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While waiting last Friday for the light to change green at Van Buren Boulevard and Wells Street here in Riverside, I watched in terror as an Emergency Vehicle, lights flashing and all, had to delicately maneuver around traffic approaching it from behind in order to make a left turn. It wasn’t dark, and the vehicle’s red color was easy to observe. Outrageous, I thought; there ought to be a law…..

Well, apparently there is. According to California’s Vehicle Code, Section 21706:

“No motor vehicle….shall follow within 300 feet of any authorized emergency vehicle….”

As a personal injury attorney, I am reminded on a daily basis of the important role that emergency first responders play in saving lives and preventing further harm to the patients they treat.

As anyone can imagine, however, there are a variety of reasons why the ambulances, fire trucks, police officers, and other first responders need to arrive at an emergency quickly and safely, without being themselves involved in some accident for which aid is required.

One day, it may be you or a loved one waiting for help to arrive. So let’s all be a bit more mindful while driving, and give our first responders some room on the road!

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