The rescue corridor, which is called the life corridor, is the "extra" lane that drivers create to allow ambulances and other emergency vehicles to pass through a traffic jam. When drivers create a corridor of life, the travel time of emergency services to the place of the accident is shorter, which significantly increases the chances of survival of those injured in the accident. Faster arrival of emergency services means faster "cleaning up" of the place of the incident, discharge of accumulated congestion and reducing the likelihood of subsequent collisions.

Law - regulations and planned changes

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According to art. 9 of the Road Traffic Act, every participant of the road and every other person on the road is obliged to facilitate the passage of emergency vehicles by immediately removing themselves from their road, and stop if necessary. This means that drivers seeing or hearing a priority vehicle should not enter at the intersection, and pedestrians enter the pedestrian crossing. Unfortunately, this results in chaos among drivers. They don't know exactly how to behave, without clearly defined guidelines, they usually just stop where they are, which makes it even more difficult for emergency services to travel. In Poland, the rules for creating a life corridor were introduced on December 6, 2019.

The rules for creating a corridor of life


In many Western European countries, drivers have a legal obligation to create a rescue corridor. Failure to comply with this obligation is severely punished. In Germany, according to their regulations, drivers in a stopping traffic are already obliged to exit to the edge of the road to enable emergency services to travel if necessary.
The rules for creating a corridor of life are very simple. When moving on a single carriageway, pull down to the right edge of the road to the maximum. In the case of a dual carriageway, each driver should descend to the extreme edges of the road, i.e. cars in the right lane roll to the right, and cars in the left lane to the left edge of their lane. In the case of a multi-lane road, chaos and confusion among drivers can be observed. The principle of creating a rescue corridor is, however, also very simple in this case. We apply the right hand principle here. The counterpart of the leftmost lane is our thumb, the remaining fingers are the remaining lanes. According to this scheme, the left lane goes to the left and all other lanes go to the right.
Regarding the occupation of the emergency lane, opinions are divided. In Germany, regulations that prescribe the creation of a corridor prohibit the use of an emergency lane, as it should be accessible for emergency vehicles. Polish emergency services point out that on Polish roads the emergency lane is often narrowed (e.g. on bridges and viaducts), and moreover, it is intended for vehicles that have failed, therefore the emergency lane is impossible and easier the way to get to the place of incident is through the rescue corridor. It should be noted that the road widths are adjusted in such a way that when going down to the edge of the road it is possible to create a corridor of life without having to occupy the emergency lane.


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