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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
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    Default Failure to Yield to an Emergency Vehicle in Arizona

    My question involves a traffic ticket from the state of: AZ

    I was pulled over yesterday for being in violation of ARS 28-775.E2

    E. If a person who drives a vehicle approaches a stationary vehicle and the stationary vehicle is giving a signal by displaying alternately flashing lights or is displaying warning lights, the person shall do either of the following:

    1. If on a highway having at least four lanes with at least two lanes proceeding in the same direction as the approaching vehicle, proceed with due caution and if possible, with due regard to safety and traffic conditions, yield the right-of-way by making a lane change into a lane not adjacent to that of the stationary vehicle.

    2. If changing lanes would be impossible or unsafe, proceed with due caution and reduce the speed of the vehicle, maintaining a safe speed for road conditions.


    Here are some details.

    Police Officer 1 had pulled somebody over and was off of the roadway.
    Police Officer 2 (about 2 vehicles in front of me) approaches the location of PO1, turning on his lights ahead of time he then proceeds to stop in the middle of traffic (right lane)

    PO2's actions force myself and one other vehicle to merge quickly. I was in a group of approximately 5-6 vehicles all bumper to bumper (speed dictated by group as I couldn't safely change my speed to go faster or slower)

    As soon as I passed PO2 I merged back into the right lane.

    PO2 got right back in his vehicle and proceeded to pull me over.


    Now... E2 says that I have to reduce my speed, maintaining a safe speed for road conditions...I reduced my speed and as it was a clear and sunny day in AZ the road conditions were fine.


    My understanding of the law is that Police officers are required to follow the law just the same as everyone else...he was not driving in response to an emergency call, in pursuit of an actual or sspected violator of the law or responding to a fire alarm...so what business did he have stopping in the middle of the road when the PO1 was safely off of the roadway? In fact the law states that no person shall stop on the roadway side of a vehicle stopped or parked at the edge or curb of a street...

    Does he have a case? Should I just pay the ticket? I haven't had a ticket in over 8 years...just a little annoyed by this is all.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
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    OH10
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    14,009

    Default Re: Failure to Yield to an Emergency Vehicle: State Az

    You could ask them to change it to "following to closely", "improper lane change" and "careless driving".
    With enough thrust, pigs fly just fine.
    You may believe that you understood what you think I said. I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
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    9,468

    Default Re: Failure to Yield to an Emergency Vehicle: State Az

    First, you're required to move out of the right lane or slow down even for PO#1 on the shoulder.
    Second, the second officer operating his lights and blocking the right lane to protect the scene is entirely lawful.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
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    25

    Default Re: Failure to Yield to an Emergency Vehicle: State Az

    Easy enough, we didn't change lanes because it was safer to slow down....until PO2 stopped in the right lane...then we changed lanes...speed was actually a bit faster (still under speed limit) in that lane because the traffic in the LEFT lane hadn't had time to react to the new emergency vehicle stopped in the right lane.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
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    LA LA Land
    Posts
    9,175

    Default Re: Failure to Yield to an Emergency Vehicle in Arizona

    Quote Quoting itsmeadamg
    View Post
    Easy enough, we didn't change lanes because it was safer to slow down....
    Its not a choice for you to ponder and pick an option... You are required to move over... In the slight chance that it is impossible to move over (and clearly, the fact that you were able to move over even with another emergency vehicle stopping suddenly, and move over without incident, is proof enough that it was NOT impossible to move over) you would then be required to slow down as you passed in the adjacent lane; EXCEPT, you now had an additional emergency vehicle you had to slow down for simply because you could not move over yet another lane. However, it appear that the officer though you did not slow down enough...

    Quote Quoting itsmeadamg
    View Post
    speed was actually a bit faster (still under speed limit) in that lane because the traffic in the LEFT lane hadn't had time to react to the new emergency vehicle stopped in the right lane.
    "Traffic"? Meaning you, along with other vehicles (you say 5-6 vehicles) passed this second emergency vehicle that suddenly stopped...

    Why is it that out of the 5-6 vehicles in this pack, you were the only one pulled over and cited?

    Is it possible that they did slow down whereas you didn't?

    Here is the code section, by the way:

    28-775. Authorized emergency vehicles; approaching; following fire apparatus; passing stationary vehicles; defensive driving schools; driver license examinations

    A. Except when otherwise directed by a police officer, on the immediate approach of an authorized emergency vehicle that is equipped with at least one lighted lamp exhibiting a red or red and blue light or lens visible under normal atmospheric conditions from a distance of five hundred feet to the front of the vehicle and that is giving an audible signal by siren, exhaust whistle or bell, the driver of another vehicle shall:

    1. Yield the right-of-way.

    2. Immediately drive to a position parallel to and as close as possible to the right-hand edge or curb of the roadway clear of any intersection.

    3. Stop and remain in the position prescribed in paragraph 2 of this subsection until the authorized emergency vehicle has passed.

    B. An authorized emergency vehicle being operated with activated emergency lights and siren is exempt from the requirements of this section.

