Enforcement - Yielding to and Passing Emergency Vehicles
When emergency vehicles using audible and visual signals, or a police vehicle with only the siren activated, unless otherwise directed by a police officer, must, as stated in the statutes:
- yield the right-of-way;
- immediately drive to a position parallel to and as close as possible to the right-hand edge or curb of the roadway clear of any intersection; and
- stop and remain standing until the authorized emergency vehicle has passed.
Traffic in both directions must yield. Emergency vehicles, of course, have the right-of-way at all intersections.
A law passed in 2003 requires drivers to get out of the lane closest to emergency vehicles that have flashing lights on the side of the highway or slow down to a speed 20mph below the posted speed. Failure to comply could result in a fine of up to $200.
Passing Emergency Vehicles
- When you hear a siren or see a flashing light, you know an emergency vehicle is on the scene. You may be in a car, on a bicycle, or walking on the sidewalk. It's important to know the rules for how to safely respond when you encounter an emergency vehicle on the road.
- The most important rule is to pull over and stop. If you're in a car, pull over to the right side of the road and stop. If you're on a bicycle, move to the right side of the road and stop. If you're walking on the sidewalk, move out of the way of the emergency vehicle and let it pass.
- When an emergency vehicle approaches from behind, you should check your rearview mirror and move out of the way as soon as possible. If you're in a car and the emergency vehicle is on the opposite side of the road, you should pull over and stop. You should also turn off your engine and turn on your hazard lights if necessary.
- It's also important to remember that emergency vehicles have the right of way. You should yield to them and not try to compete with them. Even if you think you have the right of way, it's best to yield to the emergency vehicle and let them pass.
- When an emergency vehicle is passing, you should not speed up or try to pass it. You should also not honk your horn or try to distract the driver. Emergency vehicles may also be traveling faster than the posted speed limit. You should not try to keep up with them.
It's important to stay calm and follow the rules when you encounter an emergency vehicle on the road. Pull over and stop, turn off your engine, and move out of the way as soon as possible. Remember, emergency vehicles have the right of way and you should yield to them and let them pass.