Help for learner drivers when sirens wail

Emergency vehicle lights in side mirror
New courses will help learner drivers better respond to emergency vehicles on our roads | Photo: Beth Archer (iStock)

You hear the sirens first. Where are they coming from?

You look in your rear-vision mirror and you see the flashing lights.

Yep, they are heading your way. You’re in three lanes of traffic and the shuffle starts.

Each and every car inching this way and that to create a path so the ambulance, fire engine or police car can make its way to the life-threatening situation you are lucky not be involved in.

It’s nerve-racking for the most experienced drivers, so imagine how a leaner driver feels, especially if a “helpful” parent is offering rapid-fire suggestions in the passenger seat.

It is a situation the Queensland Police Service (QPS) is trying to de-stress for young drivers through a series of Learner Driver Days.

The QPS knows navigating the road alongside emergency services vehicles can be a daunting task for new motorists, particularly when paired with high speeds and sirens.

“Knowing how to properly respond to emergency vehicles on the road is an incredibly important skill, not only for the frontline staff, but for all on the road,” the service said in statement.

As part of National Road Safety Week, which runs until May 12, QPS has organised the Learner Driver Days in partnership with Norwell Motorplex and Queensland Raceway.

Police say Learner Driver Days offer practical courses to assist learner drivers in how to navigate interactions with police and other emergency service vehicles driving under lights and sirens.

Each session runs for about an hour, consisting of a short theory session and safety briefing, followed by a practical session of driving around the complex in controlled conditions.

There are a number of sessions available and open for booking at Norwell Motorplex and Queensland Raceway.

For the record (and for those of us well past the Learner Driver phase) you can find out the proper procedure on the Queensland Government website.