What to do when an ambulance is on the freeway behind you?

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I know a lot of people probably don’t know the answer to this question and many people probably are in violation of this law. Ambulances have their sirens on when they are either on their way to or from an emergency scene to provide life saving support to someone in a very serious car accident or who has suffered life threatening injuries or episode somewhere else. We all need to give these life saving people the space they need to get to where they need to go because every second counts in these situations.

I tried researching what you are supposed to do when an ambulance is driving behind you on the freeway and Washington State laws surrounding this instance. I couldn’t find anything that differentiated a local street from a highway or freeway. Therefore, the law applies to all situations. Therefore, even if you are on the freeway, you are supposed to pull over to the far right hand side of the road and stop your car until the ambulance passes.

As unpractical as this may seem, this is the law. Although it would appear that most people are ok if they move over a couple lanes as best as they can and slow down to let the ambulance or other emergency vehicle pass. This is because there are often a lot of cars on the freeway and highway and it can be dangerous if everyone merged over at once. However, this is not the letter of the law so anyone that does not stop may be subject to a very steep fine.

Operation of vehicles on approach of emergency vehicles.

(1) Upon the immediate approach of an authorized emergency vehicle making use of audible and visual signals meeting the requirements of RCW 46.37.190, 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.
(2) This section shall not operate to relieve the driver of an authorized emergency vehicle from the duty to drive with due regard for the safety of all persons using the highway.
Andrew CherinWhat to do when an ambulance is on the freeway behind you?

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