Motorists need to be aware of emergency responders - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Motorists need to be aware of emergency responders

October 10, 2006

Albany -- First responders in Albany want to remind drivers to stay alert in case they come across emergency vehicles on a rescue run.  

Many new cars are almost sound proof. If you're listening to the radio or using a cell phone, you might not hear an emergency vehicle.  

Last Monday, Albany Police Sgt. Reginald Brown was involved in a head-on collision while going to an armed robbery. Police say he had his blue lights and siren on. Emergency workers say that kind of crash not only puts their lives in danger, but also the people at the situation they are responding to.

Tuesday Police tested drivers on South Slappey. Most people in the same lane pulled over for the Police Siren and blue lights, but almost no one in the other lanes responded. Corporal William Dowdell said " the car straight ahead is doing a perfect example, moving over and reducing their speed. Giving the emergency vehicle the right of way. The white truck has gotten over, but has not reduced his speed. The green suv is a little bit late but he is actually getting over before we get to him, so that is what we are looking for."

Dowdell said "Ideally we prefer that you pull to the right hand lane and stop. Let the emergency vehicle go by. Wait a few seconds and then proceed on with your normal path of travel."

 Police say they practice caution while using their emergency equipment, but need motorists to stay alert and help them by moving over.

You can be ticketed for not moving out of the way of an emergency vehicle, and face a possible 500 dollar fine.

Albany Police have not said who was responsible for last week's crash involving Sgt. Brown, and they refuse to release any information about it.    

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