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Riding along: CBS 17 gets a first-hand look at traffic terrors EMS deals with

CARY, N.C. (WNCN) - In a medical emergency, seconds matter — and yet, some local first responders said drivers aren’t moving over.

One would think most know what ambulances do: they respond to medical emergencies and get those in need to an emergency room as fast as possible.

“How would you like it if we were on the way to your loved one?” said Cary Area EMS paramedic Christian Bennett.

That’s how he treats every call.

They rely on one thing from drivers on the road — that they move over.

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CBS 17's Amy Cutler rode along with Cary Area EMS and found many drivers aren’t doing it. 

“It’s both a danger to us, both a danger to the public if they don't necessarily move out of our way,” Bennett said.

Maureen Haynes, an EMT, is Bennett's partner. “It’s becoming more and more of a danger for us as we’re driving to a call,” she said.

The law requires drivers move to the right, letting the ambulance or emergency vehicle pass them on the left.

We found some drivers going to the left, others coming to an immediate stop and still others flat out confused. 

“We're having to maneuver more around people in an unsafe way and really having to look in all ways,” Haynes said.

Sometimes that’s with a patient being treated in the back.

Those that fail to move over in North Carolina can be fined $250, plus court costs. 

“It comes down to just paying attention, slowing down, and realizing that we are an emergency. Someone has called 911. They're having an emergency, and we're trying to get to their family,” Haynes said.

Cary Area EMS allowed us to do the ride along with the hope that drivers will see the story and start following the law. 

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