Sirens & Lights Guidelines
Everyone probably knows a driver should Go Right, Drive Right,
Steer Right or Move to the right-hand
side of the road, and
yield to an emergency vehicle when its lights are
However, there are
several circumstances when a driver should consider
additional options that provide
better safety, such as those listed below.
All Emergency Services want their
response time minimized. Precious minutes lost while
enroute to an emergency could be the difference between
life and death. With the advent of new sound-proof cars,
high-decibel stereo systems, cell phones, and
unfortunately, drivers who simply don't care about
anyone but themselves, the idea of getting to an
emergency scene fast is very difficult. Many times they
are often faced with drivers who can't see or hear them.
This creates an incredibly frustrating situation for the
emergency vehicle driver, as they weave their way
When you see sirens & lights, remain calm
Do keep a foot on the brake to alert the emergency
vehicle driver that your vehicle is stopped or stopping.
Once stopped, remain stopped.
Do be alert when you see a fire
engine or a medic unit coming out of its station, pull to
the right-hand side and stop. The law requires you to pull to the right-hand side and yield to an emergency vehicle, even before it gets on the road.
the right-hand edge or curb and stop.
Once stopped, remain stopped.
Do remain stopped until all emergency vehicles have
Do pull over into the right-hand lane as the traffic in the
lane to your right-hand side moves over.
Do move over or slow down when approaching
stationary emergency vehicles with lights activated.
provide a three feet clearance when passing a
bicyclist. (New Ohio State law effective 3-22-2017)
remember that funeral processions are classified as
emergency vehicles. Drivers are required to yield to funeral
escort vehicles displaying proper audio or visual signals.
stop in, just before or just after a blind curve
if that action completely paralyzes forward movement for the
emergency vehicle. Keep moving until there is a path for the
emergency vehicle to pass.
stop on the uphill side, the downhill side or while
cresting a steep hill on a two-lane road if that action
completely paralyzes forward movement for the emergency
vehicle. Keep moving until there is a path for the emergency
vehicle to pass.
stop in an
500 feet after the emergency vehicle(s) have passed.
assume there is
only one emergency vehicle.
race ahead to get
through a green light or turn before the emergency vehicle
turn quickly to the
left into a driveway or street.
through a red light or stop sign when an emergency
panic and slam on
an ambulance is not running sirens & lights does
not mean they do not have a patient on board.
Ambulances transport patients, assume a patient is on
board even without sirens & lights. Please do not cut in
front of them. If you were an ambulance patient consider
how you would respond if the vehicle driver had to
suddenly slam on the brakes because of being cut-off.
If you are walking, you also have responsibilities.
Get off the road way as much as possible. If you are
about to cross, stay where you are. It is difficult for
most motorists to see you in normal circumstances. When
an emergency vehicle is approaching it may be focused on
finding the emergency and may not scan to see you.
If there is one emergency vehicle, there may be more.
Don't assume it is safe to enter an intersection just
because the fire engine, police car or ambulance has
come through. Be alert and scan for the approach of