Giving priority to emergency vehicles is one of the most crucial rules of the Highway Code – but small print in the law states you could be hit with a penalty fine if you act in haste.
If you’re on the road and you see a paramedic, police or another emergency service vehicle with its sirens or headlights on, you have to move out of the way.
However, if you move into a box junction, bus lane or drive through a red light you can still be penalised – with the same penalties applying.
Entering a bus lane, stopping in a yellow box junction or running a red light are all driving offences – regardless of your reason for doing so.
That’s because they can still be dangerous – for example, speeding through a red light could trigger a huge accident if there are oncoming vehicles on either side.
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Bus lane fines can vary depending on the location, however, running a red light could land you a penalty of up to £1,000 and six penalty points on your licence.
This means if you commit an offence while making way for a vehicle, you will have to pay the penalty, do the course or accept the points if you’re caught by a traffic enforcement camera.
Of course, you can dispute it through the DVLA or your local authority – but the Highway Code is unlikely to stand up in your favour.
The Highway Code states: “You should look and listen for ambulances, fire engines, police, doctors or other emergency vehicles using flashing blue, red or green lights and sirens, or flashing headlights, or traffic officer and incident support vehicles using flashing amber lights.”
If you need to pull over, the code suggests stopping before the brow of a hill, a bend or a narrow section of road.
The Highway Code adds: “Do not endanger yourself, other road users or pedestrians and avoid mounting the kerb.
“Do not brake harshly on approach to a junction or roundabout, as a following vehicle may not have the same view as you.”
Running a red light, stopping in a yellow box junction or moving into a bus lane could be classed as “endangering other road users” meaning your actions are still punishable, regardless of your reasons for them.