Alerts, Public Awareness, and Notices

Reacting to an approaching emergency vehicle

When you see the flashing lights or hear the sirens of an emergency vehicle approaching from either direction, you must immediately slow down, move as far to the right side of the roadway as you can, and stop. Remember to use your signals and check your mirrors and over your shoulders for other traffic before pulling over and stopping.

Do not stop at an intersection. Drive through if you cannot safely pull over before entering an intersection. Once you have cleared the intersection, signal, move as far to the right as possible, and stop.

On freeways, do not stop on the shoulder. Emergency vehicles use the shoulder if all expressway lanes are blocked.

There may be more than one emergency vehicle responding to the same situation. Check to ensure your way is clear before merging back into traffic.

Following within 150 metres of an emergency vehicle responding to a call is illegal.

Never try to outrun an emergency vehicle. Failing to pull over and stop for an emergency vehicle can result in a fine and demerit points on your driving record.

Approaching a stopped emergency vehicle with red lights flashing

When you see the flashing red lights of an emergency vehicle stopped in a lane or on the shoulder in the direction you are travelling, you must slow down and pass with caution. If the road has two or more lanes, and it can be done safely, move over into another lane to allow one lane clearance between your vehicle and the emergency vehicle. Failing to follow these rules can result in a conviction, fine, and demerit points on your driving record.

Use of flashing green lights by volunteer firefighters in personal vehicles

Both volunteer and career firefighters protect Welland. Career firefighters are on duty, responding to calls in emergency vehicles from their fire stations.

Volunteer firefighters respond to emergency calls in their personal vehicles and have a green flashing light mounted on the vehicle’s dashboard. The purpose of the light is to help other drivers recognize a firefighter en route to an emergency and be courteous, yielding the right-of-way. Firefighters may use the flashing green light on personally owned vehicles while proceeding to an emergency, including response to the fire station. The Highway Traffic Act does not permit a firefighter using a flashing green light while en route to an emergency to proceed through stop signs or stop lights without stopping, driving aggressively, or driving in the oncoming lane of traffic. The flashing green light does not provide any privileges or exemptions under the Highway Traffic Act.

It is not law for you to yield to or pull over for a vehicle with a flashing green light; however, you may want to consider doing just that. A vehicle with a flashing green light is responding to an emergency, and you may contribute to a quicker response time to the scene by allowing the vehicle the right-of-way.

As firefighters respond to emergencies in our community, you can help improve their safety and yours by following these few simple rules.

Public awareness


For information about purchasing a smoke or carbon monoxide alarm.

Combination smoke and carbon monoxide detector recalled due to potential failure to operate.

Public safety notices

Kid’s zone