Traffic Laws About Emergency Vehicles

Posted on December 26, 2011 · Posted in Auto Electrical Repairs

What should you do when you notice the presence of ambulance sirens in traffic? First of all, when you hear ambulance sirens, you should know that it is an indication of an emergency vehicle in traffic.

Some driving laws vary from state to state in the United States. That being said, there are basic rules you’ll have to follow. For the exact laws regarding what to do when you see ambulance sirens in traffic in whatever state you are in, check out the BMV booklet that teenagers get when learning how to drive.

The books may have slightly different wording on the subject, but it usually goes something like this:

“You must yield the right-of-way to fire, ambulance, police and other authorized emergency vehicles when they are responding to emergency.”. Part of the indication that they are authorized is their vehicle’s sirens. The manual goes on to say: “They will display flashing red, or red and white, lights and sound a siren or air-horn. When you hear or see an emergency vehicle approaching your vehicle from any direction, including on your side of an expressway or limited access highway, safely pull over immediately to the right edge of the road and stop. Wait until the emergency vehicle passes before driving on. If you are in an intersection, drive out of it before you pull over. You must pull over and stop for an emergency vehicle even if it is coming toward you in the opposite lane of a two-way roadway.

The driver’s manual also indicates that if you hear a siren or air-horn nearby but cannot see an emergency vehicle or its lightbar or mini lightbar, you should pull over and stop until you are sure it is not approaching you. It reads: “An emergency vehicle using lights and a siren or air-horn may be unpredictable. The driver may legally exceed the speed limit, pass red lights and STOP or YIELD signs, go the wrong way on one-way streets and turn in directions not normally allowed. Although emergency vehicle drivers are required to exercise due care, be very cautious when an emergency vehicle approaches.

The last thing any driver wants to do is get in the way of an emergency vehicle when someone’s life – or many people’s lives are on the line, but it’s also important to consider your own safety as the driver of y our own vehicle. From the Driver’s Manual statement above, you can see that emergency vehicles are given the right to do whatever it takes to get to where they need to go and be of assistance, and it is your responsibility to do what you can to protect yourself while getting out of their way}.