Keep one foot on the brake so that the brake lights inform drivers of emergency vehicles that you have stopped. When you hear a siren or see flashing red lights from an ambulance or fire truck, if you are being followed, you need to slow down and stop. If a police car follows you with the flashing lights (which will be red and blue), then you should stop unless it passes you and continues on its way. You must give way to police vehicles, fire trucks, ambulances, or other emergency vehicles with red or blue sirens, air horns, or flashing lights.
You must give way to a police car, fire truck, ambulance or other emergency vehicle that uses a siren and flashing lights. Get as close as possible to the right of the road and stop until the emergency vehicle (s) have passed. However, don't stop at an intersection. Continue through the intersection and turn right as soon as you can.
Sometimes emergency vehicles use the wrong side of the street to continue on their way. So what qualifies as an emergency response area? This refers to any space on or near a road where work is being performed by police, medical personnel, firefighters, forensics, rescue personnel, recovery drivers or any other type of emergency personnel. Be sure to follow all instructions given by emergency vehicle drivers, as they have a clearer view of the road and will be able to determine the best course of action for vehicles that give up the right of way. After recently seeing a row of cars following a speeding fire truck, I thought I'd write a blog about emergency vehicles.
The law states that emergency response vehicles must have the right of way over all other road users, when sounding a siren or showing flashing lights. Keep an eye on other motorists and maneuver in a controlled manner while you stop, as they will also try to give way to the emergency vehicle. When the emergency vehicle has successfully overcome it, retreat to your lane and resume your trip with caution. If an emergency vehicle with flashing lights and active sirens approaches from the opposite direction to the other side of the road, it must give way.
Certain state laws specify a speed limit for drivers who cannot leave the lane next to the emergency response area. If you hear sirens and see flashing lights in your rearview mirrors or side mirrors, it is likely that the emergency vehicle you are giving way to is traveling in the same direction as your car and trying to occupy the same space on the road. If you are moving to the left to pass an emergency vehicle, check your blind spots for cyclists. Do not give way to the emergency vehicle by pulling forward at the intersection, as stopping at an intersection is illegal.
Another reminder is that most states have laws that prohibit any vehicle from following within 500 feet of an emergency vehicle. Drivers of emergency vehicles are trained not to pressure other drivers when you can make them do something illegal or dangerous.