Without warning, an emergency vehicle flies by on your right. Seconds later, a police vehicle pulls you over. You are left holding a hefty ticket for your failure to yield to an emergency vehicle that you never saw coming.
Emergency Vehicle Right Of Way Laws
Emergency vehicle right of way laws are in place to protect several groups of people, including: emergency vehicle operators, patients within the vehicle, pedestrians, and drivers. You may be charged with failure to yield to emergency vehicles if you:
- Do not come to a complete stop.
- Fail to move the right shoulder of the road.
- Fail to get out of the way of the emergency vehicle.
- Move in front of an emergency vehicle.
Emergency Vehicle Law Exceptions
There are instances in which the emergency vehicle right of way laws can be violated. In these instances, you will need to provide sufficient evidence to demonstrate that you did not fail to yield to the emergency vehicle.
- You are permitted to stay where you are if moving right would interfere with the path of the emergency vehicle.
- The emergency vehicle did not have any sirens or lights turned on at the time it passed your vehicle.
- There were pedestrians preventing you from moving to the right.
- The path to the right was unsafe for you to enter or it was blocked.
Prove Your Case
If you are issued a ticket for failure to yield to an emergency vehicle, make sure you collect the necessary evidence. Document the details of the moving violation as well as any evidence that demonstrates you were not in violation of the emergency vehicle right of way laws.
- Pedestrian information: If pedestrians prevented you from exiting the roadway, they can testify that they were in your way as the emergency vehicle passed your vehicle.
- Photo documentation: If you were in an intersection, photograph the area. Provide the judge with photographs of any obstacles that might prevent a vehicle from moving off the road.
- Description of the incident: Write down everything you can remember about the incident as quickly as possible.
Ask Your Lawyer For Assistance
Emergency vehicle right of way laws are in place for a reason. If you were issued a ticket for failure to yield to an emergency vehicle, your lawyer can help you navigate the law and argue your case. Their expertise can help you strengthen your case before a judge.