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turtle_eating t1_ixhp5tp wrote

They don't already get priority there? That's just messed up.


derverdwerb t1_iximo49 wrote

That's normal. Hi, I'm a paramedic.

95% of cases or more just don't require time-critical transport. Those can be safely done at normal road speed. Some ambulance systems will still transport these under urgent conditions, but it's unnecessary.

The remaining few generally benefit from time-critical transport only by a very small amount, and other factors like communication and planning have a greater effect on delay reduction. Studies on things like door-to-needle time in stroke have shown that having a system in place for specific time-critical emergencies is more important than how fast you drive.

And finally, driving under lights and sirens is usually all that's required. We don't have any special traffic infrastructure for emergency services here, we just flick the beacons on and filter through traffic. It works fine. The exception would be in very densely packed urban environments like, say, central New York - but I don't think that's what's being described in the article.


GetlostMaps t1_ixiuzdj wrote

I'd have thought it wasn't about the time critical transport, it was about time critical arrival. Time to defibrillation, for example.


derverdwerb t1_ixj0dsz wrote

Again, that’s better served by other means. Cardiac arrest survivors typically have already been shocked before ambulance arrival. Even the best ambulance response times in the world are typically well outside the acceptable time range.

You chose a good example though. There is no more time critical situation, and it’s also a great example of why this isn’t really a good use of money.

Edit: to expand upon this, prehospital research is unbelievably difficult to do and typically gives unpredictable results, but it's very clear that the factors that allow people to survive cardiac arrest specifically are recognition, CPR, and pre-ambulance defibrillation. Ambulance-specific interventions are only weakly supported. Trials vary, but it's usually pretty uncommon for ambulances to arrive within an acceptable time range from the moment of collapse - bearing in mind that the patient doesn't get shocked until the ambulance has arrived, the crew has grabbed their kits from the vehicle, walked to the patient, identified the arrest, attached their monitoring, *then* hit the shock button. Ambulance arrival at five minutes means, at best, a shock at maybe seven.

If you're going to spend millions to reduce the time delay to arrival, your money is probably better spent providing really high quality community CPR education, public access defibrillators, and staffing more ambulance crews. You need to accept that most of this will never be used, but it's available for when it's needed.


[deleted] t1_ixjups2 wrote



Dirty_Hertz t1_ixkqc2o wrote

What I have noticed in my city, is that when people see flashing lights behind them, they just panic and stop their car in the middle of the road instead of pulling over. So many terrible drivers here..


derverdwerb t1_ixk1w98 wrote

Well I mean, I can’t speak for other jurisdictions. However, beacons here are a signal to other drivers that you’re behaving in a manner that would otherwise be unlawful. It’s intended as a safety device. It doesn’t change right of way or any other road rule, it just tells you I’m driving differently.

For instance, I still come to either a complete stop or a slow roll before entering intersections on a red light, and so on.


[deleted] t1_ixle9ih wrote



derverdwerb t1_ixlewwg wrote

You can choose not to advance into an intersection if it’s unsafe for you to do so, or to give way. That doesn’t necessarily mean the emergency vehicle has right of way.

Imagine a situation in which a driver was unaware of the presence of the emergency vehicle and advanced normally into an intersection, then was struck and injured by an ambulance driving under urgent duty driving conditions. If the ambulance had right of way, that injured driver would be held liable. That’s definitely not the case where I work.

Beacons ask other drivers to give up their own right of way. It doesn’t steal it from them.

Edit: I had a squizz at your Highway Code. It specifically does not say that the ambulance takes right of way:

>Rule 219

>Emergency and Incident Support vehicles. You should look and listen for ambulances, fire engines, police, doctors or other emergency vehicles using flashing blue, red or green lights and sirens or flashing headlights, or traffic officer and incident support vehicles using flashing amber lights. When one approaches do not panic. Consider the route of such a vehicle and take appropriate action to let it pass, while complying with all traffic signs. If necessary, pull to the side of the road and stop, but try to avoid stopping before the brow of a hill, a bend or narrow section of road. Do not endanger yourself, other road users or pedestrians and avoid mounting the kerb. Do not brake harshly on approach to a junction or roundabout, as a following vehicle may not have the same view as you.


