Think before you park

Can an emergency vehicle get past your parked vehicle in an emergency?

The hashtag #ThinkB4Upark is being used across social media in the UK by other emergency services, who are experiencing delays in getting to incidents, due to badly parked cars or driving.

The Service does not endorse this campaign as a way and means of naming and shaming members of the public. It is to raise awareness and educate drivers to think about where and how they park.

Motorists that do not consider if an emergency vehicle can get past their parked vehicle, are putting lives at risk by blocking off roads.  Even stopping on box junctions outside community fire stations can cause us a delay in getting to an incident.

If your vehicle is parked and blocking our route, you may find one of our leaflets under your windscreen wiper - Think Before You Park notice

However, it is not just parking that is the problem and firefighters say some drivers are not sure what to do when they hear the sirens blaring.

Be 'Blue Light Aware'

If you are driving on the roads of Cornwall and hear sirens and see blue lights, how should you react? What should you do?

A firefighter recorded this short "blue's and two's" clip whilst responding to an incident. Simply pulling over can help let the emergency service vehicle through - especially in traffic jams. A great effort can be seen from all the cars shown in the footage, who helped the responding crew reach their destination.

If you spot an emergency services vehicle approaching behind you, please do not panic! You can really help us make progress by simply pulling over to allow us to pass - but only when it's safe to do so. 

The golden rules are:

Stay calm

  • Don’t panic or speed up in an attempt to get out of the way.
  • Don’t go through red lights or veer into a bus lane as you will still be prosecuted
  • Do not attempt to outrun a fire engine
  • You are not allowed to drive down the hard shoulder. You will still be breaking the law

Be alert

  • Turn distracting music down and check mirrors to help determine the direction and number of emergency vehicles
  • Look for somewhere safe to pull in but avoid kerbs, pavements, bends and junctions
  • Watch out for other motorists braking suddenly


  • Indicate
  • Check your mirror and move to the left when it is safe to do so.
  • Wait patiently to ensure all emergency vehicles have gone and then safely move back out into traffic

To raise the awareness of this campaign, photographs and videos will be shared to our social media accounts. We will use the campaign hashtag of #ThinkB4Upark to show examples of these bad practices and help educate motorists.

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