Seems like one of those things that sounds good in a sales presentation,
but may not work so well in practice.
The EMS driver is relying on oncoming traffic to heed a red light that
suddenly appears with no yellow light, no warning whatsoever... just
"Blink !" and it's red.... and, in the case I witnessed, the EMS driver
is even proceeded through the light *before* it turned green for him.
This unit did not stop and the light did not change until they had
passed through it. Period.... Couldn't see the lights on the other
side, so I do not know if they cycled through yellow - but the change
seemed improbably rapid for the conventional Green-Yellow-Red cycle
around here - that is what prompted my speculation as to what traffic
coming into that green light was to do when it flicked to red so rapidly
- with or without some token yellow.
As a frequent bike rider, I suspect I see more apparently-unsafe
activity than most people driving motor vehicles around here do.... and
I will try to look more closely/carefully next time I see an EMS unit
coming my way into a red light.
Several years ago, in a small local town, I pulled up to a red light and
sat there for over 10 minutes waiting for it to change to green. I
intended to turn left. It was late at night with no traffic. But I knew
if I went thru it, there would probably be some cop waiting to pull me
over. I finally backed up, got in the right lane, made a legal right
turn on red, drove a few blocks up the road, turned around in a parking
lot, and proceeded to go in my intended direction.
The next day I called the police station and told them the problem. I
was told that the town's electrician has tried to fix it but it appears
the problem is underground and since it's winter, they can not dig it up
until Spring. I suggested they turn those lights into flashing lights,
or just shut them off and put stop signs on the posts until spring, or
at least put some sort of sign that says "This light is broken". I was
told to just treat them like a stop sign, come to a stop, check for
traffic, and proceed to go when it's safe.
I said OK, but what do I do if I get pulled over for running a red
light. He said that they are not pulling people over at that light as
long as people stop and check for traffic before going. I explained that
I did not live in that town and did not know what I should do. He said
sorry, we will fix it as soon as weather allows. He said they have
gotten a lot of calls about that light. I replied "I bet you have".
That Spring they did dig up near those lights and got them working
properly. Until then, I did what they told me to do.
I wonder how many other non-residents sat at that light cussing for 10
minutes or more??? I know that in a big city, this would have been
attended to quickly, even if it meant replacing them with stop signs
until the repair was completed.....
Here's something form what *seems* like a credible source - which seems
to downplay the utility of lights/sirens on EMS vehicles:
A few clips:
"There is an over reliance on the ambulance sirens to alert drivers of
other vehicles to the presence of emergency vehicles. As a result,
collisions occur every day with tragic outcomes. "
"A Department of Transportation report concluded that sirens will never
become an effective warning device."
"The use of lights and sirens while transporting a patient has come
under scrutiny many times over the years. While this seems to still be a
come practice in the year 2010, many studies have shown that this is of
little value in the patients outcome. Most of the research that has
been completed on this issue dates back to the mid to late 1990s."
email@example.com posted for all of us...
Why didn't you flag he or she down? A few taps on the horn would have
sufficed. Maybe they have too much equipment in the back and their
headlights need adjustment. Did you get the car #? Call the chief and
discuss it with him. WE can't help you, only you can help yourself...
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