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Emergency Vehicles

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  1. Vehicles operated by police and fire departments as well as ambulances are equipped with sirens and front red lights.
  2. It is against the law for an unauthorized vehicle to have a red light visible from the front.

Upon the immediate approach of an authorized emergency vehicle displaying a flashing red light and/or with siren in operation or a vehicle displaying a flashing blue light, all traffic meeting and being overtaken must yield the right-of-way and pull over to the curb or side of the street or highway, clear of intersections, and must stop. Remain in that position until the emergency vehicle or the vehicle displaying the flashing blue light has passed or you are directed to move by a peace officer or fireperson.

Failure to vacate the lane or unsafe driving around emergency vehicles can lead to a crash, personal injury, and/or citations.

 

Approaching emergency vehicles

A driver of a motor vehicle has to be cautious of the surrounding area. If there are emergency vehicles on the road (Ambulance, Fire truck, law enforcement, or tow truck) responding to an emergency, a driver must;

  1. Yield the right of way to emergency vehicle approaching from any direction by pulling to the right and stopping. 13 AAC 02.140
  2. If not possible, slow down to a reasonable speed and drive safely around the scene.

Encountering stationary emergency vehicles

When encountering stationary emergency vehicles or tow trucks with overhead flashing lights on a four-lane road, drivers must pull to the lane opposite the emergency vehicle/tow truck if it is safe to do so. If it is not safe to do so, or you are on a two-lane road, you must slow to a reasonable and prudent speed when passing. AS 28.35.185

Following emergency vehicle

A vehicle other than one on official business may not follow an emergency vehicle traveling in response to an emergency closer than 500 feet. Do not park a vehicle within 500 feet where fire apparatus has stopped in response to a fire alarm.

Do not cross fire hose

A vehicle may not be driven over an unprotected hose of a fire department without the consent of a department official.

Driving your vehicle over any fire hose is not permissible under Alaska law. Damage or injury could occur to you, your vehicle or endanger the lives of rescue workers. 13 AAC 02.520 (c) $100 fine, 2 pts.

SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS

Several cities have ordinances requiring all motorists, within the sound of a fire signal, to pull over and stop until the signal stops.

Stop by Law Enforcement

Drivers are required to stop as soon as is practical and in a reasonably safe manner when signaled to do so by police. AS 28.35.182 If you are contacted by an officer and you have a deadly weapon concealed on your person, you must notify the officer immediately.

AS 11.11.61.220(a)(1)(A) Drivers must have their driver’s license in their possession

AS 28.15.131, proof of insurance AS 28.22.019, proof of current registration AS 28.10.461 and show it to the officer upon request. Proof of insurance may be displayed on a mobile device.

Best practices:

  • If you are being pulled over, signal immediately to show the officer your intentions and pull over to the right as soon as it is safe to do so, even if you are in the left lane of a four-lane roadway.
  • Try not to stop on a curve, just after the crest of a hill, next to a guardrail, or other location that would make the stop unsafe for you and the officer.
  • The driver and all passengers should stay in the vehicle.
  • In times of darkness, turn on interior lights of the vehicle.
  • Keep your hands visible, such as on the steering wheel.
  • Prior to retrieving any documents from a wallet, purse, center console, or glove compartment, wait for the officer to ask.
  • When the stop is complete, the officer will remain in place until you signal and safely reenter the lane of traffic unless they instruct you otherwise.