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Don't Panic – Dealing With Emergency Vehicles In Nottingham
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Don\'t Panic – Dealing With Emergency Vehicles In Nottingham

With two hospitals, one a major accident and emergency unit and countless police stations, Nottingham has more than it's fair share of emergency vehicles on the roads. Some drivers will do almost anything to clear the way for them often putting themselves or others in harms way in the process. Dealing with emergency vehicles can be a realproblem for pupils taking driving lessons in Nottingham and instructors need to know how to keep pupils calm and make sure they do the right thing.

It is common for learner drivers to panic as soon as they hear a siren. Being new on the road pupils feel they have much less right to bethere than other experienced motorists and tend to think that they are getting in the way of other drivers. This leads to a good deal of mind reading where a pupil believes that others are annoyed or feel aggressive towards them despite there being no evidence of this.

The situation is made worse upon the learner driver hearing an emergency vehicle siren and not being able to see the vehicle immediately. Sirens can be heard well before the vehicle is close enough to require a driving response and the direction the emergency vehicle is approaching from can be difficult to pinpoint owing to the echoing nature of the sound. Learner drivers in Nottingham are accustomed to hearing sirens when walking down the street but panic can be almost instant when they are in the driving school car.

The first thing to teach a learner driver is not to panic and continue driving until the emergency vehicle can be seen in either the mirrors or by looking ahead. When they know which direction vehicle is coming from then they can begin to plan. This can be difficult around Nottingham Queens Medical Centre as the Derby Road roundabout can be very busy with very little room to manoeuvre. Plan to move out of the way as soon as possible. A learner driver's first reaction is to slow down which is often the wrong course of action. Keep the traffic flow moving so as not to block the emergency vehicle.

Select a safe place to pull up. Often when driving on busy roads learners will panic and pull up opposite parked cars leaving insufficient room for any vehicles to get passed. This has been a reason for failure on many tests. Hitting the kerb to get up onto the pavement is also less than ideal. There is a risk to pedestrians and of tyre damage if the kerb is struck with enough force. It is the job of those who teach people to drive to calm pupils and assist them in finding a safe and convenient place to stop.

Learner drivers need to be reminded that you cannot just break the law to clear the way for an emergency vehicle. It is illegal and dangerous to go through a red traffic light to make way and drivers ofemergency vehicles will not expect you to do this. Drivers can be fined for entering bus lanes in Nottingham during their hours of operation even to let an ambulance past so learners must be taught to avoid this. Breaking the speed limit is also illegal, even in a good cause.


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Good Morning Russell. Thank you for another great article.

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  about 9 years ago
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