Law Regarding Approaching Emergency Vehicles

Traffic Enforcement Notice
A traffic law became effective July 1, 2003, regulating the operation of a vehicle when approaching a stationary emergency vehicle that is displaying flashing yellow, amber, clear, red, or blue lights. This law has not been widely publicized. Due to this and the fact that a driver will be assessed a fine of $500, we are publicizing this information on our webpage. Please read and observe the following law in the State of Georgia.

Operating Motor Vehicle Approaching Emergency Vehicle; Violations
O.C.G.A.40-6-16
  • (1) The operator of a motor vehicle approaching a stationary authorized emergency vehicle that is displaying flashing yellow, amber, white, red, or blue lights shall approach the authorized emergency vehicle with due caution and shall, absent any other direction by a peace officer, proceed as follows: 
    • (a) Make a lane change into a lane not adjacent to the authorized emergency vehicle if possible in the existing safety and traffic conditions 
    • (b) If a lane change under paragraph (1) of this subsection would be impossible, prohibited by law, or unsafe, reduce the speed of the motor vehicle to a reasonable and proper speed for the existing road and traffic conditions, which speed shall be less than the posted speed limit, and be prepared to stop.
  • (2) The operator of a motor vehicle approaching a stationary towing or recovery vehicle or a stationary highway maintenance vehicle that is displaying flashing yellow, amber, or red lights shall approach the vehicle with due caution and shall, absent any other direction by a peace officer, proceed as follows:
    • (a) Make a lane change into a lane not adjacent to the towing, recovery, or highway maintenance vehicle if possible in the existing safety and traffic conditions
    • (b) If a lane change under paragraph (1) of this subsection would be impossible, prohibited by law, or unsafe, reduce the speed of the motor vehicle to a reasonable and proper speed for the existing road and traffic conditions, which speed shall be less than the posted speed limit, and be prepared to stop.
    • (c) Violation of subsection (a) or (b) of this code section shall be punished by a fine of $500.