Lesson 11: All About Emergency Lights - National Safety Council

Lesson 11: All About Emergency Lights

When your teen gets behind the wheel there are plenty of traffic laws, unwritten rules and best practices to follow, but one of the most crucial is respecting unusual traffic lights. What do we mean by unusual lights? Anything outside of the usual red, yellow and green lights your teen will encounter at intersections. 

Emergency Lights

Emergency vehicles using lights and sirens – whether they’re ambulances, fire trucks or police vehicles – may appear unexpectedly, but they always have the right of way. Teach your teen that if an emergency vehicle approaches with lights and sirens on, he or she will need to safely slow down and pull to the right side of the road until the vehicle passes.

Flashing Lights

It’s also important for your teen to understand flashing lights on the road. Drivers often use their flashing or ‘hazard’ lights to alert others when they’ve stopped for an emergency. Your teen may also see flashing white lights at intersections, which indicate an emergency vehicle is approaching. In both situations, your teen will need to slow down and be cautious. 

Practice: This situation can be difficult to practice (you don’t want to have your teen suddenly pull over and stop if it is not an emergency), but you can ask your teen to identify safe spots where you could pull over on different roadways. This practice could help your teen react quickly in a real situation.

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