1. #1
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    Default Yeilding For Emergency Vehicles

    We cover an area that gets a large influx of winter visitors, snowbirds, from all over the US. We see lots of out of state plates doing different things when we are traveling code 3. The law here is pull to the right and stop.

    What is your local policy/law pertaining to yielding for emergency vehicles? (Pull to the right, etc.)


    We are just trying to figure out if they are doing what is expected of them from where they are form. Thanks!

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    Default Pennsylvania

    Same law applies here in this state, but very few motorists follow the law. Last week, while driving code 3 we approached a series of light controlled intersections on a 4-lane center divided highway. The first is at the bottom of a slight grade and was covered by an officer directing traffic. The second intersection, about 250 ft. farther on, at the base of an up grade (8%) was the intersection of a state route and a light showing green for our approach. The Lt. and I both observed a car nose into the intersection. I said, "Watch the guy at the intersection.... I took my foot out of the fuel as I eased through the first controlled intersection at about 25 mph. Well, we were both right because the guy at the state route kept edging out and pulled directly across my path into the left lane and began climbing the hill. I decided that he was not going to pull into the right lane, so I had just enough time to get the CAT wound back up to pull the hill. Now I am Passing the guy on the right, but having serious doubts about wether or not he is going to do something else stupid like cutting me off and stopping or racing me the rest of the way out the 4 lane and he did.

    Yes, the biggest part of this problem is enforcement. Some years ago, while driving an old L Model Mack with a walkway between the hose beds, I was followed by a car so tight on the rear step that I could only see him in the center mirror looking down the center catwalk. We called the dispatch and discovered that an officer was directing traffic at an intersection we were approaching. Since we were 3rd due on the call, I simply stopped beside the officer and asked him to arrest the driver behind me. It turned out to be a Domino's Delivery driver. I guess getting through traffic is more important than firefighters safety riding the back step.

    Kuh Shise
    Last edited by KuhShise; 02-11-2008 at 02:40 PM.

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    As Kuh Shise states, the law here in Pennsylvania is much the same. I'm sure many other states have it that way, too.

    As a practical matter, though, sometimes that's the worst thing that a motorist can do. We have several traffic light controlled intersections that have left turn lanes. If the left turn lane is occupied but the straight through/right turn lane is clear, the natural thing to do is to take the emergency vehicle through the clear lane. But about that time, Chief Brunacini's Mrs. Smith (or maybe Mr. Smith) does the right thing and moves to the right and stops, right in that lane (many of our streets don't have shoulders).

    In the late 70s when big trucks weren't allowed to descend Boot Jack Mountain, I used run through St. Marys fairly regularly. I seem to recall some pretty similar intersections there (all of Pennsylvania's loaded with them). I'm sure that I've passed through the one you describe. Have you all developed any solutions?

    Stay safe out there, everyone goes home!

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    Around here, people are more oblivious than anything. Once they see us, they get out of the way. Big red trucks, ambulances, police cars, my own truck, doesn't matter. They are equally oblivious. What is really a concern to me is what they do once they see us.

    - Panic. Slam on brakes and stop in the middle of the road.
    - Panic. Slam on brakes and stop in right shoulder.
    - Move to right shoulder but continue moving at road speed.
    - Move to right and slow down or stop (Thank you!)
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

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    Same here in MA. The MGL's state in part:

    Chapter 89: Section 7A. Restrictions on use of ways upon approach of emergency vehicles

    Section 7A. Upon the approach of any fire apparatus, police vehicle, ambulance or disaster vehicle which is going to a fire or responding to call, alarm or emergency situation, every person driving a vehicle on a way shall immediately drive said vehicle as far as possible toward the right-hand curb or side of said way and shall keep the same at a standstill until such fire apparatus, police vehicle, ambulance or disaster vehicle has passed.... Violation of any provision of this section shall be punished by a fine of not more than one hundred dollars.
    It seems lately that more and more people just try to outrun us by speeding up to keep ahead of the apparatus. The most scariest situation was when a vehicle went to the left side, thank god no one was coming the opposite direction.

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    Talking Dominos Drafter

    While not at all legal or safe, can you think of a faster way for a Dominos delivery driver to make time on a delivery run than to Nascar draft a rig on a code three run. Some what innovative on the drivers part. He is probably President of the company by now!!!

    In our state it is the law to slow down and move to the right as far as possible. Maybe a third of the citizens actually do!

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    Here in FL we have a lot of snowbirds as well. Personally, I presume the driver will make decisions that are the exact opposite of law, common sense, civility and the laws of physics. Unfortunately, I'm right more that I want to be. The law here is to yield to the nearest right of way which leaves drivers room to yield to the left though common practice is moving to the right. I get the best results when I make decisions for the other drivers. What I mean by that is that I'm very obvious about where I intend to go. For example if I want to pass left I will get as far left as I possibly can, perhaps even to the point of putting my left tire over the lane line if safe to do so. This puts me in the driver's rear view and left mirror. In essence you end up herding civilian traffic. Other members have mentioned in other threads about the lack of education and probably skill American drivers have. I think that also weighs heavily on how much we should or should not trust the ability of the average driver to make a helpful, much less rational decisions.

