VA Law and Emergency Vehicles

Virginia law requires that the driver of every vehicle shall immediately drive to the nearest edge of the roadway, clear of any intersection, and stop whenever an emergency vehicle with warning lights and siren operating is approaching. The driver shall remain stopped until the emergency vehicle has passed and no other emergency equipment is in sight.

Frequently, drivers do not check rear view mirrors often enough, and it is difficult to hear an approaching siren with windows up and a radio or stereo on. Its important to check your side and rear view mirrors every ten seconds and always be alert to the possible presence of emergency vehicles around you.

Remember, if you were in need of emergency help you wouldnt want thoughtless drivers delaying those en route to help you!

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.

Violation of this section shall constitute failure to yield the right-of-way; however, any violation of this section that involves overtaking or passing a moving emergency vehicle giving an audible signal and displaying activated warning lights as provided for in this section shall constitute reckless driving, punishable as provided in 46.2-868.

Page Last Updated, 4 May 06