In the car yesterday, a fire truck was screaming up the street, sirens blaring, coming my way on a four-lane street, the busiest in L.A., Wilshire Blvd.

Everyone in all lanes pulled as far to their right as they could, which is the law here….I don’t know what all the laws of the country are for firetrucks and ambulances.

I saw all these cars on their way somewhere, and how nobody thinks twice of quickly pulling over the minute they hear the sirens, waiting until the emergency vehicles with their lights flashing have passed by and then proceeding.

It gives me hope.  Do you think it’s mostly just following the rules so you don’t get a ticket?  Is it not wanting to get hit?  Or is it recognizing the gravity that necessitates emergency people saving someone as fast as possible?  Is it kindness…caring about the person needing help?

I am always cheered by this phenomena that seems to go against everything some think about the American Spirit.  

As an aside, I have a friend who was raised in her church school to always say a prayer when she heard sirens for the person being attended to.  A few years ago, she was driving home only to hear sirens and fifty years of habit led her to pray.   She found out within the hour that her husband had died while out with his caretaker, of chocking at a restaurant, where the paramedics couldn’t save him.  He had advanced Parkinson’s disease.  Her praying and later finding it was her husband has never left my memory.  


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17 Responses to PULL OVER! WHY?

  1. bocopro says:

    Where I grew up (Indiana) and where I finally settled (Florida panhandle), people are very respectful of school buses and emergency vehicles. Even more reassuring, and a bit surprising perhaps, is their patience and courtesy at intersections when the power is out. People stop and allow others to go in a sort of instinctive response to common sense and social contracts.

    Most encouraging, tho . . . even admirable, is the custom of respecting funeral motorcades by pulling over and coming to complete stops when the motorcycle officer comes by. And that doesn’t happen only on the side of the divided 4-lane on which the hearse is traveling but on the opposite side as well where going on without stopping would not interfere with the procession.

    Not all of those going the other way who stop to pay respects to the departed are nice people; some are druggies, child abusers, drunks, petty crooks, wife beaters, and embezzlers . . . but they still stop. At that moment, whether to avoid bringing attention to themselves or because of some faint, flickering, residual ember of humanity deep in their cores, all stop as the lines of cars — often in the dozens, go slowly by in the opposite direction toward the cemeteries.

    One of the busiest streets in Pensacola is Navy Boulevard, which terminates on the Naval Air Station where the Barrancas National Cemetery lies. P’cola is a Navy town, so burials in the national ground are common. The entire street, both sides, goes still until the rear-guard motorcycle passes.

    Incidentally, if you happen to be on a military post at 0800 or sundown, you’ll notice that all motor and foot traffic stops while the National Anthem plays or evening colors goes.

    Traditions. Customs. Rituals. Without ’em, we’d be just a bunch of strangers living dangerously close to each other.


  2. Scherie and I always pray for both the First Responders and their clientele when we hear the sirens. It’s interesting that the black lives matter protesters will block emergency responders. So much for their American values


  3. Adrienne S says:

    I also say a prayer when I hear sirens. I move to the side because it’s the right thing to do.


  4. Mal says:

    Wilshire Blvd. is indeed one of the busiest in L.A. I’ll always remember one afternoon being in the center lane on Wilshire returning from the beach with my top down and suddenly had to slam my brakes on for a woman crossing in a crosswalk that was in the middle of the block. She turned and gave me a dirty look, then I noticed it was Betty Grable. I almost hit Betty Grable! Hey! I was probably 17 and we drove fast, right?
    As for the sirens, its automatic. We respond without thinking, just as we do at a red signal or flashing light in a school zone.


  5. Sparky says:

    I can’t tell you what’s in other people’s hearts but in mine is a sense of urgency. Get out of the way so the medical personnel can perform their duties without worrying about where I am on the road. Plus, I was a volunteer Firefighter for here in Pierce county for awhile, and believe me, it really helps when people get out of the way. We’re not trying to show off. We’re trying to save lives and property.
    It’s so encouraging to hear that other’s also pray when they hear sirens. I think it comes naturally for those of us who trust in our LORD Jesus Christ for salvation.
    Thanks for sharing that. It is very edifying to know we’re not alone. ~:)


  6. cube says:

    I believe that some people who move aside for fire and ER vehicles do it only because it’s the law and, if there were no repercussions, they would not give a fig. The rest of us would do it, law or not, because we wish that first responder Godspeed and a safe trip. You never know when it could be you or someone you love at their destination.


  7. geeez2014 says:

    I just love the whole phenomenon and believe that even if most of us pull over because it’s THE LAW, none of us doesn’t think, somewhere inside, “thank God it’s not me…or my loved one”….

    Mal, I did the same thing turning left from Beverly Drive on to Kiowa, I think it was…in Beverly Hills…spun around the corner and came to a screeching halt for Dinah Shore, who was standing in the middle of the street!!!


  8. cube says:

    Don’t these stars know how to cross the road? Even a chicken knows how to do that 😉

    Bok. Bok.


  9. geeez2014 says:

    OH, GAD! Rick Perry for Energy Secretary? I’m SO not a fan of this guy….tell me I’m WRONG! I think he’s a jerk. No offence, Rick.

    AND why did Trump meet with BILL GATES today? Ptui


  10. Baysider says:

    It’s the law, and you don’t want to get hit or get them in an accident. In my neighborhood – where they put the train down the middle of a busy street with an at-grade crossing at one of the most congested intersections in town (they had another choice but refused it), I regularly see a fire truck get held up for the train. And these trains were promised to stop at intersections. They lied. I’m sure the fire dept. isn’t amused either. It’s a mess. But a woman shared in bible study long ago about prayer when she heard sirens. I’ve never forgotten it and always do.


  11. On a related note, we here our dog howl in the back yard long before we hear the siren.


  12. geeez2014 says:

    I don’t care what everybody’s saying about LAWS, I think that people really are so good that they get out of the way to make it clear for an emergency…it could be them!


  13. geeez2014 says:

    Ed, you know dogs hear pitches and sounds we can’t even hear…makes sense that the siren comes thru to them first, doesn’t i!


  14. Baysider says:

    re: Rick Perry for a cabinet position??

    To paraphrase the Jews at Passover:
    Tom Price for HHS, dayenu
    Betsy de Vos for Education, dayenu
    Elaine Chao, transportation, dayenu
    James Mattis SECDEF, dayenu!!


    dayenu = it would have been enough

    Just think of the Hildebeast, and be grateful (which I know you are)


  15. geeez2014 says:

    Yes, I am grateful but …I’m SO not a Perry fan, tho I know a lot of Cons are….oy!~!!


  16. Maybe not for president but what can it hurt foe Secretary of Energy Department. he said he wanted to get rid of it when he finally remembered what it was.


  17. jean worland says:

    I always pull over when I hear a siren because it is the law and I know that the ambulance is on its way to an accident scene or the hospital. I can attest to the latter as I was one of those in the ambulance and thankfully, people were pulling over for me as I was whisked away to UCLA having suffered a stroke. Because I was able to get to the hospital within the two-hour window frame of time when one has a stroke, I was able to be given the medication TPA for stroke victims and suffered no ill effects. I shudder to think what might have happened if cars hadn’t pulled over and the ambulance wasn’t able to get to the hospital in time!


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