By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Yield to emergency vehicles
Placeholder Image
This is a reminder to yield the right-of-way to all emergency vehicles displaying red lights and sirens. We are seeing an increase in motorists who are either unaware of the law or choose to ignore it, which is causing emergency response delays and increasing the hazards to emergency responders.

No matter where you travel, it is very common to see an ambulance, fire or police vehicle traveling under "code three" conditions. In fact, it occurs so often that some people become desensitized to the meaning and importance of the emergency response. Emergency services personnel are very concerned about motorists who do not properly react to vehicles operating in the emergency mode.

When an emergency vehicle approaches, and when it is safe to do so, all motorists in the area are required to pull to the right and stop to allow that vehicle to go by from either direction. Sometimes the emergency vehicle operator will use the loud speaker to give other instructions, but absent those, pulling to the right and stopping is the requirement. When traffic is gridlocked, for example at a busy, red-light intersection, it is best to stay put unless the emergency response team requests you to do otherwise. Be sure not to pull into an intersection against a red light and do not panic.

Even when the emergency vehicle is approaching from the opposite direction, motorists are required to pull to the right and stop. In some freeway conditions where there is an impassable physical barrier between the opposite [direction] lanes, it may be impractical to pull to the right, but technically the law does not make an exception for this particular situation.

Keep in mind that when there is one emergency vehicle, there usually are more to follow. So, it is important to proceed very carefully once it has passed by. Be sure to listen and look carefully before commencing your driving. Listening with an open window is advisable.

Motorists who are unable to hear emergency vehicles because they are playing loud music are a hazard. If one fails to hear an approaching emergency vehicle because of loud music, they face the possibility of being cited for both the failure to yield and loud music violations. If the aforementioned negligence leads to a collision with injuries or death, the penalties will be severe.

Emergency vehicles respond with lights and siren to protect and save peoples' lives. It is a mistake to assume otherwise. Every day and every hour, life-threatening events occur, whether it is a traffic collision with serious injuries, a drowning child, a burning building, a heart attack, stroke, or any number of other event that instantly turn a routine day into a living nightmare. The delays caused by inattentive or disobeying motorists can make the difference between life and death of the people who need emergency assistance. The trip to the emergency also becomes critically dangerous for the emergency crews and other motorists as well. And as our roadways become more congested, the problems will grow even worse. Remember that the next life-threatening emergency may be that of your own, or one of your loved ones. Surely, you would want all other motorists to make certain that their actions do not impede the response of the emergency crew to your emergency. Drive safe and yield to the emergency workers as they do their jobs.