Safety & Accident

Video Tip: Yielding to Emergency Vehicles

September 28, 2015

VIDEO: Pull Over and Stop

Ever notice how indecisively some drivers respond to a quickly approaching emergency response vehicle? Though drivers are required to pull over and stop, some merely slow down.

Some drivers even seem oblivious. Is the radio volume too high to hear the siren? Or is another distraction at fault?

The result is fewer avenues of travel for the rescue vehicle. It must slow down and proceed more cautiously, wasting valuable time in a life-threatening situation. At the same time, the risk of a collision rises.

What if a driver hears a siren or air-horn nearby but isn’t sure where the emergency vehicle is? According to the New York DMV, you can safely pull over to the right-side edge of the road and stop until you’re sure the vehicle isn’t headed toward you.

Always wait until the emergency vehicle passes before you drive on. If you’re in an intersection, drive out of it before you pull over.

Use extreme caution whenever an ambulance, police car or fire truck activating its siren or air-horn is heading toward you. Remember, emergency response vehicles can 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.

To view a video in which a Loveland, Colo., police officer offers advice on the subject, click on the photo or link below the headline.

For additional advice from the Ohio Bar Association, click here. 

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