Ambulance dashcam footage captures unaware drivers

DASHCAM footage from an ambulance racing to an emergency shows an alarming number of drivers' apparent failure to be aware of their surroundings.

The footage shows most drivers giving way to the lead ambulance but often blocking the path of the second vehicle.

The Queensland Ambulance Service released the video in an attempt to remind drivers that in many cases, two ambulances respond to emergencies.

Toowoomba Senior Operations supervisor Peter Crooks said getting to emergencies could be frustrating for officers.

STAY ALERT: Peter Crooks, Senior Operations Supervisor QAS.
STAY ALERT: Peter Crooks, Senior Operations Supervisor QAS. Nev Madsen

He said a code one call which required lights and sirens could happen at any time - when an ambulance is at the station, or sitting in traffic.

QAS drivers, who undertake defensive driving training, then need to get to the incident as soon as possible.

"They have exemptions to proceed against red lights and motorists on the roads are required to give way," he said.

"If it is safe to do so, they are required to move to the left-hand side of the road and give way, also taking into consideration there may be one or two ambulances behind them, or even a fire truck.

"They (motorists) just need to be vigilant as to what is behind them."


Heavy traffic on James St poses some of the biggest challenges for ambulance officers, as well as the intersection at West and Herries St.

Mr Crooks said modern cars were insulated and drivers may not immediately hear an ambulance siren when the windows were up and music turned on.

But by remaining vigilant, drivers could help shave precious minutes from an ambulance's trip to an incident.

"We don't do too badly here in Toowoomba and people do give way most of the time, but there is still the odd one that doesn't," he said.

"But that's not necessarily through people not concentrating; it's just the way it is.

"Be aware of your surroundings, what's in front of you, what's behind you and what's around you."

Dashcams are not fitted in most QAS vehicles, but the footage was released in an effort to remind drivers to be vigilant and aware on the roads.

Topics:  dashcam emergency services queensland ambulance service toowoomba

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