Author Topic: Lights & Sirens driving  (Read 18467 times)

Offline bajdas

  • Forum Captain
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,745
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Lights & Sirens driving
« on: August 19, 2007, 07:25:25 AM »
During the working week, I witnessed the following:

Station wagon, emergency services car with multi-lights on top active. Siren was active on a pulse sound. Approaching North Tce from King William St near the Festival Centre. Travelling in a southern direction. Single person in the car.

This was during a lunchtime, mid working week and the new tram tracks are being built in the area. Heavy traffic was at a stand-still on the corner of North Tce & King William St traffic lights.

I first saw the vehicle when it was on the outer lane (near median strip), wrong side of King William St travelling south. This was near the traffic lights at the Festival Centre.

Because the traffic lights were red, traffic was stopped across all four lanes (both sides) so the vehicle was blocked.

He turned into the turning gap in the median strip & waited for traffic to clear. The sirens & lights were left on.

Because of the lights & sirens (I assume), the traffic did not move when lights turned green. I assume because they did not know which way the emergency vehicle was going to go.

The emergency vehicle then moved to the parking/bus stop lane on the wrong side of the road. This was the only lane clear.

He then continued traveling south on the wrong side of King William St in the parking lane/bus stops, until he reached the intersection of North Tce & King William St.

He then turned right, heading down North Tce towards West Tce.

On North Tce he was on the wrong side of the road in the outer lane (near median strip).

Now my questions are:

1/ He was responding to a possible life threat incident. But is traveling in the parking lane on the wrong side of a four lane road (one side) in the city too dangerous ?

2/ With the city becoming more unfriendly to vehicles, is there a designated/recommended route for emergency vehicles to take to cross the city ? Or should there be ?

Can the vehicles travel on the tram tracks part of the road when they are finished ?

For background on question 2, I work in a city building on North Tce. Since the new tram tracks have been installed, emergency vehicles using lights/sirens have consistently been blocked by traffic while traveling on North Tce.

I assumed this would all be resolved when the construction works have been completed, but now I wonder !!!

Please note, that I am not a current designated P1 driver. I have driven lights/sirens many years ago and I am a current emergency service vehicle driver. But not P1.

Observations and comments are made not as a criticism, but for myself to learn more. Thus I am not mentioning the agency involved because it would not aid the discussion.

**personal observations only**
Andrew Macmichael
lives at Pt Noarlunga South.

My personal opinion only.

Offline Robert-Robert34

  • Forum Captain
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,429
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Lights & Sirens driving
« Reply #1 on: August 19, 2007, 08:15:40 AM »
Judging by the way you described this station wagon it must have been an SAAS Regional Team Leaders vehicle responding to a Category 1 case and as the vehicle turned into the median strip probably got a radio call saying the case was cancelled
Kalangadoo Brigade

Offline 6739264

  • Forum Captain
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,806
  • Karma: +0/-0
  • RETARD RETARD RETARD Need I say more?
    • View Profile
Re: Lights & Sirens driving
« Reply #2 on: August 19, 2007, 10:34:05 AM »
You use what parts of the road you can... I've been in appliances coming along the wrong side of the road upto an intersection on a blind crest of a hill. Not great, but hey thats what you do when the situation warrants it.
To think they employed me as a drooling retard...

Offline bajdas

  • Forum Captain
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,745
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Lights & Sirens driving
« Reply #3 on: August 19, 2007, 11:03:41 AM »
Judging by the way you described this station wagon it must have been an SAAS Regional Team Leaders vehicle responding to a Category 1 case and as the vehicle turned into the median strip probably got a radio call saying the case was cancelled

Not a cancelled call...he continued using the parking lane.
Andrew Macmichael
lives at Pt Noarlunga South.

My personal opinion only.

Offline car31

  • Forum Senior Firefighter
  • ***
  • Posts: 74
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Lights & Sirens driving
« Reply #4 on: August 19, 2007, 11:41:05 AM »
bajdas- Not sure on any definite answers but i know emergency vehicles in Melbourne use the tram tracks to their advantage often. When traffic is heavy the tram tracks act as a clear path for the emergency vehicle to travel when trams are not in the way. It makes me wonder if SAAS,MFS,SAPOL etc will be having any P1 training for city driving using the new tram tracks etc?

