Module 3: 06 Right of way knowledge

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When you see a stopped emergency vehicle: Slow down and move into a lane if possible. If traffic and other conditions prevent you from changing lanes, you should slow down and proceed with caution. When an emergency vehicle is approaching: Pull over to the side of the road, away from intersections, and stop. Stay there until the emergency vehicle passes. Be attentive to others. There may be several other emergency vehicles. Keep one foot on the brake so your brake lights inform drivers of emergency vehicles that you have stopped. Stay at least 500 feet behind any moving emergency vehicle displaying flashing warning lights and sounding a siren. Never run after an emergency vehicle to get through a traffic light. Never pass a moving emergency vehicle with flashing lights unless directed by a police officer or emergency personnel. By following a few simple rules, you can help emergency workers get to the scene faster and more safely.

A person who fails to obey the law with respect to yielding the right of way to school buses displaying alternate flashing lights is subject to a fine of not less than $200.00 and not more than $1,000.00. A second conviction, or subsequent convictions, may result in a license suspension for up to 6 months. This is a Class A misdemeanor if the person causes serious bodily injury to another person or a felony punishable by state jail if the person has previously been convicted of causing serious bodily injury to another person.
You must yield the right-of-way to police cars, fire trucks, ambulances, and other emergency vehicles sounding a siren or horn or flashing a red light by pulling over to the right of the road and stopping. In the event that traffic is so congested that it prevents you from doing this safely, reduce your speed and leave a clear path for the emergency vehicle.

Drivers approaching a stopped emergency vehicle with active lights, unless directed otherwise by a law enforcement officer, should:

Vacate the lane closest to the emergency vehicle, if the highway has two or more lanes for travel in the direction of the emergency vehicle; either
Reduce speed to no more than 20 mph below the posted speed limit when the posted speed limit is 25 mph or less; either
Slow down to no more than 5 mph when the posted speed limit is less than 25 mph.

The best way to make sure emergency workers and those who need your help are safe is to pull out of the lane closest to them. Sometimes, such as when there is only one lane traveling in your direction, it is not possible to change lanes to give emergency workers room. If changing lanes is not possible, then you have to slow down. In Texas, you have to slow down 20 mph or if the speed limit is less than 25 mph, then slow down to 5 mph.