Have you ever noticed how many people fail to pull over for emergency vehicles? While on my recent excursions around the suburbs of Denver, I’ve noticed it quite often. And frankly, we can do better than that.
It’s not just a good idea, it’s the law
Perhaps some people don’t realize it’s a requirement. If that’s the case, maybe driver’s license tests should be a little tougher. Some folks just continue driving like normal, seemingly oblivious to the siren and red lights. Others remember to stop their car, but they stop it in the middle of the street, making the ambulance or fire truck maneuver around them. Not only is this not very helpful, it’s also against the law.
Ignorance of the law is no excuse for violating it. You may get lucky and not get ticketed. That police car rapidly approaching in your rear-view mirror, siren blaring, has an actual life or death situation to attend to. Just because he doesn’t stop to give you the ticket you rightly deserve doesn’t mean your not pulling to the side to let him pass is okay. It’s not.
Don’t believe it? Read the law yourself
Denver’s Municipal code is perfectly clear about what is required. Here it is, in it’s entirety, for your edification and enlightenment:
Sec. 54-183. – Operation on approach of emergency vehicles.
Upon the immediate approach of an authorized emergency vehicle displaying at least one (1) red light, or the driver is giving audible signal by siren, exhaust whistle or bell, the driver or operator of every other vehicle shall yield the right-of-way and shall immediately drive to a position parallel to and as close as possible to the right-hand edge or curb of the roadway, clear of any intersection, on streets where traffic in two (2) directions is permitted, and on one-way streets, to either the right or left-hand curb or edge of the roadway, clear of any intersection, and shall stop and remain in such position until the authorized emergency vehicle has passed, except when otherwise directed by a police officer.
You may just save a life!
So think about it, people… Seconds can mean the difference between life and death in emergency situations. Obviously ambulances, police cars, and firetrucks on their way to handle an urgent crisis need to get there rapidly. The least you can do is follow the law and pull over to the curb to let them easily and safely pass. Indeed, you may just save a life!