Motoring News

Emergency vehicles – what to do Deciding what to do when you hear an emergency vehicle approaching can be a dilemma. Do you stay where you are and potentially block the progress of an emergency vehicle? Or do you move into a position that may put you or other road users at risk? Unfortunately, some drivers over-react to emergency service vehicles travelling on ‘blues and twos’ (blue lights and two-tone horns).  This is often because they don’t hear or see the emergency vehicle until it’s too close, and then take drastic action to get out of the way. Irish Advanced Motorists says that good driving practice will alert you early to emergency vehicles: regular mirror checks (side and rear) for example, and keeping the windows slightly down around town, so you can hear sirens approaching. Don’t panic and just brake. It’s natural to want to react. But instinctively putting your brakes on immediately in front of an emergency vehicle doesn’t help: it slows the progress of the emergency vehicle and jeopardises other road users. Think about where you are on the road. You should deal with the problem in the same way that you deal with any other potentially hazardous driving situation. What is the safest option available to you? Don’t cross red traffic lights or speed to get out of the way. The emergency driver has specialist training. Bus lanes and box junctions can be problems too, but let them resolve the problem of breaking the rules – not you. If you are moving it may well be that you can continue at a reasonable pace and the emergency vehicle can follow you out of a pocket of congestion (such as a blocked one way system). In that scenario, attempting to pull over too soon, or slow down, might just cause a needless obstruction and so hamper the progress of the emergency vehicle. Indicate your intentions clearly. Don’t pull in opposite other obstructions, such as centre bollards. If you are thinking about pulling over across an entrance to a school or factory, you may be unwittingly preventing the emergency vehicle reaching its destination. And do think about where you are asking the emergency driver to overtake you – on the brow of a hill or a blind bend can be placing him or her in a very difficult position. Get out of the way as soon as you can do so in safety. Reduced Audi prices 68 percent of the entire Audi model range, including all of their main volume selling variants, will drop in price with the arrival of new VRT changes which come into force on July 1st. Models to benefit from this price reduction include the A3 Cabriolet petrol (down €2,200), A4 petrol (down €2,300), A4 TDI (down by €6,700 in the 2.0 TDI 143 BHP version), A5 petrol (down €4,900) and A6 saloon, avant and allroad (down €7,070, €7,070 and €4,740 respectively). Also set to benefit is the new diesel TT Coupe and Roadster, first versions of which will arrive here shortly.  Thanks to their Band B rating, the new two-litre TDI 170bhp, six-speed manual quattro Coupe, priced at €44,180 (ex-works) will have an ultra-low road tax rating of €150. Other elements in the Audi package include cuts in CO2 emissions in the case of A3, A4 and A5 and an improvement in equipment levels in the A5 involving the addition of electric seat adjustment and multifunction steering wheel to all versions. A number of new engines have also been launched in A4, TT and A5 models as part of the 2009 Audi model year line up. These include new petrol and diesel units comprising 2.0 TFSI and 2.0, 2.7 and 3.0-litre TDi models in the 120bhp – 240bhp power range with manual, tiptronic, s-tronic and Quattro permanent four wheel drive transmission, depending on model choice. Commenting, Audi sales manager John Hayes said that thanks to the support given by Audi in Germany, it has been possible to complete a price and specifications repositioning of the brand in order to ensure that Audi maintains its competitive position in the light of the new tax changes. Full details are posted on the Audi website at www.audi.ie