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    Here in Michigan motorists are supposed to yeild to emergency vehicles while responding lights and siren, but you know most people just dont pay attention anymore...

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    Quote Originally Posted by nmfire View Post
    Around here, people are more oblivious than anything. Once they see us, they get out of the way. Big red trucks, ambulances, police cars, my own truck, doesn't matter. They are equally oblivious. What is really a concern to me is what they do once they see us.

    - Panic. Slam on brakes and stop in the middle of the road.
    - Panic. Slam on brakes and stop in right shoulder.
    - Move to right shoulder but continue moving at road speed.
    - Move to right and slow down or stop (Thank you!)
    And also add

    Panic. Slam on brakes and pull into the center turn lane

    Then see the emergency vehicle now behind you in the center turn lane moving to the oncoming lane to go around, so turn left in front of the emergency vehicle and get broadsided. Promptly blame the emergency vehicle for the crash.
    Buckle Up, Slow Down, Arrive Alive
    "Everybody Goes Home"

    IACOJ 2003

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    Quote Originally Posted by JoeyKos View Post
    We cover an area that gets a large influx of winter visitors, snowbirds, from all over the US. We see lots of out of state plates doing different things when we are traveling code 3. The law here is pull to the right and stop.

    What is your local policy/law pertaining to yielding for emergency vehicles? (Pull to the right, etc.)


    We are just trying to figure out if they are doing what is expected of them from where they are form. Thanks!
    I assume from your post that it's not law nationally to move over?

    Here in Oz it is....

    Just like we must wear seat belts- nationally.

    Just like there's no lights and sirens on POV's- nationally.

    Just like there is agreed minimum training skills and standards for all emergency services- nationally.
    Last edited by lutan1; 02-14-2008 at 02:41 AM.
    Luke

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    Talking National Laws

    Living in the united STATES of america (a federal republic), we have a strong central government that is always fighting with the 50 indivdual states about states rights and who is in charge. For god's sake we fought a civil war over it. And it is still going on in some respects. The states don't want to give up their control of these type of issues. Every state D.O.T (Department of Transportation) has their own emergency lighting laws. Most are simular, but some are very different. On many issues it's like having 50 individual countries.
    But somehow, overall it seems to work pretty well !!
    Last edited by donethat; 02-15-2008 at 10:33 AM. Reason: Grammer

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    Default Virginia

    Here in VA, I thought the state law was to drive your vehicle in the manner most frustrating and dangerous to the approaching Emergency Vehicle. I don't even try to guess where the drivers are going to go anymore. It seems that people in the right lane like to pull to the left shoulder, the center lane likes to just stop where ever they are, and the left lane tries to race me to the next intersection.... all of this if the driver gets off their cell phone long enough to even notice us. I guess fire engines are too subtle....

    I did look up the state law to make sure, but it states:
    Code of Virginia section 46.2-829 state in part:

    Upon the approach of any emergency vehicle as defined in 46.2-920 giving audible signal by siren, exhaust whistle, or airhorn designed to give automatically intermittent signals, and displaying a flashing, blinking, or alternating emergency light or lights as provided in 46.2-1022 through 46.2-1024, the driver of every other vehicle shall, as quickly as traffic and other highway conditions permit, drive to the nearest edge of the roadway, clear of any intersection of highways, and stop and remain there, unless directed by a law-enforcement officer, until the emergency vehicle has passed.

    Violation of this section shall constitute failure to yield the right of way; however, any violation of this section that involves overtaking or passing a moving emergency vehicle giving an audible signal and displaying activated warning lights as provided for in this section shall constitute reckless driving.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JoeyKos View Post
    We cover an area that gets a large influx of winter visitors, snowbirds, from all over the US. We see lots of out of state plates doing different things when we are traveling code 3. The law here is pull to the right and stop.

    What is your local policy/law pertaining to yielding for emergency vehicles? (Pull to the right, etc.)


    We are just trying to figure out if they are doing what is expected of them from where they are form. Thanks!
    Here in Indiana we only have that problem in the summer. State law says anyone who turns 65 must must register as a Snow Bird. Then at first snow they have 5 working days to pack up and move to a warmer climate. They may return after April 15
    Last edited by confire; 03-03-2008 at 07:24 PM.

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    Pull off to the right and come to a complete stop until the emergency vehicle passes.
    If someone with multiple personalities threatens to kill himself, is it considered a hostage situation?

    Ryan

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