Most people hear sirens and see lights and quickly get out of the way of police and fire vehicles. But do you really know what the Virginia (VA) traffic law says about the right-of-way of emergency vehicles?
§ 46.2-829. Approach of law-enforcement or fire-fighting vehicles, rescue vehicles, or ambulances; violation as failure to yield right-of-way.
Upon the approach of any emergency vehicle as defined in § 46.2-920 giving audible signal by siren, exhaust whistle, or air horn designed to give automatically intermittent signals, and displaying a flashing, blinking, or alternating emergency light or lights as provided in §§ 46.2-1022 through 46.2-1024, the driver of every other vehicle shall, as quickly as traffic and other highway conditions permit, drive to the nearest edge of the roadway, clear of any intersection of highways, and stop and remain there, unless otherwise directed by a law-enforcement officer, until the emergency vehicle has passed. This provision shall not relieve the driver of any such vehicle to which the right-of-way is to be yielded of the duty to drive with due regard for the safety of all persons using the highway, nor shall it protect the driver of any such vehicle from the consequences of an arbitrary exercise of such right-of-way
Despite the general knowledge most people have when it comes to emergency vehicles. A driver In Portsmouth, Virginia (VA) failed to yield the right-of-way and pulled in front of a police officer who was responding to an emergency call with his lights and sirens on. The car crash happened at the intersection of Portsmouth Boulevard and Elm Ave and only the at-fault driver seemed to have injuries. There is no information available yet as to why the driver failed to yield but this type of accident most often occurs when a driver is not completely focused on the road and often time distracted.
This causes a huge safety problem not just for emergency vehicles but for everyone else as well. Drivers who fail to yield cause thousands of crashes and injuries each year. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data shows that failure to yield was a factor in more than 3,100 fatal traffic accidents in 2011. As Virginia car accident injury attorneys we have created a free legal report that details the risks associated with distracted driving.