Drivers Oblivious to Emergency Vehicle Protocol

September 2011

Clueless drivers are causing havoc on our roads as research shows more than 20% of motorists will run a red light, make an illegal turn, or drive on the wrong side of the road to make room for an emergency vehicle says low cost car insurance provider Budget Direct.

The worst offenders are motorists aged between 25-34 (19%) believing it is correct procedure to go through a red light to allow an emergency vehicle to pass.

Spokesperson for Budget Direct Richelle Ward said more than 90% of drivers claim to be confident about giving way to an emergency vehicle although results show there is a lack of knowledge in the area.

“We understand people want to do the right thing and help emergency vehicles reach their destination but erratic driving behaviours could cause further accidents so it’s vital that drivers practice caution at all times,” Ms Ward said.

The biggest stand out for Brisbane drivers was the high number of people (34%) that believe it’s okay to drive onto a footpath to allow an emergency vehicle to pass, with males aged between 45-54 the worst at 43%, in Melbourne the worst was males aged 25-34 at 33%, and in Sydney males aged 65 + at 30%.

“Drivers need to keep their wits about them and be practical as this could potentially endanger pedestrians,” Ms Ward said.

Brisbane

The worst offenders for driving on the wrong side of the road were males ages 25-34 at 12% and females aged 45-54 at 10%. For making an illegal turn, again males aged 25-34 at 12% and females aged 25-34 and 45-54 were the worst offenders, with both at 13%.

Melbourne

The worst offenders for driving on the wrong side of the road were males aged 35-44 at 18% and when it comes to making an illegal turn, its females aged 25-34 at 19% and males aged 35-44 at 16%.

Sydney

The worst offenders for driving on the wrong side of the road were males and females aged 25-34 both at 14% and when it comes to making an illegal turn, the worst offenders were males aged 45-54 at 15% and females aged 25-34 at 14%.

Important facts:

  • If an emergency vehicle approaches sounding an alarm or flashing lights, you are required to move out of its path, as soon as it is safe to do so
  • If you cannot move left safely, stay where you are and let the emergency vehicle over take you
  • Emergency service workers are trained to provide a rapid response but also to anticipate the reactions of drivers on the road
  • Do not drive onto the wrong side of the road, run a red light, or make an illegal turn
  • It is against the Law to fail to give way to an emergency vehicle
  • Be aware that there could be more than one emergency vehicle and they could be travelling from different directions

About Budget Direct

A&G’s signature brand Budget Direct is fast approaching 11 years in operation as one of Australia’s leading insurance providers.

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For further information or interviews please contact Brad Seymour, Director Partnerships & Communication, Budget Direct (Auto & General) at 07 3377 8937  or mediaenquiries@budgetdirect.com.au

Budget Direct was established as an insurance provider in Australia in 2000.  It is part of the international Budget Insurance group of companies headquartered in the British Isles. The group provides more than 6.8 million policies to insurance customers and administers $2 billion in premiums annually. Budget Direct offers Motor, Home & Contents, Health, Life and Travel Insurance as well as Roadside Assistance.

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