Offline CFS_Firey

  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 2,250
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Lights & Sirens driving
« Reply #5 on: August 19, 2007, 12:30:54 PM »
In answer to your second question, I think it would be a good idea to have designated routes, or a publicised standard to follow (ie, emergency vehicles will always travel in the right hand lane).
I believe some countries have a standard that says which lane the emergency vehicles will use, so that when motorists hear/see an emergency vehicle coming, they simply clear that lane, rather than panic and scatter, like they do here...

Offline 6739264

  • Forum Captain
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,806
  • Karma: +0/-0
  • RETARD RETARD RETARD Need I say more?
    • View Profile
Re: Lights & Sirens driving
« Reply #6 on: August 19, 2007, 12:40:40 PM »
They are meant to merge left, upon hearing or seeing an emergency vehicle... But you know as well as I do that when you're belting down the road and the appliance is being driven in either the middle or left hand lane, it causes a great deal of confusion.

Freeways and large multi-laned roads are the big ones. Because SACFS offers no real driver training in terms of response driving, people drive the appliances with a civilian point of view - Eg: I'm on the freeway, I'm a truck, I'd better use the left hand lane.

It would be really simple if emergency vehicles traveled in the right hand lane, regardless of the speed you're going...
To think they employed me as a drooling retard...

Offline CFS_Firey

  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 2,250
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Lights & Sirens driving
« Reply #7 on: August 19, 2007, 12:45:44 PM »
It would be really simple if emergency vehicles traveled in the right hand lane, regardless of the speed you're going...
Agreed.  Is the merging left thing in the road rules, or is it just tradition?

Offline 6739264

  • Forum Captain
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,806
  • Karma: +0/-0
  • RETARD RETARD RETARD Need I say more?
    • View Profile
Re: Lights & Sirens driving
« Reply #8 on: August 19, 2007, 01:09:10 PM »
According to Section 78 of the Australian Road Rules:

78—Keeping clear of police and emergency vehicles
  (1)  A driver must not move into the path of an approaching police or emergency vehicle that is displaying a flashing blue or red light (whether or not it is also displaying other lights) or sounding an alarm.
Offence provision.
Note — Approaching, emergency vehicle and police vehicle are defined in the dictionary.
  (2)  If a driver is in the path of an approaching police or emergency vehicle that is displaying a flashing blue or red light (whether or not it is also displaying other lights) or sounding an alarm, the driver must move out of the path of the vehicle as soon as the driver can do so safely.
Offence provision.
  (3)  This rule applies to the driver despite any other rule of the Australian Road Rules.


There used to be an advertising campaign, if i recall correctly, that was all about moving to the left out of the way of an emergency vehicle. Although nothing is explicitly stated in law.
To think they employed me as a drooling retard...

Offline SA Firey

  • Forum Group Officer
  • ******
  • Posts: 2,967
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Lights & Sirens driving
« Reply #9 on: August 19, 2007, 01:50:44 PM »
As a former AO we undertook Priority 1 driving tests and it has always been the rule of thumb to maintain the outside lane to allow vehicles to merge to the left and/or stop in the left hand lane to allow clear passage.
This also allows the emergency vehicle to cross the median strip if required to bypass stopped traffic.

You cannot expect the public to give you a clear run if you are travelling lights and sirens in the left hand lane,unless you are about to turn left.

At the end of the day common sense must prevail and also the decision to travel on the incorrect side of the road must take into account weather conditions,visibility to oncoming traffic,nature of emergency.

As for driving on tram lines try driving on them in the wet, and you will get a big surprise if you push it :wink:

There is no situation so great as to create another emergency!!

