Today, a special visit from my friend, Happy Medic:
I was wondering if there is an ordinance or law about yielding towith red light and siren activated. So many folks pull left, stop or begin to weave when I approach them with the lights and sirens on. Am I right in screaming at them that they’re disobeying the law?
This will not change whether or not I scream at people, just curious.
HM, what follows is direct from DMV‘s website:
You must yield the right of way to any police car, fire engine,ambulance, or other emergency vehicle using a siren and red lights. Drive as close to the right edge of the road as possible and stop until the emergency vehicle(s) has passed. However, never stop in an intersection. If you are in an intersection when you see an emergency vehicle, continue through the intersection and then drive to the right as soon as you can and stop. Emergency vehicles often use the wrong side of the street to continue on their way. They sometimes use a loud speaker to talk to drivers blocking their path.
You must obey any traffic direction, order, or signal by a traffic or police officer or a fire fighter even if it conflicts with existing signs, signals, or laws.
It is against the law to follow within 300 feet of any emergency vehicle which is answering an emergency call.
If you drive for sight-seeing purposes to the scene of a fire, accident, or other disaster you may be arrested. Casual observers interfere with the essential services of police, fire fighter, ambulance crews, or other rescue or emergency personnel.
If you want the CVC section, read on…
Authorized Emergency Vehicles
21806. Upon the immediate approach of an authorized emergency vehicle which is sounding a siren and which has at least one lighted lamp exhibiting red light that is visible, under normal atmospheric conditions, from a distance of 1,000 feet to the front of the vehicle, the surrounding traffic shall, except as otherwise directed by a traffic officer, do the following:
(a) (1) Except as required under paragraph (2), the driver of every other vehicle shall yield the right-of-way and shall immediately drive to the right-hand edge or curb of the highway, clear of any intersection, and thereupon shall stop and remain stopped until the authorized emergency vehicle has passed.
(2) A person driving a vehicle in an exclusive or preferential use lane shall exit that lane immediately upon determining that the exit can be accomplished with reasonable safety.
(b) The operator of every street car shall immediately stop the street car, clear of any intersection, and remain stopped until the authorized emergency vehicle has passed.
(c) All pedestrians upon the highway shall proceed to the nearest curb or place of safety and remain there until the authorized emergency vehicle has passed.
Amended Sec. 68, Ch. 1154, Stats. 1996. Effective September 30, 1996.
Long story short, yell away, my good man. As I’m sure you can attest, there are so many people who either just keep on a-drivin‘ or stop in the middle of the street or, and I’ll never understand this, pull to the left and stop. All the aforementioned fools pay dearly for their mistake…not an inexpensive fine.
And a personal postscript…thanks to Amanda for the reminder. Allergies are kicking my ass today and I’ve been walking around in a Claritin/Pollen induced haze. Still Saturday, though, so I’m good…
Also, I’ve got a few weeks of questions ready to roll, but I’m always looking for more. I save them all in my email folder and keep them on file, so feel free to submit them whenever you’d like!