Watch out for sirens on the road

We’ve all experienced it — driving through town, radio on, thinking about what the next thing it is that needs to be accomplished today.
May 31, 2013


Every once in awhile, we’ll hear a faint sound off in the distance that sounds like a siren — but, after a quick look in the rearview mirror, we see nothing. So, thinking the emergency vehicle is on another street and headed in the other direction, we continue on. 

The screeching sound of the siren continues to get louder — and, all of a sudden, flashing lights catch our eye, and our mind immediately goes into panic mode, as we try to figure out how to get out of the way. In doing so, we continue to drive, looking for a place to go, only making the matter worse.

Emergency services personnel have a tough job — and, unfortunately, navigating their way through traffic is part of that challenge. 

A Spring Lake/Ferrysburg police officer was recently involved in a collision while responding to an emergency that resulted in no citations being issued. Thankfully in this instance, both parties survived the crash with only minor injuries, but we all know this could have had a tragic outcome.

With the busy summer season now upon us, and traffic patterns becoming even more congested, we encourage drivers to exercise extreme caution the moment they hear that siren off in the distance. If the siren is on and the lights are flashing, someone is in need of emergency services, and drivers need to get their vehicle out of the way. 

Not only is it required by law, but when failing to do so, you are also putting yourself and others in harm's way.

After all, you never know when that emergency vehicle could be on the way to help someone you know. 

Please, do your part and get out of the way.

Our Views reflects the majority opinion of the members of the Grand Haven Tribune editorial board: Kevin Hook, Cheryl Welch, Matt DeYoung, Alex Doty and Fred VandenBrand. What do you think? E-mail us a letter to the editor to or log-in to our website and leave a comment below.



Dirty Swift

Act 300 of 1949

257.653 Immediate approach of authorized emergency vehicle; duty of driver of another vehicle; duty of streetcar operator; violation as civil infraction.
Sec. 653.

(1) Upon the immediate approach of an authorized emergency vehicle equipped with not less than 1 lighted flashing, rotating, or oscillating lamp exhibiting a red or blue light visible under normal atmospheric condition from a distance of 500 feet to the front of the vehicle and when the driver is giving audible signal by siren, exhaust whistle, or bell:

(a) The driver of another vehicle shall yield the right of way and shall immediately drive to a position parallel to and as close as possible to the right-hand edge or curb of the roadway, clear of an intersection, and shall stop and remain in that position until the authorized emergency vehicle has passed, except when otherwise directed by a police officer.

(b) The operator of a streetcar shall immediately stop the car, clear of an intersection, and shall keep it in that position until the authorized emergency vehicle has passed, except when otherwise directed by a police officer.

(2) This section does not relieve the driver of an authorized emergency vehicle from the duty to drive with due regard for the safety of persons using the highway.

(3) A person who violates this section is responsible for a civil infraction.


You should change your headline you listen for sirens not watch for them. You watch for flashing lights.


LOL! Good catch, sorry to say I missed that one.

Say No To Tourist's

Great heading...."Watch out for sirens on the road" Ya ok..........Next time I'm on the road I'll make sure I watch for the sirens and listen for the flashing lights........

Einstein is rolling in his grave laughing reading this


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