Do you know what to do when a siren is approaching !? You must yield to police cars, fire trucks, ambulances and any other emergency vehicle sounding a siren and flashing their lights. It is not just courtesy to yield for first responders, it is the law. When you see light and hear sirens from emergency vehicles, you must give them room to pass and you must move over if they are stopped. Below is information on what you should do when you encounter emergency vehicles responding to a call.
Right of Way to Emergency Vehicles
When you see an emergency vehicle, you need to reduce your speed and move over and stop safely. This helps create an opening for the vehicle to pass and allow 1st responders to attend to their call quicker. Needless to say, you should always check your mirrors and signal before maneuvering into a new lane. If you can’t move over safely, you can slow down and leave a clear path for the vehicle to pass. The Texas Driver Handbook states that:
- You are not allowed to follow within 500 feet of a fire truck answering an alarm or an ambulance when the flashing red lights are on.
- Do not drive or park on the street where the fire truck has answered an alarm.
- Do not park in a location that interferes with the arrival or departure of an ambulance to or from the scene of an emergency.
The “Move Over” Law
Drivers are required to move over or slow down when approaching a stopped emergency vehicle. Move over a lane to give the stopped vehicle room. If you cannot move over safely, slow down when passing in the lane next to the emergency vehicle. This is to protect the safety of first responders who are often prone to injury or even death while among moving vehicles. The Texas Driver Handbook states that drivers should:
- Vacate the lane closest to the emergency vehicle if the highway has two or more lanes traveling in the direction of the emergency vehicle
- Slow to a speed not more than 20 mph less than the posted speed limit when the posted speed limit is 25 mph or more
- Slow to a speed less than 5 mph when the posted speed limit is less than 25 mph.
To read more about the Move Over law, click here.
When Is It Safe to Continue?
Just because a first responder has passed does not mean that it is safe to proceed. There is a possibility that another emergency response vehicle is close behind the one that’s just passed. Sometimes, drivers create hazardous situations by sneaking in behind the first response vehicle to capitalize on the newly opened road. Wait for all sirens to die down and flashing lights to cease. Only when it’s clear that all first response have passed and moved on, it is safe to continue.
Davis Law Firm is Here 4 You!
We at Davis Law Firm we want to remind you to drive safely. Our Personal Injury Attorneys have reviewed many cases where nonyielding vehicles caused car wrecks. When you see and hear emergency vehicles, slow down and pull over safely. If you find yourself in accident that was not your fault you can always contact us at (210) 444-4444, (956) 444-4444 or (361) 444-4444. Our team of legal representatives offer free initial consultation. Davis Law Firm is here 24/7 for you!