Emergency lanes: When is it acceptable to use it?

A serious accident just happened and emergency services are trying to get to the injured passengers as fast as they possibly can. The only problem is the emergency lane is blocked because motorists are trying to get out of the traffic caused by the accident.

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Minutes are ticking away as emergency services get stuck in the blocked emergency lane.

These informative tips focuses on how to use the emergency lane:

When are you allowed to use a yellow line? 

According to Regulation 298A of the National Road Traffic Act of South Africa:

  • If your  car breaks down,  it is best to move it into the yellow lane to ensure the safety of yourself and other motorists.
  •  If there is a medical emergency, this is only deemed as such if it is life-threatening or will impair your ability to drive safely such as a heart attack or asthma attack.
  • You need to move to allow emergency vehicles to pass. Should you need to move for an emergency vehicle that is not travelling in the emergency lane, you are allowed to move into it to allow for the emergency vehicle to pass.
  • You are driving in a single carriageway road – with one lane in each direction divided by a solid yellow line. In this instance, you are allowed to move over only to allow faster-moving vehicles to pass. Remember that you are only allowed to do this during daylight hours and with at least 150 m of visibility in front of you. It goes without saying that you should never move into the emergency lane on a blind rise!
  • You are instructed to do so. Only by a traffic officer or a road traffic sign. 

 

FYI: The term ‘emergency vehicle’ include:

  • Fire-fighting vehicles
  • Fire-fighting response vehicles
  • Emergency medical response vehicles
  • Ambulances
  • A traffic officer vehicle when being driven by a traffic officer who is on duty
  • Vehicles engaged in civil protection

 

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(Comments posted on this issue may be used for publication in the Sun)

  AUTHOR
Lauren Beukes
Journalist

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