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The Question
by FR1 Community

What should firefighters do when they see a speeding car?

The firefighters on board can pick up the radio and call it in; chances are that by the time police can get into the area, the car will be gone

By FireRescue1 Staff

A question posted recently on Quora asked, "If a fire truck witnesses a car speeding, what do the firefighters do?" Tim Dees, a retired police officer, gave his opinion on the topic below. Check it out and add your own thoughts in the comments. 

The firefighters on board can pick up the radio and call it in. However, chances are that by the time police can get into the area, the car will be gone.

A more common scenario is when people refuse to yield the right-of-way for ambulances or fire apparatus responding to an emergency. The same issue prevails here — by the time the police can arrive, the car is gone.

I used to follow fire trucks and ambulances when I was available, watching for right-of-way violations. Most of the people I stopped seemed to get some satisfaction from refusing to get out of the way of a fire truck or ambulance, and they were majorly indignant when they were called on it.

About the author

"The Question" section brings together user-generated articles from our Facebook page based on questions we pose to our followers, as well as some of the best content we find on Quora, a question-and-answer website created, edited and organized by its community of users who are often experts in their field. The site aggregates questions and answers for a range of topics, including public safety. The questions and answers featured here on FR1 are posted directly from Quora, and the views and opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of FR1.

The comments below are member-generated and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of or its staff. If you cannot see comments, try disabling privacy and ad blocking plugins in your browser. All comments must comply with our Member Commenting Policy.
Dave Adams Dave Adams Wednesday, March 19, 2014 3:31:43 PM Although it may turn into a PR nightmare, some states allow you to photograph offenders, go to the local magistrate, swear out a warrant, and take the person to traffic court. You show up with your video as a representative for the state (city, whatever) and the person shows up to tell their side. The judge reviews the video and (usually) levies a hefty fine. Check your state and local laws, Once word gets out that failing to move over could get you heavily fined, it may stop or significantly decrease. Same goes for the idiots that insist on pulling over to the left.
Karl Swope Karl Swope Wednesday, March 19, 2014 7:33:03 PM So he basically is saying why bother, "by the time the police can arrive, the car is gone". So the answer to the question, "what should firefighters do when they see a speeding car", is show do diligence an provide for the safety of the crew and apparatus.
Tom Szymik Tom Szymik Thursday, March 20, 2014 6:07:57 AM So get the plates and call it in and have the pd follow up then
Sam Briand Sam Briand Thursday, March 20, 2014 6:11:27 AM The best way if you can is take down the MAKE MODEL and PLATE number and report it to your local police , they will investigate the report .
Tom Szymik Tom Szymik Thursday, March 20, 2014 6:11:47 AM I had a person call on me when I was responding to an emergency, in my personal vehicle lights and siren, and they followed me to get my speed and called the pd on me, I of course didn't get anything out it, so my question is why didn't this person get a ticket for following and speeding after an emergency responder.
Richard Morrison Richard Morrison Thursday, March 20, 2014 6:31:04 AM I can't tell you how often cars pull out IN front of MY apparatus AND speed while MY lights and siren are ON like I'M following a chief car....IF THE police officers don't see it....nothing can be done.
Richard Corso Richard Corso Friday, March 21, 2014 2:02:44 PM If the vehicle in front doesn't move then there should be a cab operated high pressure fire monitor on the front of the engine - open it up and make their day :)
Barry Wood Barry Wood Saturday, March 22, 2014 10:03:32 AM I have found that if a first responder reports it to the local police they WILL issue a sitation
Brian Patureau Brian Patureau Saturday, March 22, 2014 10:04:10 AM Same thing a cop does when he sees a fire call the Fire Dept
David Tallent David Tallent Saturday, March 22, 2014 10:06:41 AM If I see a car speeding I just take note of the type of car it is and begin to think of my extrication plan. Not my job to enforce traffic laws. I just get the end product of traffic law violations. JMO
Brian Patureau Brian Patureau Saturday, March 22, 2014 10:21:44 AM And fireman should local police department
Mike Cantin Mike Cantin Saturday, March 22, 2014 10:21:57 AM Turn in your trucks radar gun.........oh..wait no such monster in the rig. Well let em go. That's why we put out fires. Let the cops have their fun.
Chris Jennings Chris Jennings Saturday, March 22, 2014 10:22:15 AM Run a dash cam...
Jason Low Jason Low Saturday, March 22, 2014 10:33:03 AM If I see a car speeding? I figure they must be someone else who has figured out the fact that our speed "limits" are artificially low. Then I get on with my day, because speeders aren't doing anything that will impact me (yet).
Eli Vandiver Eli Vandiver Saturday, March 22, 2014 11:29:40 AM If it is simply a speeding vehicle, that is not the jurisdiction of the fire service. However, if we have someone not yield the right of way, report that vehicle. To my fellow Georgians though, keep in mind the other vehicle DOES NOT have to yield, lights and siren are simply REQUESTING the right of way.
Clay Eamer Clay Eamer Saturday, March 22, 2014 11:51:54 AM People actually enjoy not yielding to emergency vehicles? That's sick. For all they know the fire truck or ambulance could be going to their home or to a loved one's home. We might need to start a campaign to educate the public about this.
Dwain Hertz Dwain Hertz Saturday, March 22, 2014 1:25:19 PM Thanks for calling back last night glad I did not stand up waiting.
Vishal Parmar Vishal Parmar Saturday, March 22, 2014 3:18:51 PM It's about time to have dash cams in all ambulances and fire trucks if the people insist on driving like morons! This will be used in a court of law on the offender, fined heavily and add points to the license. Remember that driving is a privilege and not a right.
Calvin J. Osterhoudt Calvin J. Osterhoudt Saturday, March 22, 2014 6:00:48 PM In this day and age of dash cams, phone cams, helmet cams, take a pic of the offender and email it to the PD or post it on your FD web site as what not to do when you see a emergency Vehicle behind you!
Steve Knox Steve Knox Saturday, March 22, 2014 6:04:16 PM Great idea that should have been thought of long ago..
Herve Thomas Herve Thomas Saturday, March 22, 2014 6:56:16 PM We call it job security...
David Everett David Everett Saturday, March 22, 2014 7:51:18 PM Take down the license info and the car type and call Law Enforcement. Let them handle it, Firefighters fight fire, not people....
David Everett David Everett Saturday, March 22, 2014 7:53:46 PM Thank you for clarifying that point. Lots of Volunteers do not think that they are asking for the right-of-way. 16.5 years as a Volunteer in Rawlins, Wyoming....
Bobby Dean Cranford Bobby Dean Cranford Saturday, March 22, 2014 8:19:45 PM I wouldn't do anything about a speeding car....not my place-besides it may be my Chief !! :)
Norma Lee Norma Lee Sunday, March 23, 2014 1:21:16 PM get the hell out of the potential path

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