Traffic Q&A: Regardless of lane, pull over for emergency vehicles
“Are you required to pull over for an oncoming emergency vehicle if you’re on a five-lane roadway (one with a turn lane in the middle)?
Chris Lynch, Tacoma
Yes. Unless you’re on a divided highway (which means there’s a barrier in the middle), you’re supposed to pull over regardless of how many lanes there are.
The idea is, if you don’t pull over, drivers in lanes closer to the oncoming emergency vehicle might not be able to.
The Revised Code of Washington (RCW 46.61.210) puts it this way:
“Upon the immediate approach of an authorized emergency vehicle making use of audible and visual signals … or of a police vehicle properly and lawfully making use of an audible signal only, 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 has passed, except when otherwise directed by a police officer.”
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