Vehicles ignore wig-wag lights at Droitwich Fire Station
Drivers are putting themselves and Hereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue Service crews at risk by ignoring warning lights outside a town fire station.
The wig-wag light system at Droitwich Fire Station is designed to bring vehicles on the road outside the station to a halt to allow fire appliances to make a safe exit on to the road.
These are similar lights to those seen at level crossings; but fire engines sometimes have to wait on the fire station forecourt for drivers who have ignored the warning lights to drive by, which can slow down the response times to an emergency call-out.
An amber light warns of impending activity and two flashing red lights mean that all vehicles should stop.
But some drivers are ignoring the stop lights with a number of near-misses reported and potentially disastrous consequences for themselves, other drivers, and the people waiting for the fire engine to arrive.
Although a road sign warns that there is a fire station ahead, the problem is particularly acute with traffic approaching from the Waitrose side which may not be able to see the station, which is on a bend.
Over the last five years, there have been an average of more than 900 call-outs each year from Droitwich Fire Station and, if the lights are ignored, each one could be a potential hazard.
Gareth Clarke, Station Commander at Droitwich Fire Station, said: "We are concerned that drivers are putting themselves and our firefighters at risk and slowing down our crews attending emergencies.
"We are concerned that one of our pumps will be driven into as it's leaving the station and that could have serious consequences – and also that it could put the pump off the road which is en route to an emergency.
"Our fire appliances have cameras on board so can capture footage of cars which neglect to stop at the lights and that could be passed to the police."
Safer neighbourhood team Sergeant Sarah Kent said: "Road traffic signals are in place for the benefit of all road users. We want every road user to remember that the lights outside a fire station should be adhered to."
She continued: "When the lights are on red outside the station cars need to stop to allow fire engines to depart the station safely and get to the incident they are responding to as quickly as possible."
Motorists who are caught failing to heed the signal face a fine and points on their licence, a court appearance, or being required to attend a red-light training course.