An Open Letter to Lafayette Drivers Who Ignore Lights & Sirens
Dear Lafayette Drivers,
How have you been? How's your car's extended warranty? Someone will be calling to check on that later today. Oh, how are your insurance rates? Too high? Really? Do you think that they might be too high because we have too many idiots driving on our streets?
How do I define an idiot? Well to me an idiot driver is one who flaunts the rules of the road and endangers the lives of others because they either are not aware of our state's driving laws or they are attempting to operate a motor vehicle while driving with their heads fully engaged with their rectums.
For example, on Wednesday, January 5th I drove by a crash scene on Congress Street at Guilbeau Road. The crash must have just occurred because first responders had not yet arrived on the scene. As I made my way past the crash scene on Congress driving west toward Ambassador Caffery I saw an Acadian Ambulance pull out of the Ochsner facility located on the corner.
What I saw next had me screaming out of my truck windows. The ambulance was attempting to cross Ambassador Caffery Parkway on Congress. The traffic light was red for traffic on Congress and the driver's on Ambassador Caffery did have the right of way. But the Acadian Ambulance First Responders did have full lights and sirens turned on and turned up.
That's when I counted not one, not two, but seven different vehicles ignore the emergency vehicle attempting to cross Ambassador and go render aid just a few blocks further down Congress. Seven. Different. Drivers. Ignored full-on emergency lights and sirens.
Y'all, you are wrong for that. You can't be that oblivious when you drive.
Thank God Acadian Ambulance has one of the best training programs in the world. The driver of that ambulance and I would say all first responders have to have nerves of steel to negotiate the traffic around town, especially in an emergency situation.
Just so you know, drivers of emergency vehicles have rules and laws they must abide by as well. Here are those, just in case you were wondering.
For those of us who don't drive emergency vehicles here is the letter of the law in a nutshell. When you are approached by an emergency vehicle displaying flashing red and or blue lights you should pull over to the right side of the road or at least as far to the right as you can go and come to a complete stop.
Now, what about if you are at an intersection as I have described above? Here's a driver's test question from the DMV. You are approaching an intersection and an emergency vehicle is approaching using its siren and lights what should you do? Well, the answer sure as heck isn't "blow through the intersection like you own the place".
You are supposed to yield. You are supposed to stop. Now, before you do come to that complete stop you'll want to check your rearview mirror to make sure the guy behind you knows you're stopping too. Or else we're going to need another ambulance.
I am personally grateful that I live in a community with some of the finest medical facilities in the world. We also have some of the most professionally trained and compassionate first responders in our EMTs, Police, Deputies, and Fire Fighters too. Sometimes the best way we can help them help us is to get out of their way.
So please, my fellow Lafayette drivers, let's be aware of those lights and sirens and remember to look both ways when you come to every intersection, even if you have a green light. It's just common sense and it could simply provide the few extra minutes that could save the life of someone you love.
Thanks for listening, be safe,
Lafayette Traffic Situations That Make Drivers Faché Faché (Mad Mad!)