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Police, fire struggle to get to scenes due to driver mistakes

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OKLAHOMA CITY- While many people are having fun in the sun, there is an added risk for illness and injuries with those summer activities.

The Oklahoma City Police and Fire Departments respond to thousands of emergency calls each day.

With urgency a top priority, drivers are asked to follow a few rules to help emergency vehicles get there safely.

  • Yield to emergency vehicles, police cars, fire engines and ambulances when they are sounding a siren or flashing warning lights.
  • Pull over to the right edge of the roadway, clear of intersections and stop until the emergency vehicle has passed.
  • If you are driving in the left lane on the interstate, simply pull over to the right lanes when it is safe.
  • Do not stop and do not pull over to the left into the median.
  • If you are at an intersection stopped at a red light with an emergency vehicle approaching the intersection from behind you, clear a path if possible to do so safely. Otherwise, wait for the light to change to green then proceed through the intersection. Once you have cleared the intersection, pull over to the right, stop and wait for the emergency vehicle to pass.
  • Keep in mind that more than one emergency vehicle may be responding to an incident. After the first vehicle passes, pause before you continue to be sure another emergency vehicle is not approaching the area.
  • Oklahoma law requires that drivers change lanes or slow to a considerably lower speed when passing emergency vehicles stopped on the side of the roadway.
  • Fire department vehicles will stop at all red lights and stop signs before proceeding into an intersection. Drivers should wait for them to pass.
  • When traffic is slow or stopped, pull to the right as much as possible to clear a path.