Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Red...Blue...Red...Blue...

People, when you see the police car behind you with the pretty red and blue lights flashing and the siren blaring away, please, for the love of God, MOVE TO THE RIGHT! Do NOT stop in the middle of the road. DON'T pull to the left. Pull your car as far to the right as you safely can, and STOP! Not only is it the law, it'll keep you from really pissing that cop off.

I cannot tell you how many times I've been on a Code 3 run and had car after car stop right in front of me. I can however tell you that there are some choice words uttered within my patrol car when that happens. Yes, I am human too.

19 comments:

TheBronze said...

I had an old lady completely stop in front of me, in the #1 lane of I-80 one time.

Idiots.

911 and the Randomness.. said...

That's why in car recording is fun to listen to later!

WVmedicgirl said...

well if it makes you feel any better, people get just as confused when a big box truck with red and white lihgts and sirens come up behind them as well....and I guaruntee the medical persons let out a choice word or two as well.

Front Porch Society said...

I think I have done more than just mumble a few choice words before. I have gestured quite adamantly at some morons who refused to get out the way before! It's like people forget how to drive as soon as they see/hear the squad cars running with lights & sirens.

DJMooreTX said...

This is my regular practice, but there have been a couple of times when it was simply not possible to pull over -- narrow road, and the opposite lane filled with traffic.

Being morally certain those blue and reds are not flashing for me, I put my emergency flashers on, to acknowledge the situation, and continued to drive at the speed limit until there was space to pull over. I was passed at the earliest opportunity, and not ticketed, but is that the best thing to do?

Alex said...

If traffic is too slow/heavy to move to the right, then just stopping is the correct action, right?

I was on the highway once when a CHP came blaring up the left median, probably responding to the accident that caused the traffic jam I was stuck in. I was only able to move about a foot to the right.

By the way, since I know the media doesn't present an accurate picture of much of anything, about how often do you have to go code 3?

P. said...

Ha! At least people try to get out of your way, most of the time. Don't even think of working in NYC or the NYC metro area.

HonkingAntelope said...

I think a lot of people just reflexively slam on the brakes whenever they spot a police car - let alone one 3 inches off their bumpers with every single light turned on. Unfortunately, some people overdo it and come to a complete/near-complete stop in the middle of the road.

Embarrassingly enough, I did the exact same thing the very first time I saw the pretty flashing lights in my mirror. Suffice to say, the CHP trooper was not all happy when he asked "what the hell was that all about?" and then told me I came to a complete stop in the slow lane on the freeway with other traffic going ~70-80mph.

Thankfully, I got a lot better at it after 10+ traffic stops and have the procedure down cold, now! O:)

*Goddess* said...

In our defense, we panic!

Mad Jack said...

Sure, I'll pull over. Just see what can be done about traffic in the right lane allowing me a little room to slide in. Then, after you and your authority have passed, there are always one to three jerks that will throw the hammer down and try passing a string of cars before everyone can resume driving.

One thing that puzzles me is this: Since you have a camera mounted on the dash, can't drivers who refuse to yield be mailed a traffic ticket? Sort of like the red light camera.

the observer said...

EMS says "amen." This big boxy truck is not exactly nimble on its feet...

Drivers have such poor situational awareness these days that when an emergency vehicle in full blink-blink and woo-woo mode comes up from behind they are completely surprised and just stop dead in their tracks.

Myself,when I see lights and hear sirens, I start looking around, first for the EV and second, for a safe place to pull over if I need to.

Moose said...

On the one hand, I think some people see the flashies and just plain panic, causing their brain to grind to halt and then their car. Not good, but stupidity happens.

On the other hand, if I had a *penny* for every car I've seen that has refused to move over for an emergency vehicle of any kind, I'd be a zillionaire. A very, very angry zillionaire. I'm not an official, so there's nothing I can do for these jerks. Except hope that one day their life is impacted because some other jerk didn't get out of the way of a critically needed emergency vehicle.

Grrr.

Beat And Release said...

I would prefer we went to the model used by the Germans. Upon the approach of a police on a two lane road, vehicles in each lane pull to the right and the cruiser shoots up the center line. When more than one travels in the same direction, those on the right pull to the right, those on the left to the left, and emergency vehicle shoots up the middle. It's much more effective.

Flying Tiger said...

Hah hah! I hear you on the choice comments. These comments are often reviewed and laughed at on our dash-cams at the end of shift.

Mama Mia said...

I have the same problem when I am driving my ambulance. Makes me totally mental!!

Officer "Smith" said...

Today I was running code to a collision and I nearly got too familiar with a Toyota Camry whose driver LOCKED UP HER BRAKES and skidded to a stop in the left lane right in front of me.

Nothing changes.

Officer "Smith" said...

Jack,

First, I don't have a dash cam.

Second, if I did, it would be looking at the BACK of the car ahead of me and wouldn't be able to identify the driver. The driver's identity is a necessity in court.

Mad Jack said...

Well... that just isn't right. You should have a dash along with several more cameras mounted on the roof for full 360 degree camera coverage. Then, when these idiots fail to yield the right of way or do other stupid things they can be arrested, fined and even jailed. Equip all police cars this way, and within a month or two I'll bet you'll begin seeing a remarkably empty lane when you come through with the lights and siren on.

Revenue from the moving violations could pay for the equipment. After that, any additional revenue could be used to help the department with salaries and so forth. Besides that, think of all the unsafe drivers that will eventually be off the road.

This is starting to sound like a real winner to me, Officer Smith. I bet I could see this one to city council.

Officer "Smith" said...

Well, Jack, if you can figure out where Smithville is, I'd like to see you try it with our city council.

Only problem is, I can't tell you where Smithville is...