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Emergencies can happen at the split of a second. Lately, there have been many car accidents, and other crimes in the area that need quick response time. I just wanted to brush everyone up on some Missouri Laws since it doesn’t seem like they are being followed as they should be.
The “Move Over” Missouri Law states: “Upon approaching a stationary emergency vehicle displaying lighted red or red and blue lights, the driver of every motor vehicle shall:
(1) Proceed with caution and yield the right-of-way, if possible with due regard to safety and traffic conditions, by making a lane change into a lane not adjacent to that of the stationary vehicle, if on a roadway having at least four lanes with not less than two lanes proceeding in the same direction as the approaching vehicle; or
(2) Proceed with due caution and reduce the speed of the vehicle, maintaining a safe speed for road conditions, if changing lanes would be unsafe or impossible.”
This information can be found at http://www.mshp.dps.missouri.gov/MSHPWeb/PatrolDivisions/TroopHeadquarters/TroopC/importantLinks.html.
Another one I would like to go over is: 304.022. 1. Upon the immediate approach of an emergency vehicle giving audible signal by siren or while having at least one lighted lamp exhibiting red light visible under normal atmospheric conditions from a distance of five hundred feet to the front of such vehicle or a flashing blue light authorized by section 307.175, the driver of every other vehicle shall yield the right-of-way and shall immediately drive to a position parallel to, and as far as possible to the right of, the traveled portion of the highway and thereupon stop and remain in such position until such emergency vehicle has passed, except when otherwise directed by a police or traffic officer. More information on this law can be found at http://www.moga.mo.gov/statutes/c300-399/3040000022.htm.
I bring up these two laws because recently I have seen many people violate both of them. I was headed out to an accident scene while working a few weeks back and was approached by three emergency vehicles, one fire truck, one ambulance and one cop car. Each time I slowed and moved onto the shoulder, but to my surprise, the drivers behind me didn’t think that the rules applied to them. The worst offender was a truck that passed me as I moved onto the shoulder and continued to travel toward the accident at speeds probably around 60 and refused to move over. Eventually, after about a two-minute tailgate, siren blaring, and light flashing ordeal, the truck moved over and let one of the emergency vehicles by. What if the emergency vehicle was going to help someone you knew and it was that two minute slow down that caused a very different ending? It happened to me all three times and each time it infuriated me. Everyone needs to be aware of their surroundings, and move over for emergency vehicles…you could be slapped with a ticket or worse, it could be the difference of life and death in some cases.
by Kristen Harris