BlooperHero t1_ixlaj2z wrote

The ambulance has to slow down and check because they can't assume drivers on a different road entirely have already noticed them--they'd be driving into traffic fairly often if they did.

But those drivers on the other road do stop once they've noticed. "Would otherwise be unlawful." So... it's not unlawful in this situation, then. That's a change to right of way.


derverdwerb t1_ixlauk9 wrote

No, it absolutely doesn’t change my right of way. I’m at fault automatically for any accident that occurs. It is purely a safety signal that I’m driving differently.

Don’t try to redditsplain to me the legal framework I work in, thanks.


nowhereman1223 t1_ixhphdk wrote

It's expensive to upgrade traffic light systems to flip to green in the direction emergency vehicles are traveling. Most upgrades come with annual costs like the one here that would be just shy of a million a year.


Alarming_Orchid t1_ixhyoh3 wrote

uhhhh, I think it just means the ambulance gets to ignore red lights


Mutte_Haede OP t1_ixhzha3 wrote

also, in winnipeg they already have quite a few intersections with special lights that give public transit priority, but not emergency vehicles.


nowhereman1223 t1_ixi1wbo wrote

Try reading the article.

It involves updates to the light systems so emergency vehicles get green lights.


Syrairc t1_ixjy897 wrote

Uhhh... Emergency vehicles can already do this.


imafraidofmuricans t1_ixilac5 wrote

We just put a loud blinky thing on the emergency vehicles and let them ignore red lights when it's on, and made the law so everyone else have to give way.

But sure. Fancy traffic lights.


F1shermanIvan t1_ixitdoj wrote

Having driven cars with loud sirens and blinky lights, you'd be amazed at how many people don't see them, don't move, and don't care that you're trying to get somewhere quickly.


nowhereman1223 t1_iy7ypp7 wrote

And this is the problem.

Those people.

Not the full traffic light system.


Randomperson1362 t1_ixisn26 wrote

The issue is, they get stuck in traffic, that is slow to move out of the way.

Sometimes it can go into opposing traffic, sometimes it can't. But having a green light for the direction it's going would often speed it up.


Cash907 t1_iximjaa wrote

Lol what? An override device is directional by design and is essentially an add on peripheral that tells the switching computer “hey: give traffic going in this direction immediate priority and close all other lanes.” It’s literally no more expensive than replacing a single light fixture.


8-36 t1_ixinayw wrote

If its a specialized job it will be expensive.


TheGunshipLollipop t1_ixje496 wrote

>It’s literally no more expensive than replacing a single light fixture.

And if they're replacing a single traffic light (which costs $300K to $500K), and the town has more than one traffic light, how much do you suppose that totals?

"add-on peripheral". Jesus wept.


pspahn t1_ixjntny wrote

What is so expensive? The device used where I live simply has a sensor that will change the lights based on an infrared code signaled to it by an emergency vehicle. Like a fancy remote control.


nowhereman1223 t1_iy7ywf3 wrote

That means the light system where you live has that built in from the beginning.

If it wasn't built in or the town has a fully networked Traffic Management System (which most cities do) you have to get the integration from the company that provides your traffic lights or something compatible with them OR get a whole new system.


rededelk t1_ixhqf7w wrote

Got some real Einsteins up there. We don't have fancy lights, it's just the law to pull over and yield to sirens and lights from emergency vehicles, both directions except on divided highways


Darkassassin07 t1_ixhw79q wrote

That's the law up here too. Unfortunately people are unable to be immediately aware of every change in their surroundings the moment it happens, especially changes that happen behind them at speed. This makes it take some time for traffic to recognize an emergency vehicle and react to it.

You can't just blast through an intersection that has green lights for crossing traffic just because you have lights and sirens on though. You still have to drastically slow down if not stop completely, ensure traffic actually sees you and stops, then proceed. (how cautious varies from police department to police department, as well as far more care taken by EMTs) A vehicle comming at you at speed from an unexpected direction isn't necessarily going to be seen just because it has some extra lights on it. It helps, but it's not enough. People passing through a green intersection aren't really looking for traffic suddenly racing out of the already stopped lines of traffic to their sides.

