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Pull Over and Stop

Every second counts in an emergency so remember to pull over to the right and stop.

Reacting to an approaching emergency

Minutes can seem like forever to someone waiting for emergency responders to arrive. Emergency vehicles respond every day to urgent calls. A problem that all emergency responders face daily is motorists who do not make way, especially during peak traffic hours.

All drivers in Ontario should be familiar with the emergency red flashing lights and sirens on police cars, ambulances and fire trucks, and know that they are required by law to pull to the right and stop when they see or hear them coming. A flashing green light indicates a volunteer firefighter responding to an emergency call. To help the public identify these firefighters responding in their own vehicles, the Ministry of Transportation amended the Highway Traffic Act to allow volunteer firefighters to use flashing green lights. Not everyone is aware of the volunteer firefighters’ green flashing light. Please yield the right-of-way to help them respond quickly and safely.           

pull over and stop for a flashing green light

Remember -- Pull To The Right And Stop! It’s The Law!                               

  1. Stay alert. Avoid being distracted. Turn the radio down. This will help you hear or see an approaching emergency vehicle with the lights and siren on.
  2. Check your mirrors frequently. Allow other vehicles to pull over too. Pull to the right and gradually come to a complete stop.
  3. React quickly and calmly. Don’t slam the brakes on or pull over suddenly. Use your turning indicator to alert other drivers.
  4. Don’t move onto or block the shoulders of a roadway or freeway. Emergency vehicles will use the shoulder if all lanes are blocked.
  5.  Wait for the emergency vehicle to pass and watch for other emergency vehicles that may be responding to the same call.
  6. Stay clear of the intersection.
  7. If you are in the intersection preparing to turn when an emergency vehicle is approaching, you should abandon the turn and clear the intersection by proceeding straight when it is safe to do so and then pull to the right. This will clear the intersection and minimize the possibility of a collision with the emergency vehicle should it be passing you on the side you intended to turn towards.

For more information visit http://www.mto.gov.on.ca