One evening, not too long ago, I was crossing a busy Long Beach intersection when I heard a siren. I hurried to the other side of the street, stepped up on the curb, and turned around in time to see a paramedic unit drawing near. I also saw motorists crossing the intersection as if nothing were happening, forcing the paramedic unit to stop.
It is inexcusable to ignore the sound of an oncoming emergency vehicle. Immediately upon hearing a siren, one should look around, pull over to the right and stop; one should never speed up to get there first! Not only is the latter against the law, but it is contrary to all common sense, and a hazard to one's own well-being. Here is an example:
Suppose you are driving along behind another car. You hear a siren. Thinking you have time to cross the intersection you step on the gas. The person in front of you, however, sees things differently and slows down to let the emergency vehicle by. What happens? Whammo! You plow into the car in front of you. There is your accident, and whose fault is it? Yours.
I hope many of you drivers who are guilty of this selfish, unthinking act are reading this, because I would like you to remember one thing. The next time you are driving home after a hard day at work, thinking about that nice, hot dinner, someone out there may never have another dinner, because when the paramedics were on their way to save a life, they had to yield to your right of way.
And for Pete's sake, keep your radios down to an intelligent level so you can hear the thing coming!