Although laws exist to force these drivers to move aside when emergency vehicles are coming through, it is difficult for police to enforce them as the moment quickly passes and emergency personnel don’t have time to record plate numbers.
Arizona emergency workers hope that by publicizing the situation they will increase public awareness of the issue and convince drivers to think twice before continuing on their merry way when emergency vehicles are trying to get by.
“There are several accidents,” said Capt. Rich Bauer with United Phoenix Firefighters. “You always see somebody lock on the brakes and somebody hit them from behind. I’ve seen it several times in my career. There have been a lot of close calls and sometimes we’ve been hit.”
In Denver, where police officers cite about 70 drivers yearly for failure to yield to emergency vehicles, an ambulance company is fitting some emergency vehicles with 200-watt ground-shaking amplifiers. The effort is to shake drivers into moving over and clear a path to the hospital.