Emergency vehicles such as police, fire, ambulance and others have to respond to urgent calls as quickly as they can but that isn’t always possible due to the erroneous driving behavior we witness on our roads in the UAE on a daily basis. Precious time is lost when these emergency vehicles are obstructed by other vehicles but from July 1 2019 you can be fined Dh3,000, receive 6 black points on your license and have you vehicle impounded for 30 days if you do not give way to them.

Not allowing these vehicles - which will be fitted with cameras and traffic situations monitored via smart systems - to pass on the UAE’s roads will see you slapped with the hefty new fine, Abu Dhabi Police confirmed. The move has been put in place to improve road safety, reduce the number of deaths which result directly from traffic accidents and of course to allow emergency vehicles to get to where they need to be without delay.

But for some drivers, the sight and sounds of these vehicles sends them into a panic and as a result they end up stopping in wrong places or worst of all, they just freeze. So, what should you do when, for example, a police car is right behind you with its sirens going off? Check out our list of dos and don’ts:

1 Try to anticipate the likely route the emergency vehicle will take and make way for it.

2 Do not brake suddenly or block the road or a junction.

3 Look ahead for a safe area where you can pull over.

4 Slow down, signal and allow the emergency vehicle to pass you.

5 Make sure the noise levels inside your vehicle aren’t so loud that you can’t hear sirens coming from emergency vehicles.

6 At intersections you must give way to an emergency vehicle even if you are facing a green traffic light.

7 Wait for the emergency vehicle to pass and watch for more than one emergency vehicle.

8 Check to make sure the way is clear and signal before merging back into traffic.


What to do when you approach engaged emergency vehicles:

1 Slow down and pass with caution, and be prepared to stop.

2 Watch for emergency staff walking around the incident site. Clear the way for arriving additional emergency vehicles.

3 Follow the directions of police or traffic guides. Do not rubberneck!


Extra tips:

1 Do not tailgate or overtake emergency vehicles.

2 Never speed to allow emergency vehicles to pass.

3 Do not jump a red light to allow an emergency vehicle to pass.