Emergency Crews Are Not Exempt From Traffic Safety
We’ve all been on the road when emergency response vehicles are in action. Police, EMS and fire vehicles are well equipped with the proper identifiers, and are often larger in size than the average vehicle on the road. Lights, sirens and automated traffic signals typically provide ample time for individuals to identify the source and direction of the emergency vehicle, thus allowing motorists to safely yield. However, there are times when emergency responders must yield to motorists to gain safe passing distance – regardless of the crisis situation they are dealing with.
Responders are Governed by a Unique Set of Laws
- While stopping at posted signs or light signals is not required, responders must yield to uphold the safety of all on the road
- Emergency responders must stop for school buses actively loading or unloading children
- If appropriate, emergency vehicles can cross the yellow double line, and travel the wrong way down a one way street – so long as the safety of others on the road is minded
In the case of an accident involving a motorist and an emergency vehicle, it is possible for a township or city to be held liable if the emergency response driver was found to be driving negligently. If the driver was found to be operating the fire, police or EMS vehicle recklessly, the victim can pursue a legal claim for compensation from the employing party. In certain scenarios, the driver may also be held responsible if they are found to have been operating the vehicle in such a manner that there was proof of willful or wanton misconduct.
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Author: Tim Misny | For over four decades, personal injury lawyer Tim Misny has represented the injured victim in birth injury, medical malpractice, and catastrophic injury/wrongful death cases, serving “Cleveland, Akron/Canton, Columbus, Dayton and neighboring communities.” You can reach Tim by email at misnylaw.com/ask-tim-a-question/ or call at 1 (800) 556-4769.