This week's safety tip, culled from the California Driver Handbook, offers advice on how to respond to what's commonly referred to as a "traffic break." You may want to pass this along to your fleet drivers as a friendly reminder.
Traffic breaks are used by law enforcement for several reasons. For example, officers may need to slow or stop traffic to remove hazards from the roadway, or they may be conducting emergency operations.
During a traffic break, the officer turns on the rear emergency lights, slows the police vehicle, and drives across the lanes of traffic in a serpentine manner. (To view an actual traffic break, click here.)
To assist the officer in conducting a traffic break, follow these rules:
- Activate your emergency flashers to warn other drivers there is a hazard ahead.
- Slowly begin to decrease your speed. Do not slow abruptly, unless it is necessary to avoid a collision. Slow to the same speed, while keeping a safe distance from the patrol car ahead of you.
- Do not attempt to drive past the patrol vehicle. Do not accelerate until the patrol vehicle has turned off its emergency lights, and traffic conditions ahead allow the return to normal speeds.