Proposed features/emergency vehicle access

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emergency vehicle access
Status: Abandoned (inactive)
Proposed by: FrankM
Tagging: access=emergency
Applies to: linear
Definition: Indicate that a road may only be accessed by emergency vehicles
Drafted on:
Proposed on: 2008-01-02

(Proposal was moved here from Proposed features/Access only)


In Germany, some streets are marked as "No vehicles, except emergency vehicles". (Most of them are emergency accesses to motorways)

"emergency access" was misleading. In an emergency, emergency vehicles may use almost every road.

"Except emergency vehicles"
<tag k="access" v="emergency"/>
<tag k="foot" v="yes"/>

No vehicles, except emergency vehicles

Applies to



A service road where only emergency vehicles are allowed:

<tag k="highway" v="service" />
<tag k="access" v="emergency" />

alternative proposal ("emergency" as a type of vehicle):

<tag k="access" v="no" />
<tag k="emergency" v="yes" />


  • It should simply be tagged access=private - you need "special permission" to use these highways. BTW, "Einsatzfahrzeug" not only includes emergency vehicles but all vehicles on official business, including snowploughs or repair crews. 3247 22:17, 12 January 2008 (UTC)
    • "Einsatzfahrzeuge" are only emergency vehicles (usually those equipped with blue lamps and siren), there's another sign "Dienstfahrzeuge frei" ("On duty cars free") i've seen near maintenance depots Frank 20:30, 15 January 2008 (UTC)
      • Vehicles equipped with blue lamps and siren would not need a special permission, would they? They are allowed to break rules, anyway. I would expect an "Einsatzfahrzeuge frei" on "no vehicles" signs, which mark service entries to motorways, for example. In this case, it's absolutely clear that a snow plough or repair crew is allowed to use that way. However, it really does not matter; for mapping purposes it's sill access=private.
        • "Vehicles equipped with blue lamps and siren" only have special rights in case of an emergency (at least ambulances need additional permission by the regional emergency dispatch center). but i think access=private would be ok. Frank 21:55, 24 January 2008 (UTC)
        • I think that this tag is to distinguish between ways which *can* be physically used by emergency vehicles, and those that emergency vehicles are physically unable to use (because they're too narrow, small, etc.) Andrewpmk 02:38, 23 January 2008 (UTC)
          • An emergency vehicle is no different from a passenger car or goods vehicle in this respect: If ways are too narrow, it would be tagged as motorcar=no anyway. However, what does make a difference is whether a restriction that makes a way private is just a legal restriction (and can be ignored in emergencies -- or for other reasons) or whether it is also enforced physically (barriers, etc.) -- 3247 13:18, 9 February 2008 (UTC)
  • Just to explain the reason why i'd like to have those roads mapped (no matter how they are tagged). They aren't included in commercial maps and seem not to be well known. Some years ago i was standing in a traffic jam that was caused by a crash with a burning car (where 2 people died) at a motorway exit. At that place, there was one of those roads leading exactly to the crash site (road distance fire station <-> crash site about 3km), but the fire brigade took the regular motorway access, passed the crash site, turned to the next exit and came back through the traffic jam (total about 30km). Frank 22:37, 24 January 2008 (UTC)