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Oncoming Emergency Vehicles

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Emergency Services Vehicles

Oncoming Emergency Vehicles

Gus Philpott
Woodstock Advocate
August 20, 2008


Why do drivers pull over and stop for an oncoming emergency vehicle, when that vehicle has a completely clear lane in which to travel?

Again on Lake Avenue this afternoon I noticed drivers pulling over for an ambulance heading toward the hospital. There were no cars in the eastbound lane; the ambulance had a clear shot. It was traveling in its lane, not in the center of the roadway.

I wonder what kind of educational campaign would get the message across to drivers that they only are required to stop if necessary to allow the emergency vehicle to pass safely.

Sure, slow down and pull to the right side of your lane, but you don't need to stop. Get a fresh copy of the Rules of the Road from the DMV right here in Woodstock and actually re-read it.

NOTE: (8/21/08) The 2008 Rules of the Road contains an incomplete explanation about meeting an oncoming emergency vehicle by omitting a phrase that permits you to keep moving unless it is necessary to stop to allow the emergency vehicle to pass safely.



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