The Campbell River RCMP is sounding the alarm about drivers getting in the way of police cruisers with their lights and sirens activated.
The latest incident happened last Thursday when RCMP vehicles were stymied in their efforts to get to an emergency, because drivers weren’t obeying traffic laws.
RCMP Const. Maury Tyre is reminding everyone about what to do if you see emergency vehicles rushing to a scene.
“When lights and sirens are being operated by emergency vehicles in British Columbia there is a simple requirement of drivers: Pull over to the side of the road and stop moving,” Tyre said.
“This means everyone, whether you are proceeding in the direction of travel of the emergency vehicle or against the direction of travel of the emergency vehicle.”
Tyre noted that BC Ambulance Services, the Campbell River Fire Department, and the Campbell River RCMP are all experiencing the same issues “and it’s putting people’s lives in extreme jeopardy.”
Tyre said part of the problem is simply a lack of situational awareness among drivers.
“If you are driving and you see three people in quick succession pull off to the side of the road and stop it probably means something is going on. Check your mirrors, turn down your stereo and please check the area around you,” Tyre stressed.
“Right now when this happens, we are seeing people pass cars that pull over and then block emergency vehicles from proceeding to their destinations.”
He added if an emergency vehicle is travelling with lights and sirens in B.C., it means someone’s life is in real and immediate danger “and seconds can mean life or death. “
“People’s lack of awareness and, it would seem, their inability to use their vehicle’s mirrors is putting people’s lives at risk. Obviously we can’t pull people over and ticket them right then and there, but it has definitely hit the point where we will start reviewing dashcam footage and start issuing violation tickets for failing to yield to emergency vehicles.”
Tyre said issuing tickets for non-compliance isn’t something police want to do, “but unfortunately it may be the only way people will learn.”
“Please, pull over, and stop, the life you’re helping save may be someone you love,” he said,
If you have concerns and aren’t sure about the rules of the road, Tyre recommends you download the ICBC driver training booklet and review it.
If you wish to report a crime, please contact the Campbell River RCMP at 250-286-6221 or in an emergency call 911.