You cant help anyone if you are involved in an incident enroute to a job.
Images are copyright

Offline Pipster

  • Forum Captain
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,269
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Lights & Sirens driving
« Reply #10 on: August 19, 2007, 06:44:20 PM »
Police drivers have also been taught to stick to the right lane, where possible, when travelling lights & sirens....

Pip
There are three types of people in the world.  Those that watch things happen, those who make things happen, and those who wonder what happened.

sesroadcrashrescue

  • Guest
Re: Lights & Sirens driving
« Reply #11 on: August 19, 2007, 11:07:21 PM »
no matter how we drive under urgent conditions the public will always throw a spaner in the works with my training as an ambulance officer we have been trained to use the all of the road providing it is safe to do so ie wrong side of the road at trafic lights but staying on the right side of the white line unless we need to get around traffic

Offline Alan J

  • Forum Lieutenant
  • ****
  • Posts: 516
  • Karma: +0/-0
  • Certified Flamin' Nuisance
    • View Profile
Re: Lights & Sirens driving
« Reply #12 on: August 21, 2007, 01:00:32 AM »
Now my questions are:

1/ He was responding to a possible life threat incident. But is traveling in the parking lane on the wrong side of a four lane road (one side) in the city too dangerous ?

2/ With the city becoming more unfriendly to vehicles, is there a designated/recommended route for emergency vehicles to take to cross the city ? Or should there be ?

Can the vehicles travel on the tram tracks part of the road when they are finished ?

Q1. Given that traffic was at a stand-still anyway, or nearly so, the risk of any  collision would have been low. Had the traffic not been so snarled, there would have been no need to even consider using the wrong-side parking lane. Sounds like the driver was looking ahead, carefully reviewing their options & waiting patiently for opportunities.

Q2. MFS have a designated route to each CBD address from Wakefield St. & many of the lights are held for them from Comms. So, apart from suicidal pedestrians, a fairly clear run up which ever route is nominated.  Other services have to find their own way.  Too many possible starting points to any possible destination. A bit hard to plan for, perhaps? I won't mention that Ambo's responding from MFS Wakefield St do not get the benefit of MFS traffic control. Is "empire maintenance" a valid reason?

Q3. Yes, that is The Plan. Or at least, a fringe benefit thereof (and taxed at 47% ?)

cheers
Alan J.
Cherry Gdns CFS

Data isn't information.  Information isn't knowledge. 
Knowledge isn't wisdom.

Offline Stefan KIRKMOE

  • Forum Senior Firefighter
  • ***
  • Posts: 78
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Lights & Sirens driving
« Reply #13 on: August 21, 2007, 12:54:03 PM »
I'm curious to find how different agencies are trained for emergency driving conditions... To be able to respond "lights or sirens" is it simply going for a drive with a senior person in your brigade/unit/station or do they run intensive driver training programs around the place, if so what's incorporated and how long do they go for?

Stefan KIRKMOE

yet again my opinions....

Offline Alan J

  • Forum Lieutenant
  • ****
  • Posts: 516
  • Karma: +0/-0
  • Certified Flamin' Nuisance
    • View Profile
Re: Lights & Sirens driving
« Reply #14 on: August 21, 2007, 03:22:57 PM »
I'm curious to find how different agencies are trained for emergency driving conditions... To be able to respond "lights or sirens" is it simply going for a drive with a senior person in your brigade/unit/station or do they run intensive driver training programs around the place, if so what's incorporated and how long do they go for?

Trained ??!!! .. . Oh, I get it.. a joke !
Well not quite. Somewhere between the two extremes.
Our drivers are not allowed to drive response until brigade officers agree that
they have demonstrated competence at driving the appliances, competence in
operating them, & a level head under pressure.
Fairly arbitrary, but in the absence of some sort of "standard" that's the best
we have got.



Alan J.
Cherry Gdns CFS

Data isn't information.  Information isn't knowledge. 
Knowledge isn't wisdom.

Offline bajdas

  • Forum Captain
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,745
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Lights & Sirens driving
« Reply #15 on: August 21, 2007, 05:39:29 PM »
I'm curious to find how different agencies are trained for emergency driving conditions... To be able to respond "lights or sirens" is it simply going for a drive with a senior person in your brigade/unit/station or do they run intensive driver training programs around the place, if so what's incorporated and how long do they go for?

