What does the Law Say? As per Rule 27 of the Motor Vehicles (Driving) Regulation, 2017
- 1. The driver of a vehicle designated by the State Government for emergency services under sub-rule (4) of rule 108 of the Central Motor Vehicles Rules, 1989 including a vehicle used as ambulance or for fire-fighting or for salvage purposes or a police vehicle, shall operate the multi-toned horn (siren) and the multi-coloured light with flasher only when the vehicle is responding to an emergency call or an alarm.
- 2. An emergency vehicle, while its multi-toned horn and the flasher is on, shall have the right of way over all the other vehicles.
- 3. In a case of utmost emergency like saving a human life, warding off serious damage to health of a person, prevent commission of a crime or damage to essential services or fight a fire, the driver of the emergency vehicle with the multi-toned horn and the multi-coloured flasher operating may, with utmost care, responsibility and caution.
- a. Cross a red traffic light.
- b. Exceed the specified speed limit.
- c. Drive on a highway hard shoulder.
- d. Drive in either direction on a “NO ENTRY” or a “One Way” street.
- 4. The priority within the emergency vehicles as referred in sub-regulation (1) shall be as follows:-
- a. First, a fire service vehicle
- b. Second, an ambulance
- c. Third, a police service vehicle
- d. Fourth, any other vehicle designated by the State Government as an emergency management vehicle such as for maintenance of essential public services like water and power supply or public transport.
- 5. When an emergency vehicle, with its multi-toned horn and light flasher on, is overtaking, approaching or entering the path of any other vehicle, the person driving or riding such other vehicle shall, unless otherwise directed by a police officer-
- a. Yield the right of way to the emergency vehicle, by driving to the left as close as practicable to the kerb or edge of the roadway in the shortest possible time
- b. Stop, if required, and remain stationary in that position until the emergency vehicle has passed.
- 6. The driver shall, unless otherwise directed by the crew of the emergency vehicle, maintain a distance of at least fifty meters from the emergency vehicle on which multi-toned hornor flasher lights or both are operating.
- 7. Road maintenance or public utility maintenance vehicle may be parked on the roadway, if necessary, after switching on the hazard warning lights and placing a warning device with necessary information at least fifty meters behind the parked vehicle, and take all other precautions to ensure safety of other road users.
As per Section 194E MV Act 1988 (Amended 2019) whoever while driving a motor vehicle fails to draw to the side of the road, on the approach of fire service vehicle or of an ambulance or other emergency vehicle as may be specified by the State Government, shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to six months, or with a fine of ten thousand rupees or with both.
- Do not slam on the brakes or pull over suddenly. Check your rear-view mirror; look in front and on both sides of your vehicle. React quickly, but calmly before pulling over and use your turn signals.
- On a two-way road, traffic travelling in both directions must pull over and stop as close as possible to the left-hand side of the road and clear of any intersection.
- On a one-way road with more than two lanes, stop as close as possible to the nearest edge of the road and clear of any intersection.
- Wait until the emergency vehicle has passed. Stay alert and look for more than one emergency vehicle approaching. Check to make sure the way is clear and signal before merging back into traffic.
- On multi-lane highways, many times an emergency vehicle will use the shoulder of the road if all the lanes are blocked. Don't block the shoulder.
- Never follow or try to outrun an emergency vehicle.