Everyone's attention at an intersection is already on the traffic lights: If the lights can detect on comming emergency vehicles and automatically flip red for cross traffic and green for through traffic; the intersecrion is made safe to pass through much quicker without having to wait+check for cross traffic to recognize an emergency vehicle and stop. This system is already common in many larger cities throughout North America.


BlooperHero t1_ixlakcs wrote

>(how cautious varies from police department to police department, as well as far more care taken by EMTs)

In my experience police cars will turn on their sirens as they enter an intersection without slowing down at all, even though they didn't have them on in the first place any immediately turn them off afterwards, because they think that's legal and if it's legal there's no reason not to do it. Kind of surprising I've never seen one get T-boned.

Also in my experience ambulances do not do that.


nowhereman1223 t1_ixi24s8 wrote

Pretty sure if you can't be reasonably aware of what is going on around you (including behind you) then you should not be driving.

No they shouldn't be "instantly" aware. But if you are operating a 2+ton blunt weapon you should know what is around you.


Darkassassin07 t1_ixi5btb wrote

I never said people aren't reasonably aware of what's going on around them. Just that changes in your environment take time to recognize and react to.

My point is just because you've turned your lights and sirens on, doesn't mean you can drive however you like and expect everyone to be aware and out of your way immediately. It takes a short while for people to recognize your presence, and longer still for them to think through what exactly to do about it and perform that action. We don't live in a world of robots. People take time to react to change.

If you're at or approaching a traffic light with cross traffic passing through it, you can't just expect to flip your lights on and stomp on the throttle. You're going to get t-boned. You may have had your lights and sirens on for a while as you headed towards this intersection, but you are just entering this particular flow of cross traffic. They have not had time to even realize you're there let alone react to your presence.

Traffic lights that react to oncoming emergency vehicles though would inform drivers to stop before the emergency vehicle even approaches the intersection. You're no longer relying on lots of people to switch their attention and change their behaviour, just keep following the lights they were already focused on.


nowhereman1223 t1_ixi6m5o wrote

>My point is just because you've turned your lights and sirens on, doesn't mean you can drive however you like and expect everyone to be aware and out of your way immediately. It takes a short while for people to recognize your presence, and longer still for them to think through what exactly to do about it and perform that action. We don't live in a world of robots. People take time to react to change.

Who said they would flip the lights on at the last minute and mash the throttle?

I'm referring to an emergency vehicle coming up to the intersection with the lights and siren on.

And yes people can be expected to see and react to this within 10-30 seconds. If they can't then they should not be driving as the damage they could do in 10-30 seconds is incredible.


Darkassassin07 t1_ixi7dss wrote

The paragraph immediately after the one you quoted addressed this. I'm done with this conversation. It's going in circles.


nowhereman1223 t1_ixi968c wrote

It is going in circles because your arguments don't make sense and stem from the premise that Drivers don't need to pay attention because they can't and Emergency vehicles flip lights on and mash the throttle once they reach an intersection.

Both are wrong.


Darkassassin07 t1_ixic0se wrote

>Drivers don't need to pay attention because they can't

Not at all what I said, intended, or implied. Words you've chosen to put in my mouth.

For the 3rd time: people have reaction times. It takes time for people to notice, process, and react to changes in their environments.

Never said people don't react to changes. Never said people don't see changes. Didn't even say peoples reaction times are enormously long. Just that they exist, vary, and have to be factored in.

>Emergency vehicles flip lights on and mash the throttle once they reach an intersection.

A singular extreme example amongst many far more reasonable examples, specifically to demonstrate providing 0 time for people around you to react. It doesn't happen in the real world because, as I mentioned above, you'd get t-boned for it. Obviously you have to take more care than that.


BlooperHero t1_ixl9mso wrote

>Emergency vehicles flip lights on and mash the throttle once they reach an intersection.

Police cards do that all the time. And then turn off the lights after, because there was never an emergency they just didn't feel like obeying traffic laws right then.


