Driving comes with knowing the traffic laws as well as what to do in certain situations. As a good driver, you’re supposed to know when and when not to drive past an emergency vehicle to avoid causing any problems. So, can you pass an ambulance on the highway?
No, you cannot pass an ambulance on the highway if its flashing light is on, rather, you’re mandated by law to yield and give the vehicle some space in case it wants to come to a sudden stop.
Can You Pass an Ambulance on the Highway?
There are certain situations where you can pass an ambulance on the highway and conditions when you cannot.
You can pass an ambulance on the highway if it’s flashing light and siren is not on. When the ambulance is not responding to any emergency, you can pass the ambulance provided you don’t break other traffic laws while doing so.
However, you are advised to check your state laws and what they say about passing emergency vehicles. These laws can vary from one state to another. Knowing what your state of residence law says will guide you to make the right decision.
It is true that most highways don’t have a speed limit, but some do. However, you should not pass an ambulance on a highway if you have to go over the speed limit to do so.
Even if the flashing light and siren are not on, going over the speed limit to overtake the ambulance is another crime itself and can be prosecuted for that.
Be that as it may, it is important to note that all emergency vehicles always have the right of way. This is to say that, whenever you meet an emergency vehicle on the road such as fire firefighter’s truck, ambulance, police vehicles, etc., you should always give them the right of way.
However, when an ambulance flashing light and siren is on, it is illegal to pass such an ambulance. Therefore, you cannot pass an ambulance on the highway if its flashing light and siren are on, doing so is illegal and you would be prosecuted for that if the ambulance driver reports your license plates to the appropriate authorities.
You’re however expected to give the ambulance some safe distance space. The space is in case the vehicle needs to come to a sudden stop. The distance between an ambulance and a vehicle varies from state to state. Knowing what your state law says about this will go a long way in helping you make the right decision.
Is it Legal to Pass an Ambulance on the Highway?
It is legal to pass an ambulance on the highway if the flashing light and siren are not on and if you don’t have to go over the speed limit to pass the ambulance. However, it is illegal to pass an ambulance on the highway if the flashing lights and sirens are on.
Can You Pass an Ambulance Without Lights On?
Yes, you can pass an ambulance without lights on, however, you should avoid breaking any traffic laws while doing so.
You cannot pass an ambulance if the light is not on but the siren is on. The same goes for when the light is on and the siren is not on. However, when both the siren and light are not on, it means the vehicle is not responding to any emergency and just like other vehicles on the road, you can pass the ambulance.
Can You Pass an Ambulance with Lights On?
No, you should never pass an ambulance with the lights on because it is against the law to pass an ambulance with its flashing light on. The fact that the vehicle’s flashing light is on means that it is responding to an emergency and should not be disturbed.
What to Do If an Emergency Vehicle is Behind You on the Highway?
If an emergency vehicle is behind you on the highway, you are mandated to slow down and park on the right side of the road to allow the emergency vehicle to pass.
While doing this, endeavor to make use of your turn signals and avoid slamming your brakes. When the vehicle has passed, you can re-enter the road.
You cannot pass an ambulance on the highway if the flashing light and siren are on. However, you may pass the ambulance if it is not responding to any emergency, that is, when the light and siren are not on. Check the laws of your state to know what it says about emergency vehicles.