Trained ??!!! .. . Oh, I get it.. a joke !
Well not quite. Somewhere between the two extremes.
Our drivers are not allowed to drive response until brigade officers agree that
they have demonstrated competence at driving the appliances, competence in
operating them, & a level head under pressure.
Fairly arbitrary, but in the absence of some sort of "standard" that's the best
we have got.


The same, though a SES Training Officer did state a course was being developed/proposed for funding approval.
Andrew Macmichael
lives at Pt Noarlunga South.

My personal opinion only.

Offline Darius

  • Forum Lieutenant
  • ****
  • Posts: 668
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Lights & Sirens driving
« Reply #16 on: August 23, 2007, 11:32:09 AM »
I've posted on this subject before, I think it's an appalling indictment on CFS top brass and the govt that it's going to take someone getting killed or seriously injured before the CFS introduce P1 driver training (exactly the same as nothing happened about offroad driver training until the Mt Bryan incident and Safework SA issued the improvement notices on the CFS).

Offline Zippy

  • Global Moderator
  • *****
  • Posts: 2,540
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Lights & Sirens driving
« Reply #17 on: August 23, 2007, 11:51:05 AM »
The Murray Bridge roll over doesnt seem to turn on the minister's light to make P1 driver training a must.

Offline Pipster

  • Forum Captain
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,269
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Lights & Sirens driving
« Reply #18 on: August 23, 2007, 01:00:51 PM »
That roll over may not have attracted a default notice from Safe Work SA....

Pip
There are three types of people in the world.  Those that watch things happen, those who make things happen, and those who wonder what happened.

Offline Zippy

  • Global Moderator
  • *****
  • Posts: 2,540
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Lights & Sirens driving
« Reply #19 on: August 23, 2007, 01:54:37 PM »
From what i understand, there were legal precedings against the driver???...for driving unlawfully even on Priority 1?   Werent there injuries which Safework SA would have been notifyed of?

sesroadcrashrescue

  • Guest
Re: Lights & Sirens driving
« Reply #20 on: August 23, 2007, 03:36:57 PM »
wasnt a stop call put on them or just after the rollover i am awhere that they were not required and were they not ment to be responding P2 anyway not P1 i remember reading something about it being non lights and sirens??????

Offline mack

  • Forum Lieutenant
  • ****
  • Posts: 570
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Lights & Sirens driving
« Reply #21 on: August 23, 2007, 03:39:59 PM »
wasnt a stop call put on them or just after the rollover i am awhere that they were not required and were they not ment to be responding P2 anyway not P1 i remember reading something about it being non lights and sirens??????

was a first alarm hazmat, no stop or downgrade had been put on the call.. the crash happened onyl a few moments after the dispatch.

perhaps only comment if you know the facts.

Offline RescueHazmat

  • Global Moderator
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,174
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Lights & Sirens driving
« Reply #22 on: August 23, 2007, 03:42:17 PM »
Agrees with Mack..

Offline Mike

  • Global Moderator
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,045
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Lights & Sirens driving
« Reply #23 on: August 23, 2007, 04:49:30 PM »
Remember, all caution should be given to rumours about this kind of incident. Would be interesting to see how far away the report is.

Really. If there is a need for a siren use it - if not then dont. as long as it can be justified either way

sesroadcrashrescue

  • Guest
Re: Lights & Sirens driving
« Reply #24 on: August 23, 2007, 05:00:06 PM »
as i was not in the truck i do not no the full facts however from media relesses and press confrences it was mentioned that there was a stop or a stop about to be placed on the crew it is unfourtunite that it happened its not the first and its not the last i do agree that there needs to be urgent driving tought to CFS and SES members SAAS already teach there volunteers defensive driving and urgent driving there is a very strict test you have to complette prior to being allowed to drive underlights i belive that all volunteer emergency services should teach there drivers how to drive under lights

my view

 

anything