Thursday, August 6, 2009

Yelp, Wail 'n' Wave

We were driving under Priority 1 conditions (lights and sirens) down an inner-city narrow street the other day. One lane each direction, separated by a big curb, trees and a fence - making it a narrow one way street.

We had two SUVs in front of us that had a couple of opportunities to pull over at intersecting streets, or pull up on the (left) curb, but failed to do so. We were quickly approaching the red traffic lights, and luckily the road widens and turns in to two lanes - and the right lane was empty. SUV #1 goes to the left lane, and lets us pass, good boy. SUV #2 goes in to the empty right hand lane, and stops at the red light. In front of us, in a little stealth van with AMBULANCE written all over it, red white and blue flashing LEDs, 3 different sirens blaring. Oblivious to the outside world, the SUV does not budge for 10 seconds.

Then out of nowhere, our hero emerges: a pedestrian! Standing on the verge, she knocks on the drivers side window, waves at the driver in a "wakey wakey" fashion, and points at the big noisy flashing thing behind him. Said driver then slowly proceeds to pull over in front of the other waiting cars. No obstruction to oncoming or sidecoming traffic, no big manouvres around obstacles, just a simple merge to the left.

A big thanks to Mrs Pedestrian for being our siren extension equipment. Every intersection should have one.

(by the way, if you don't know what yelp and wail are: they're different siren tones. Here's a good example).