Most of our prior blogs on moving violations deal with situations in which you are aware the situations are approaching while driving on the road. For example, the proper lane in which you need to keep your vehicle or how to pass a bicycle while driving an automobile. Today’s blog, however, is something that will, at one time or another, catch all of us by sudden surprise.
While you are driving and you suddenly notice an emergency vehicle is approaching you from behind at a fast speed, what exactly are you required to do by law? KSA 8-1530 describes the law for this situation in Kansas. Primarily, the goal is to let the emergency vehicle get to where it is going without hardly any interrption. You must yield the right of way, drive and stop parallel to the curb, and remain there until the vehicle passes.
What problems could this present for prosecutors on a charge of violating this statute? As we have seen before, it seems to be a discretionary statute. How fast do you need to yield? How far or close to the curb should the vehicle be? A lot of this will be evidence presented by the discretion of the officer. Legislators seem to want to have a proper procedure in place when people are approached by an emergency vehicle.
For the defense, the situation alone could create excusable neglect. What if you do not see the emergency vehicle quickly enough to get all of these procedures done in time? What if pulling over to the curb is just not safe or possible at the time? Most tickets or cases with this offense will have a difference of opinion on the most safe thing to do between the driver and the emergency vehcile operator.
Until next time, drive safe!