About driving

Key driving skills

Receiving signals

There are a variety of other signals that other road users will use to communicate to you. You must know what these signals are and what to do when you see them.

Flashing lights and sirens

If an emergency vehicle (such as an ambulance, fire engine or police car) is coming towards you or behind you, and is using sirens and/or flashing red, blue, or blue and red lights, you must pull over and, if necessary, stop and allow it to pass.

Picture of flashing red lights on an emergency vehicle

Flashing red lights on an emergency vehicle

If a police car is following you with its siren on and/or flashing blue, or blue and red lights, you must pull over and stop as soon as possible.

If asked to, you must give the following to a police officer:

  • your name, address and date of birth
  • your driver licence
  • the name of the vehicle's owner.
Picture of flashing red and blue lights on a police car

Flashing blue and red lights on a police car

If a vehicle is following you with flashing blue lights, you must pull over and stop as soon as possible. Flashing blue lights are used by customs officers, fisheries officers and marine reserve officers. These people have the right to stop vehicles.

Picture of flashing blue lights

Flashing lights on a customs/fisheries/marine reserve car

Doctors, nurses or midwives on urgent business may use a roof-mounted green flashing light. If you see these, you must pull over and allow the vehicle to pass.

When service vehicles, such as tow trucks and road maintenance vehicles, use flashing yellow lights, they are warning you to be careful around them. When you see these lights, slow down and be prepared to stop, if necessary.

Picture of flashing red lights on a service vehicle

Yellow flashing lights on a service vehicle

Oversize vehicles may use flashing yellow lights and pilot vehicles may use flashing yellow and purple lights. These mean you must pull over and, if necessary, stop, and let all the vehicles pass. For more information about oversize vehicles, see Vehicle-mounted signs.

Red flashing signals outside a fire station or airport mean you must stop and remain stopped until the lights stop flashing.

Picture of fixed flashing red signals

Flashing red signals

Police officer directing traffic

When a police officer is directing traffic, you must stop or go where the officer directs you. A police officer's directions overrule:

  • traffic signals
  • road signs
  • the give way rules.

If a police officer is controlling an intersection, be careful to get into the correct lane. If you don't, you may have to go the wrong way.

Show the officer where you want to go by using your indicators.

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Last updated: 11 May 2010