EDITOR’S NOTE: We asked Wess Winn, community services officer and crime prevention coordinator with the Waxahachie Police Department to write a weekly column in an effort to answer many of the law enforcement-related questions posed by our readers. Here’s this week’s column.
Fire Chief Hudgins wrote a piece in the paper on Friday about yielding to emergency vehicles (fire vehicles, police vehicles, EMS vehicle, etc…). I wanted to back this up with what the Transportation Code states in the law.
What should I do when I see an emergency vehicle (EV) approaching using audible and visual signals (light and sirens)?
The Transportation Code: section 545.156 covers this. I will give you the Reader’s Digest version.
It advises drivers to pull to the right side of the road and STOP. If you are approaching an intersection and realize there is an EV approaching you, do not stop in the intersection. This is because the EV may have to turn down the entrance you are blocking. Proceed through the intersection and stop.
Once the EV has passed your vehicle look around and see if anymore EVs are approaching; then proceed if clear.
Stopping is the most important action.
So many times drivers slow down and do not stop, which puts the driver of the EV and everyone else in danger.
If you are stuck at a place and cannot move, stay there and let the EV maneuver its way around you.
The two most important things are
1) getting to the right
2) and stopping.
If you cannot get to the right, just stop.
If you have a Police Beat question for Officer Wess Winn, he may be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 972-937-9940, Ext. 211. Look for your questions to be answered here in the Waxahachie Daily Light every Sunday or listen to officer Winn’s show on KBEC Radio AM 1390 at 9 a.m. every Monday.