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Published on June 30th, 2014 | by Millennium Magazine Staff

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When You See Lights – Pull to the Right

Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott seeks to educate motorists about the proper response to emergency vehicles as they approach using lights and sirens.

Sheriff Leon Lott stated that we must be aware at all times when driving on South Carolina roadways. When you see lights flashing or hear sirens blaring on law enforcement vehicles, fire trucks, or EMS make sure you know the proper action to take – always pull to the right and stop.

Sheriff Leon Lott understands that at times motorists may become confused, panic, or startled by the lights and sirens, and you may either pull to the left or just stop. The Sheriff stated that this action forces the emergency responders to maneuver around, which can cause delays or could possibly result in an accident. Sheriff Leon Lott stated that time is always of the essence when first responders are responding to emergency calls.

Sheriff Leon Lott offers these tips when you hear sirens or see lights:

· Stay calm, signal your intentions, and remember all vehicles must pull over to the right.
· If it is not safe to pull over to the right, stop, but not in an intersection.
· Use common sense, if your windows are up or the music is on, regularly scan your mirrors for emergency vehicles.
· Don’t panic.
· Don’t pull to the left or stop in the middle lane when there is room to pull to the right.
· Don’t race ahead to make the green light before the emergency vehicle gets there.
· Don’t drive through a red light or stop sign when an emergency vehicle approaches from behind.
· Do not follow closely; all civilian vehicles must stay at least 300 feet behind emergency vehicles.

Sheriff Leon Lott stated that if you or someone you love is in need of emergency assistance, you would want first responders to get there right away. You can help provide this emergency assistance by simply moving to the right for sirens and lights. The Sheriff added that emergency responders sincerely thank you for being safe, respectful, courteous drivers, and for following the law. Always keep in mind that you may be in need of an emergency vehicle one day.

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