    C. The driver of a vehicle other than one on official business shall not follow any fire apparatus traveling in response to a fire alarm closer than five hundred feet or drive into or park the vehicle within the block where fire apparatus has stopped in answer to a fire alarm.

    D. When a police vehicle is giving a visual signal with at least one lighted red or red and blue light or lens and is giving an audible signal by siren, the driver of another vehicle:

    1. Shall not approach or drive parallel to the police vehicle.

    2. Shall maintain a distance of at least three hundred feet behind any police vehicle involved in an emergency until the police vehicle moves to the lane closest to the right-hand edge or curb of the roadway.

    E. If a person who drives a vehicle approaches a stationary vehicle and the stationary vehicle is giving a signal by displaying alternately flashing lights or is displaying warning lights, the person shall do either of the following:

    1. If on a highway having at least four lanes with at least two lanes proceeding in the same direction as the approaching vehicle, proceed with due caution and if possible, with due regard to safety and traffic conditions, yield the right-of-way by making a lane change into a lane not adjacent to that of the stationary vehicle.

    2. If changing lanes would be impossible or unsafe, proceed with due caution and reduce the speed of the vehicle, maintaining a safe speed for road conditions.

    F. This section does not relieve the driver of an authorized emergency vehicle from the duty to drive with due regard for the safety of all persons using the highway.

    G. Defensive driving school courses that are offered by defensive driving schools operated pursuant to chapter 8, article 7 of this title may include educational information relating to subsections D and E. The department may include information relating to subsections D and E in any of the department's examination, information or education material.

    Quote Quoting itsmeadamg
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    My understanding of the law is that Police officers are required to follow the law just the same as everyone else...
    What law did he violate?

    Quote Quoting itsmeadamg
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    he was not driving in response to an emergency call, in pursuit of an actual or sspected violator of the law or responding to a fire alarm...
    How do you know he wasn't? That first one, "in response to an emergency call" could cover several scenarios!

    Quote Quoting itsmeadamg
    View Post
    so what business did he have stopping in the middle of the road when the PO1 was safely off of the roadway?
    How do you know if the other officer did/didn't call for back-up? (Would this qualify as being an emergency call)? And ended up handling it on his own before the second officer arrived... So the second guy stops, checks.... In the meantime you blow by him, everything is alright with the other officer, he catches up, stops and cites you!

    Quote Quoting itsmeadamg
    View Post
    In fact the law states that no person shall stop on the roadway side of a vehicle stopped or parked at the edge or curb of a street...
    What law is that?

    Here is what the law I found states:

    28-624. Authorized emergency vehicles

    A. If an authorized emergency vehicle is driven in response to an emergency call, in pursuit of an actual or suspected violator of law or in response to but not on return from a fire alarm, the driver may exercise the privileges provided in this section subject to the conditions stated in this section.

    B. If the driver of an authorized emergency vehicle is operating at least one lighted lamp displaying a red or red and blue light or lens visible under normal atmospheric conditions from a distance of five hundred feet to the front of the vehicle, the driver may:

    1. Notwithstanding this chapter, park or stand.

    2. Proceed past a red or stop signal or stop sign, but only after slowing down as necessary for safe operation.

    3. Exceed the prima facie speed limits if the driver does not endanger life or property.

    4. Disregard laws or rules governing the direction of movement or turning in specified directions.

    C. The exemptions authorized by this section for an authorized emergency vehicle apply only if the driver of the vehicle while in motion sounds an audible signal by bell, siren or exhaust whistle as reasonably necessary and if the vehicle is equipped with at least one lighted lamp displaying a red or red and blue light or lens visible under normal atmospheric conditions from a distance of five hundred feet to the front of the vehicle, except that an authorized emergency vehicle operated as a police vehicle need not be equipped with or display a red or red and blue light or lens visible from in front of the vehicle.

    D. This section does not relieve the driver of an authorized emergency vehicle from the duty to drive with due regard for the safety of all persons and does not protect the driver from the consequences of the driver's reckless disregard for the safety of others.

    ^^The underlined language, to me, means he can park or stand ANYwhere he wants to... Sideways if he chooses to!

    And before you come back with "he didn't exercise due regard for the safety of all persons ion the highway", the fact that no one got hurt or injured is proof enough that everyone got by just fine, you just happened to have done so at a higher speed than acceptable...

    Quote Quoting itsmeadamg
    View Post
    Does he have a case? Should I just pay the ticket? I haven't had a ticket in over 8 years...just a little annoyed by this is all.
    You really aren't going to get much sympathy when it comes to this citation. Judges are aware of how dangerous it is for officers on the highways and it is often clear enough that speed is a major contributing factor when it comes to accidents where officers are injured and/or killed under similar circumstances. In this case, and by your own version if events, you were in a pack of 5 or 6 and you had to have done something to attract the extra attention. You did mention:

    Quote Quoting itsmeadamg
    View Post
    As soon as I passed PO2 I merged back into the right lane.
    Did you floor it as you went by him/as you started to merge? I don't know, but something spooked him or pissed him off!

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