Have you ever been driving along peacefully when the quiet is broken by the wail of a siren and you see the flashing lights in your mirror?
Title 47, Chapter 11, Section 405, Part A of the Oklahoma Statutes, on “Operation of Vehicles on Approach of Authorized Emergency Vehicles”:
“Upon the immediate approach of an authorized emergency vehicle making use of audible and visual signals meeting the requirements of Section 12-218 of this act, or of a police vehicle properly and lawfully making use of an audible signal or red flashing lights, 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.”
To simplify, in a traffic situation such as you describe, Elaine, when you can't pull over, clear a path for the emergency vehicle.
But, according to the Oklahoma Driver's Manual: “If an officer signals you to stop while you're driving in the left lane, you must still pull over to the right shoulder, even if that means crossing several lanes of
The manual also includes this: “You don't have to yield for emergency vehicles without warning lights or sirens.”
“Remember that you must move to the left lane on a four-lane road when there is an emergency vehicle on the right shoulder,” according to the manual.
That's the “Move Over Law.”
Statute 47:11-314 reads:
“A. The driver of a motor vehicle, upon approaching a stationary authorized emergency vehicle, wrecker, or tow vehicle that is displaying a flashing combination red or blue light or any combination of red or blue lights, shall:
“1. If traveling on a highway that consists of two or more lanes that carry traffic in the same direction of travel as that of the driver, the driver shall proceed with due caution and shall, if possible and with due regard to the road, weather, and traffic conditions, change lanes into a lane that is not adjacent to the stationary authorized emergency vehicle, wrecker, or tow vehicle; or if the driver is not able to change lanes or if to do so would be unsafe, the driver shall proceed with due caution and reduce the speed of the motor vehicle to a safe speed for the existing road, weather, and traffic conditions; and
“2. If traveling on a highway other than a highway described in paragraph 1 of this subsection, the driver shall proceed with due caution and reduce the speed of the motor vehicle to a safe speed for the existing road, weather, and traffic conditions.”
These laws are written for your safety and those of the emergency personnel. Enjoy your week and drive safely.