Question: Do you have to pull over for an ambulance if you’re going faster than it is?
Sounds weird, but I’ve had this happen three times on state Route 16 on the Peninsula. The flow of traffic is about 65-70 mph, and an ambulance appears in the rearview mirror, lights flashing, but losing ground compared to almost everybody else. (The posted speed is 60 mph.) Some people slow down and move to the right, others just keep going. What’s correct? – Robert, Port Orchard
Answer: State law (RCW 46.61.210) doesn’t speak directly to the situation. It talks about “the immediate approach” of an authorized emergency vehicle making use of audible and visual signals, but not one fading backward as the world races by, over the speed limit. So we asked Washington State Patrol trooper Guy Gill for his take. He was unequivocal.
“If you can see emergency lights approaching, you need to yield to the right,” Gill said. “It’s very difficult to judge distance on an approaching vehicle, especially from your mirrors. Good, responsible, attentive drivers will always yield when they see lights coming.”firstname.lastname@example.org
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