Emergency vehicles on the road: what are the rules?

NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – A Chicopee Police officer was cited for failing to stop at a red light, after an accident this weekend.

22News found out what you need to know and do when an emergency vehicle is approaching.

Under state law, if an emergency vehicle is approaching you from ahead or behind, you have to get out of the way, quickly.

“Slow down and put my blinker on and pull over to the side of the road,” Sophie Chavon of Northampton told 22News.

That’s what you do if police, a fire truck or an ambulance approaches you with lights flashing on the road.

Yield, and stay far behind them after they pass.  Don’t try to follow too closely.

“Like people who will like pull over and then speed up right behind and use it to cut thru traffic,” Chavon said.

That’s against the law.


Chicopee police officer cited in Memorial Drive crash

“Under state law motorist are supposed to pull as far to the right as possible and come to complete stop. And before they proceed, they should look in their mirrors to make sure there are no other approaching apparatus or emergency vehicles,” Deputy Chief of the Northampton Fire Department Timothy McQueston said.

Failure not to pull over to the right for an emergency vehicle could you cost a $105 ticket. It’s also considered a moving violation, which means, your insurance could go up.

A Chicopee Police officer was cited for failing to stop at a red light after an accident this past weekend.

He was answering an emergency call when his cruiser collided with another car, injuring both him and an elderly woman.

Hadley Police Officer Michael Romano told 22News, police are required to stop at all stop signs and traffic lights while responding to emergency calls.

You must stay at least 300 feet behind an emergency vehicle with lights flashing and sirens blaring.

Failure to yield for emergency personnel, is a criminal charge which could result in you being arrested.