a dry run I saw the officer had him pulled over. He told me later, "it seemed you were pissed so I pulled him over. he copped to failure to yield and had no driver's license!"