Road Rules Around Emergency Vehicles in Queensland

Revolution Law

August 25

Drive for long enough and you’re bound to be in situations where Emergency Response Vehicles are involved in a struggle to push through traffic. There are lights flashing and sirens wailing and the natural response can be to begin to rush and become flustered. It’s important to remain calm and keep your wits about you. You are still in charge of your vehicle and an accident or injury is only going to make the situation far worse. A refresher of the rules is helpful and along with the regulations and other guides, let this article be a reminder of your obligations around driving with Emergency Response Vehicles in Queensland.

Basic Rules Around Emergency Vehicles

Traffic regulations around emergency response vehicles in Queensland are relatively straightforward and easy to remember. If you see an emergency response vehicle (ERV) that is displaying a red or blue flashing light, you are required to give way to it. Either by moving out of its path when safe to do so or by giving it a priority. The Queensland Government provides a simple step-by-step guide:

  1. Look and listen – maintain a visual and watch for flashing lights and listen for sirens.
  2. Stay calm – assess the situation and move out of the way when it is safe to do so. Do not make any sudden movements.
  3. Merge left – signal your intentions to other drivers with your indicator and work with them to create space. When safe, make room for ERVs to pass on your left.  
  4. Stay alert – be careful of your surroundings and never put yourself or your vehicle in danger. Be aware there may be multiple ERVs approaching from different directions.

Give Way & Priority

ERVs with flashing red or blue lights will stop at an intersection to ensure it is clear before proceeding. They are not giving way to you and you should remain clear of the intersection until after they pass. This includes when you are facing a green light or arrow. Maintain situational awareness by keeping your car stereo at a reasonable volume and always monitor your mirrors and surroundings. When moving out of the way of ERV’s, the law does permit you to pass through a red light or cross onto the wrong side of the road but only if it is safe to do so.

Emergency Vehicle Priority

Emergency Vehicle Priority is a new technology that provides ERVs with the ability to manipulate traffic lights along their route to favour their direction of travel. The technology has been rolled out around major centres in Queensland including Brisbane, Logan, Ipswich and the Gold and Sunshine Coasts. If you hear a siren approaching when at an intersection, be aware the traffic/pedestrian lights may alter from their usual pattern and timing in order to facilitate the ERV. This is a safety point for both drivers and pedestrians, it is important to remain alert around intersections at all times.

Been In a Motor Vehicle Accident around an Emergency Vehicle Situation? Contact Revolution Law today.

Unfortunately, sometimes accidents do happen. It’s important to seek legal advice in these situations to ensure clarity around the reporting of the accident and defend yourself from liability claims. Also, depending on the situation you may be eligible for compensation. Contact Revolution Law today if you’ve been in an accident or incident involving Emergency Response Vehicles.


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