Right of way: what the law says about emergency vehicles - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Right of way: what the law says about emergency vehicles

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ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

In the wake of a fatal accident that killed three people in Irwin Co. early Thursday morning, a closer look at Georgia law says the driver meeting an ambulance with it's emergency lights and siren on did the lawful thing by pulling over and stopping.

Georgia law says drivers should pull over to the right and stop when meeting an emergency vehicle when its emergency lights and siren are on.

Dougherty County EMS supervisor Sam Allen says on an emergency run drivers have become more helpful.

"Most of the drivers are really good about moving out of the way," says Allen. "We just come, they panic."

Georgia's Move Over Law says that when emergency vehicles are pulled over to the side of the road, drivers should move over a lane and pass cautiously. If a driver cannot move over, then slow down and prepare to stop.

Allen says they just ask drivers they are meeting on roads to give them room.

"If they will just move to the right, give us passage on the left, we'll scoot right on by them, and we won't cause any potential danger," says Allen.

Georgia Code says "the driver 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 and shall stop and remain in such position until the authorized emergency vehicle or law enforcement vehicle has passed, except when otherwise directed by a police officer."

Paramedics now say they have slowed their drive to the hospital with patients, for safety.

"In the back of the ambulance you got trained paramedics who do so many advance life saving procedures, reminds Allen. "They are able to take care of you. So we are able to slow our speeds down.  Because you are getting that excellent care from the time they first get to you, till the time you get to the hospital."

Allen says paramedics try to make steady rides for the paramedic caring for the patient, and not high speed runs for the hospital. 

Though  Georgia law says drivers should stop and wait for the emergency vehicle to pass, emergency drivers say it's most important for drivers not to panic, but rather slow down and move to the right and give them as much room as possible.

Allen also cautioned, cars should not go into the median or grass beside the roadway while moving, because that is very dangerous and can easily cause a crash.

See the full context of the Move Over Law HERE:

Check out the full Georgia code concerning emergency vehicles below:



O.C.G.A. § 40-6-74  

 

GEORGIA CODE
Copyright 2012 by The State of Georgia
All rights reserved.


*** Current Through the 2012 Regular Session ***


TITLE 40.  MOTOR VEHICLES AND TRAFFIC  
CHAPTER 6.  UNIFORM RULES OF THE ROAD  
ARTICLE 4.  RIGHT OF WAY


O.C.G.A. § 40-6-74  (2012)

 


§ 40-6-74.  Operation of vehicles on approach of authorized emergency vehicles


   (a) Upon the immediate approach of an authorized emergency vehicle or a vehicle belonging to a federal, state, or local law enforcement agency making use of an audible signal and visual signals meeting the requirements of Code Section 40-6-6, the driver 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 and shall stop and remain in such position until the authorized emergency vehicle or law enforcement vehicle has passed, except when otherwise directed by a police officer.

(b) This Code section shall not operate to relieve the driver of any authorized emergency vehicle from the duty to drive with due regard for the safety of all persons using the highway.

HISTORY: Ga. L. 1953, Nov.-Dec. Sess., p. 556, § 76; Code 1933, § 68A-405, enacted by Ga. L. 1974, p. 633, § 1; Ga. L. 1990, p. 2048, § 5.

 

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