How should an ambulance circulate?


Some vehicles have different traffic rules than conventional, being able to skip traffic signs as well as speed limits. However, this can only be done by those who work under the special regime, specifically those who provide an urgent service, such as the police, firefighters and health services, although always under common conditions for all of them that they must respect in any circumstance.

How should an ambulance circulate

Steps to follow:

Ambulances and other health care vehicles are considered priority vehicles, as are police, firefighting, and civil protection and rescue vehicles. Therefore, they have priority over other vehicles and users on the road when they are in an emergency service, both public and private. This means that they can exceed the speed limits and that they are exempt from respecting other signs or traffic regulations always under a series of conditions that are indicated below.

Priority vehicles such as ambulances can exercise these special regime rights only when they carry out an urgent service, but they must always do so with the utmost caution and respecting a series of regulations. So, ambulances must not violate traffic light signals or right of way at intersections until they are sure that:

  • Do not endanger pedestrians or other road users.
  • The drivers of the other vehicles have stopped or are willing to facilitate the departure of the priority vehicle.

On the other hand, an approved installation of light-emitting devices as well as special acoustic signals is required in this type of vehicle, through the pertinent authorization of the corresponding Provincial Traffic Headquarters.

Likewise, when drivers of priority vehicles and ambulances circulate on the highway or motorway in urgent service without compromising the safety of users, they may go back or turn around if they deem it necessary, as well as circulate in the opposite direction to that indicated. the road whenever it is on the hard shoulder, and also penetrate through the transversal steps of the median.

On the other hand, the agents of the Authority that manage the surveillance, control and regulation of traffic can use or locate their own vehicles in the most appropriate area to provide the corresponding assistance to users.

In addition, it is mandatory that priority vehicles such as ambulances warn of their presence and nature of urgent service through the simultaneous use of light signaling and the special acoustic signal. However, the latter can be omitted when this fact does not pose any danger to the rest of the users and as long as the use of the light signal is maintained.

Finally, drivers of this type of vehicle must bear in mind that infractions related to these traffic regulations are considered serious.

If you want information about the necessary license to be able to drive ambulances, we recommend that you consult the article Requirements for the BTP card.


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