To follow or not to follow? Hummm


May 4, 2004, 08:50 AM
On Sunday I was on my way to a Highpower match (Have to keep the thread gun related ;) ) and for whatever reason the highway was really packed with stop and go traffic. I'm not sure why there was that much traffic so early in the morning, but there was.

I was in the fast lane of a three lane highway and I was late. With that traffic I figured I'd never make it and I was just about to get over to get off a ramp and head for home when I look in my rear view mirror and here comes an ambulance with full lights and sirens going. I of course move over and out of the way, but for whatever reason I immediately pull in behind it and start following it. I'm thinking to myself "wow, this is great" as the ambulance and I slice through traffic like a hot knife through butter.

I followed that ambulance for at least 20 minutes as it went up the highway and I made the match with only a few minutes to spare. I was blessing my good luck when my girlfriend called to see if I was going to make the match as she had heard about an accident way up on the highway. I told her the story about the ambulance and she immediately started scolding me about my "good luck" as she points out that someone was probably dying in that ambulance. Next thing you know I feel terrible as she was right. My good fortune was at the expense of someone's bad misfortune. Wasn't really thinking about that as all I though about was making the match. Needless to say, I didn't do very good at the match as my head wasn't into it at that point.

Anyone else ever do this? You know the more I think about it, there's probably some type of local law against it to. Interesting thing is, there were cars stacked up behind me doing the same. The car behind me was so close that there wasn't a chance someone could squeze in between us.

Makes ya think though

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May 4, 2004, 09:56 AM
May or may not be illegal, depending on your local law.

What bothers me more, though, is the number of people that DON"T MOVE OVER for fire/ambulance/police.

:cuss: :fire: :cuss: :fire: :cuss:

May 4, 2004, 10:22 AM
My good fortune was at the expense of someone's bad misfortune.
No it wasn't ... your good fortune was only a coincidental side effect of someone's bad misfortune.

Now had you somehow caused the accident so you could follow the ambulance then your statement would be correct.

Your following of the ambulance didn't impede its progress nor get in anyones way (although it may be illegal) so I'd say your concencience should be clear.

May 4, 2004, 12:10 PM
What do "you" think?

buy guns
May 4, 2004, 01:42 PM
i did that to a firetruck before. its fun passing everyone that pulled over.

May 4, 2004, 02:05 PM
You know, when it was happening I thought it was great to. I was flying through stopped traffic. You know, I didn't feel bad until I talked to the girlfriend. Hummmmm. Maybe that was my biggest problem. :scrutiny:

May 4, 2004, 02:19 PM
Not a good idea. Don't do it. Leave earlier or skip it. I won't preach as I am sure others will.

Standing Wolf
May 4, 2004, 04:32 PM
It's my understanding one's required to have a law degree to chase ambulances.

May 4, 2004, 04:41 PM
Zing! :D

The risk there is that there may be more than one emergency vehicle trying to get through traffic, and if a bunch a jerks pull up behind the first ambulance and start daisy-chaining the highway, then the second ambulance can't get through, the people can't get out of its way (since other cars are already pulled over), and the second patient dies, or an accident occurs, or the firetruck can't get to the fire, or whatever. In that case, your convenience WOULD cause suffering for another, and so you'd be in the wrong.

If everyone did what you did, then the highway would be full behind the ambulance, and the people farther up the road would have to wait for the whole parade before they could get back on their way, and so scores would be inconvenienced by your corner-cutting.

In conclusion, it's not the right thing to do. The fact that there may be a law against it should also be taken into consideration. :p

May 4, 2004, 05:00 PM
Most paramedics I know, myself included will report you. Nothing is more aggravating than to have someone tailgating while you are trying to render ptient care. One more thing to worry about. Redlights and sirens tend to cause some drivers to vaporlock and do really silly things. If someone stops suddenly or pulls out in front of an ambulance.... Well, you get the picture.

May 4, 2004, 08:19 PM
In VA I believe it's illegal to follow within 300' of an emergency vehicle. If you were keeping your distance, no harm, no foul, but at 300' back, the chances of other drivers getting in front of you is pretty high, impeding your progress . . . but sometimes one does just get lucky - YMMV.

May 4, 2004, 08:20 PM
Once upon a time, many, many years ago, I was working away from home. I received a call to come home as quickly as possible because my wife was having a miscarraige and I needed to take her to the hospital.

I broke most of the traffic laws of the state and made it in time to see her fade into unconciousness. I called for an ambulance and hustled the kids off to the neighbors house until I could return and take care of them. When the meatwagon arrived I decided to simply follow it to the hospital so I wouldn't be stranded without wheels.

Well, the hospital was in the next town and the ambulance driver pulled out all the stops to get there. I had a tough time keeping up with him on the open highway and when we got to city streets it got worse. To make it even more fun, a Highway Patrolman was chasing me, not knowing who I was or why I was driving so fast. Maybe he thought I was a lawyer and wanted to get even with me for some past wrong, but as I drove up to the hospital and jumped out to follow the stretcher into the ER, he yelled at me to "Stop, right there!"

I pulled out my wallet and threw my drivers license to him and told him that my wife was dying and I was going inside. He yelled at me again, telling me that I was not going inside until he said so.

I looked him straight in the eye and told him that I might very well have to tell my kids their mother was dead and unless he wanted to shoot me and make it a clean sweep for them, I was going in. With that, I turned around and went in in time to see the nurses hook her up to the first of seven units of blood she had to take before she stopped bleeding. The cop came in and talked to the Doctor for a moment before handing me my drivers license and leaving.

Some cops ARE nice guys, but, as I said, that was a long time ago.

May 4, 2004, 09:46 PM

What a hair-raising story! I'm glad your wife was all right.

Closed the thread because it is off topic for the board. Good points, everyone.


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