Defense for Failure to Yield to an Emergency Vehicle: Unsafe Stop

We all know the loud whine of an ambulance or the howl of a police car and we all know what to do: get to the side. Emergency vehicles on call always receive the right of way. Of course many people are still charged with failure to yield to an emergency vehicle, one of the most serious of all traffic violations.

So, How Do I Yield?

Yielding for emergency vehicles can be a little difficult. You hear the sirens and only have a few seconds to take action. Police cars, ambulances, and fire trucks are usually going pretty fast when they have their sirens on so you need to know how to handle the situation before it arises. Failure to properly yield can result in a fine, an accident, and of course it cuts down on the response time of those emergency vehicles. The general rule is to move to your right. If you are on a highway and are in the middle lanes you will proceed to the furthest right outside lane. Those cars that were traveling on the outside lane will have moved onto the side. As you yield you will want to make sure that it is safe. Gradually slow speed until it is safe to stop. If you slam on your brakes it may just cause another accident.

Unsafe Stop and Disputing the Ticket

Failure to yield will result in a citation. Since the nature of the citation is so serious, with lives possibly hanging in the balance, the fine is steep. A traffic ticket is a messy ordeal that often raises insurance premiums and costs points on your license. So, if you get a ticket and feel that it was unjust you will want to consider fighting it. One defense is that it was unsafe for you to bring your vehicle to a stop. By telling the judge that it would be an unsafe stop he may throw the ticket out with just a stern warning.

You Might Want a Lawyer

If you are going to cite an unsafe stop you will need to prove it. A lawyer will be able to help you with this. Traffic lawyers understand the complexities and nuances involved in fighting a ticket and they will certainly be able to determine if you failed to yield because of an unsafe stop.

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