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Drivers warned: It's the law to pull over for emergency vehicles

Published January 6, 2014 4:29 pm

Lives at stake • Delays in response time can make all the difference on medical, fire, police calls.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

The Salt Lake City Fire Department is warning drivers that failure to properly yield to emergency vehicles when their lights and sirens are activated may not just get you a ticket, it could imperil lives.

"Seconds matter for first-responders, as well as those waiting for firefighters and paramedics to arrive," SLCFD spokesman Jasen Asay stated Monday. "Those seconds could be the difference between a patient living and dying, or a fire being contained to one room or destroying an entire house."

Utah state law requires drivers to pull over to the right and stop as close as possible to the edge of the road or curb and clear of any intersections when a fire engine, police car or ambulance responding to an emergency approaches from behind.

Once the vehicle has passed, the motorist can proceed.

That is the law, but it is one many drivers seem to be either ignorant of, or choose to break.

"Every day, Salt Lake City Fire Department engines and trucks approach vehicles that do not properly yield. Some vehicles suddenly stop in the middle of the road while others pull over to the left," Asay said.

remims@sltrib.com

Twitter: @remims