RSA: How To Share The Road With Emergency Vehicles

The RSA has released a booklet to advise drivers on how to react when they encounter emergency services vehicles on the roads. As the RSA put it:

To help road-users to understand how to share the roads with emergency vehicles, the RSA has joined forces with a number of emergency service organisations to produce a booklet called ‘Sharing the Road with Emergency Service Vehicles’. The purpose of the booklet is to advise motorists how to summon emergency services when required, what to do when they encounter emergency vehicles on the road and how to share the road safely with these vehicles.

Emergency Services

Drivers advised to be alert – Image: RSA

The booklet is available in hard copy by request from the RSA and is also available to download from:
and the websites of the individual emergency services. Hard copies of the new booklet will also be distributed by the various emergency services.

For further information or media queries, please contact:

RSA Communications Office: 096 25008

Some Basic Tips when sharing the road with Emergency Service Vehicles (ESVs)

It is important to be alert and attentive at all times. Remember to keep noise levels in your vehicle at a level that allows you to hear the sirens from emergency vehicles. Be particularly alert at intersections. Observe your surroundings as emergency vehicles may come from behind you or from a secondary road.

When an emergency vehicle approaches and you see blue flashing lights or hear sirens:

  •  Clear the way as soon as you can do so safely.
  •  Never mount the kerb unless you absolutely have to and, even then, only if you are certain that there are no pedestrians in the area.
  • Check your rear view mirrors to gauge the speed of the emergency vehicle/s and also look out for pedestrians, cyclists, motorcyclists and other road users.
  • Indicate your intention to pull over. Pull over only in a space that has enough space for the emergency vehicle/s to pass safely.
  • Stay there until the emergency vehicle has passed. Watch out for other emergency vehicles as there may be more than one.
  • Indicate that you’re going to pull out again. When it’s safe to do so, gradually merge back into traffic.


  • Tailgate or overtake an emergency vehicle
  • Race after an emergency vehicle to get through a traffic light
  • Break a red light or speed to allow emergency vehicles to pass unless you’re directed to do this by the Gardaí or emergency services personnel
  • Pass a moving emergency vehicle displaying flashing lights

We in MAG Ireland would advise riders to take the time to read and understand the content of the booklet. It’s also important to note that some drivers, when they become aware of an approaching emergency services vehicle, may take evasive action without being aware of the presence of a motorcycle. Always prepare for the unexpected and be particularly aware of your surroundings when you hear sirens.