BlooperHero t1_ixl9o4e wrote

>I'm referring to an emergency vehicle coming up to the intersection with the lights and siren on.

If you're approaching the intersection, drivers on the perpendicular road can't see or hear you at all yet. You're not on the same road. They can't react until after you get there.


BlooperHero t1_ixl9oe4 wrote

Emergency vehicles approaching intersections in stopped lanes are often not visible to approaching from the other direction because there are other vehicles (not to mention buildings) in the way. They have to be at the intersection to be seen.


Syrairc t1_ixjyl7l wrote

It's comically ironic the number of people in this thread making fun because they think EMS can't run red lights already.


nowhereman1223 t1_ixhpt5i wrote

They already have a priority.

Its called flashing lights and sirens.

MOVE THE F*&& OVER for emergency vehicles.

I bet people moving over would reduce the travel times even more. Pay for this kind of upgrade by installing dash cams in all emergency vehicles and fining EVERY SINGLE vehicle that doesn't move over soon enough. If the camera clearly gets your plate and you are the car directly in front of the emergency vehicle.... here's your fine.


garygnu t1_ixi1j32 wrote

It's not realistic to have thirty or so cars that are all stopped at a red light to make way for an ambulance. I've seen them drive around stuck tragic by driving in the opposing directing lanes, but that is risky. Letting emergency vehicles switch the green to their direction, it allows the stopped cars to move forward and find room to pull over.


nowhereman1223 t1_ixi3kz2 wrote

How is it not realistic to have them move over?

Also.. do you really think Winnipeg has 30+ cars sitting at any one stop light at any time? let alone all on the same side?


misconceptions_annoy t1_ixi5vx7 wrote

Think they’re talking about cases where it’s packed. Cars are closer together when they stop than when they’re moving. There might not be room to move over.


nowhereman1223 t1_ixi6zgh wrote

>Cars are closer together when they stop than when they’re moving. There might not be room to move over.

Well that is the problem then.

You should always leave room to move over. Being too close is how grid lock happens when one car has an issue and becomes immobile.

But the car in front moves forward and to the shoulder a bit and everyone else does the same.


Wiley_Applebottom t1_ixjfodd wrote

"X is how gridlock happens!"

I'll be sure to tell H.P. Movinstuff, the guy in charge of those things.


BlooperHero t1_ixla0w6 wrote

If everyone leaves room to move over, stopped traffic takes up the entire road anyway and the ambulance can never get through.

You think multiple lanes of traffic can all fit in the shoulder, which is generally smaller than one of the lanes? It's not physically possible--and that's where there is a shoulder at all.

And still not helpful at all for cars stopped at a red light who have nowhere to go. Cars can't just move sideways, they always have to go forwards unless they're moving backwards.


misconceptions_annoy t1_ixm8te2 wrote

They can’t move directly sideways. They need to move at least partly forward to move.

Changing the lights is a great idea, because all the cars that are in the way now have room to move forward so they can pull over.


Stravven t1_ixid3us wrote

It's not that easy when it's people already waiting for a red light.


nowhereman1223 t1_ixifgan wrote

Why isn't it easy?

You should never stop so close to the car in front that you cant move over.

So if people drove properly... it would be just fine.

I know that people don't drive correctly, but that is a different issue entirely.


Stravven t1_ixihsnc wrote

If you are standing still moving a meter to the right is a lot harder than when you are driving.

Not to mention that you can not discount the fact that people don't drive properly.


king5327 t1_ixj4r3h wrote

At some intersections, cars will stack twenty back on all lanes before the light gives them right of way. The logistics of moving them aside would take longer than just waiting for it to change.

This proposal is to add systems which change the light when an emergency vehicle approaches, so the issue never had to come up in the first place.

Edit: Also there needs to be space to the side to move the car. Doesn't matter how much space you leave in front for turning if all ways are obstructed.


mihecz t1_ixhphp7 wrote

A study was needed to reach that conclusion? No shit, Sherlock?


