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See us, pull over: police

Monday, 24th July, 2017

Highway Patrol Officer, Constable Matt Whitelum.  Highway Patrol Officer, Constable Matt Whitelum. 

If an emergency vehicle is behind you on the road, flashing its lights or sounding its siren, it has long been the custom to pull over to the side of the road.

It’s pretty simple advice, but it is one that locals seem to have forgotten, according to Highway Patrol Officer Constable Matt Whitelum.

Const. Whitelum said he was attending a house fire during the week and turned the lights on the highway patrol car.

“I had to get there in a hurry,” he said.”I turned my lights on and a lot of cars were not pulling over.

“Once I attended the scene, I spoke with the general duties police officers and they said they were having the same problem.”

Const. Whitelum said if an emergency vehicle has its lights or sirens on, cars must pull over.

“In general, when we respond to urgent jobs sometimes we will use lights and other times we will use lights and sirens,” he said.

“I don’t know if people realise but they can pull over in a no-stopping or no-parking zone if there is an emergency vehicle behind you.

“I don’t know if they don’t understand or they don’t realise when an emergency vehicle is behind them.”

He also said if you see an emergency vehicle coming towards you on the other side of the road, you should pull over as well.

“When I am in my private car and I see an emergency vehicle, I pull over to give them space.

“You don’t know if they might need to go onto the other side of the road.

“It’s really frustrating when you are trying to get to an urgent job and cars won’t pull over.”

Const. Whitelum said it was important for drivers to be alert.

“You won’t get in trouble if you pull over into a no-stop or no-park area as long as it is safe to do so.

“It is important to let emergencies vehicles proceed around you when they need to attend an accident.”

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