Slow Down When You Hear Sirens Of Emergency Responders And Move Out Of Their Way

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NEIGHBORHOOD SAFE NEIGHBORHOOD

by Staff Neighborhood Safety Reporter


Last week, our safety feature was about home fires; how and where they start, and ways to minimize your risk.

https://bellevuezone.town.news/g/bellevue-wa/n/45796/fire-safety-tips-do-you-know-what-leading-cause-house-fires-read?utm_source=dnl&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=newsletter

An important follow-up to that article will present information about smoke and carbon monoxide alarms. Watch for it!

As I await confirmation of local regulations, I’d like to bring your attention to an upcoming safety week, to honor and protect our emergency responders.

Crash Responder Safety Week, Nov 8 - 14

“Steer Clear"

Help protect our firefighters, fire police, rescue and emergency medical personnel, tow truck operators, and highway construction workers.

https://vimeo.com/569599732

So far in 2021, over 50 people have been killed when struck by a vehicle while responding to a roadway incident, according to the Emergency Responder Safety Institute (ERSI).

Three from WA state:

April 24: Longview tow operator struck and killed in wreck on I-5 near Castle Rock

June 13: Off-Duty Seattle Police Officer Struck and Killed at Crash Scene

September 22: a 33-year-old Kalama tow truck operator struck and killed on I-5

A heart-felt video of 2021 fallen responders can be seen below:

https://www.respondersafety.com/news/struck-by-incidents/yearly-fatality-reports/

Not quite halfway through the video, is Officer Lexi Harris from Seattle

About 2/3 through video is a photo of Raymond Mitchell, a tow truck operator, with his wife and 3 young children

“Slow Down and Move Over for Stopped for Emergency and Hazard Vehicles”

When approaching an emergency scene, if you are unable to safely merge into a lane further away from the incident, to slow down to at least 20 MPH below the posted speed limit. (An emergency response scene is where an emergency vehicle has its lights flashing, or where road crews or emergency responders have lighted flares, posted signs, or try to warn travelers.)

When you hear a siren or see a vehicle approaching from any direction with flashing red lights or a combination of red and blue lights, you must:

• Pull over to the curb or side of the road and stop;

• Drive parallel and as near to the curb as possible. On one-way streets, drive toward the nearest roadside and stop;

• Stay clear of intersections;

• Start driving again after the emergency vehicle passes you, keeping at least 500 feet away from it;

• Make sure another emergency vehicle isn't coming

The following link will provide you with the details of what to do if you are involved in a roadway accident and what to do while you wait for law enforcement or medical assistance.

Please PRINT out the “Exchange of Information” page and keep it in your glove compartment.

(Actually, print out several for all involved; share copies for driver, vehicle and insurance information)

https://www.seattle.gov/Documents/Departments/Police/Publications/SteerItClearIt_RackCard.pdf

Thank you to our first responders who, literally, risk their lives each day to serve and protect us.

REFERENCES:

https://www.respondersafety.com/news/struck-by-incidents/yearly-fatality-reports/

https://www.respondersafety.com/training/training-plans/crash-responder-safety-week-crsw-spotlights-traffic-incident-management-to-save-lives/

https://www.clarkcountytoday.com/news/second-death-of-a-washington-tow-truck-operator-in-2021-reinforces-need-for-drivers-to-slow-down-move-over/

https://www.respondersafety.com/news/lodd-news/2021/09/wa-09-22-2021-tow-operator-struck-and-killed-on-i-5/

https://www.respondersafety.com/news/lodd-news/2021/06/wa-6-13-2021-off-duty-seattle-police-officer-struck-and-killed-at-crash-scene/

https://www.usfa.fema.gov/blog/ig-101421.html

Pennsylvania Steer Clear LAW: https://www.fairview268.com/slow-down-move-over

https://www.advanced-ins.com/blog/2018/01/steer-clear-law-slow-down-and-move-over-in-emergency-response-areas

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Too many people do not pull over for emergency vehicles nor do they drive safely.  The rest of us have to watch out for them and our emergency responders need to be protected when we drive by them at the scene of an accident, etc.  Slow down!

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