HiopXenophil t1_ixic9ro wrote

Germany: If you don't make space for emergency vehicles, you'll loose your license for a month


Mutte_Haede OP t1_ixinxs6 wrote

if that were the case here, and fully enforced, you'd get rid of half the vehicles overnight


QuestionableAI t1_ixi0bwx wrote

Duh ... you all just figured this out? Christ on a crutch.


Mutte_Haede OP t1_ixi11e3 wrote

yes and now everyone can benefit from this totally needed study and the information that has been "discovered".


Choppergold t1_ixig537 wrote

In related news, not having to stop gets you to a destination in a shorter time.


Cash907 t1_ixim346 wrote

… they already do get priority. What do ambulances and fire trucks in Canada not have traffic light override devices like we do in the states?


Mutte_Haede OP t1_ixioft9 wrote

clearly not in winnipeg: the city that makes all of canada's money but has none of its own.


Mitthrawnuruo t1_ixje0bv wrote

Traffic light override lights are extreme uncommon in America.


PandaMuffin1 t1_ixivzj4 wrote


Sorry, but isn't this common sense?


-domi- t1_ixhxdu4 wrote

Nooo waaaaay!


sumelar t1_ixiwq4z wrote

...there are places that don't already do this?


BroForceOne t1_ixj8kg7 wrote

>a system that allows pre-emption of normal operation of traffic lights

While the headline is fucking awful and makes this sound onion-y, the actual article is not.


Mutte_Haede OP t1_ixjanii wrote

still seems a dumb thing to waste a study on, especially considering how broke winnipeg is.


BlooperHero t1_ixlacnl wrote

Sounds like a reason to measure the impact to evaluate costs and values. Which is what a study is. Why do you hate science?


Mutte_Haede OP t1_ixm5ms0 wrote

sounds like you work for the city of winnipeg. i wonder what impact value and cost evaluation science structure results would occur as a result of this study? perhaps a study is needed to find the answers we so desperately need.


robcape6912 t1_ixj9rac wrote

“If they are able to move faster it won’t take as long”


Vanrainy1 t1_ixjl57g wrote

So, not forcing them to stop will speed up travel and response time. Fascinating....


traisjames t1_ixjs23d wrote

EMT here just wanting to point something out while cities tend to have sensors on their traffic lights to detect oncomming emergency vehicles, many systems use encoded light systems to trigger stoplights to avoid false positives and people trying to improperly inject commands into the system. In the metro that I live in, the main city has systems for detecting emergency vehicles, however, the information that is used to trigger the lights are only designed to respond to that cities ambulance. None of the dozen plus communities around the city are able to interact with the traffic lights in give right away. Luckily once you’re in the city you’re on the interstate and the hospital you’re going to do should only be 2 to 4 stoplights total that you have to interact with.


Whisprin_Eye t1_ixjzi41 wrote

Did you know that if you are going 60 mph, it's like going a mile a minute?


happyends t1_ixk7oq8 wrote

I think we need to study this hypothesis further. Give me some grant money and I will get right on it. It shouldn't take too long, maybe a year or two.


NLtbal t1_ixk2rka wrote

Quaint that a medium sized city decided to do a study on what has been known by large cities around the world for decades.


saraphilipp t1_ixlqtu8 wrote

We did that in st louis. Two fire trucks ran into each other and rolled.


BaronVonLazercorn t1_ixlwxqv wrote

Um... what? I'd expect this level of stupid from America, but Canada? Come on, Canada, you're better than this


zubaz69 t1_ixpvp1c wrote

Stop the presses!


hechima_tawashi t1_ixtvq3n wrote

In other news: water is wet, the sky is blue, and bears shit in the woods. Details at 11.


Berly653 t1_ixidbyg wrote

We’ll I for one am super glad taxpayer dollars went towards this groundbreaking study


Mutte_Haede OP t1_ixio25a wrote

speaking of breaking ground you should see the state of the roads themselves


arcxjo t1_ixikaey wrote

You hosers don't already have that as a thing? They should have sirens on their roofs and strobe lights to automatically switch the upcoming lights.

Is this for any reason other than to give the driver a reason to apologize to the patient and/or homeowner?


dotsdavid t1_ixk41gm wrote

They have the technology already to control the stop lights remotely already.