Can an ambulance do that?

Crappie_Hunter

Ten Pointer
Contributor
Saw a situation today that made me think.... wanted to see what ya'll think. Here is the situation I witnessed.

A school bus is stopped on a 2 lane road with its stop sign out dropping off kids from school. An ambulance with its siren and lights on comes up behind the school bus, goes into the left lane and passes the stopped school bus and continues on.

I thought it was an interesting situation... kind of immovable object meets unstoppable force.... My thoughts were if an ambulance responding to an emergency can run stop lights/stop signs, then I would think a school bus stop sign is no different legally.... however I see the potential danger if a young child needs to cross the road, they (including the bus driver) may not look to their left thinking a vehicle would pass the bus on the left, and would step out in front of the ambulance.

My butt was puckered when I saw what was unfolding, glad the kid did NOT need to cross the road and wasn't struck by the ambulance. Any LEO or EMT's know the law on that.... if there is one??
 

bigten

Twelve Pointer
Contributor
I am not an LEO, but that situation is not allowed. Yes, they have discrepancy to do things not allowed by the motoring public, but that is NOT included. I'm sure your local Emergency Management Director would be interested in hearing about this.
 

Homebrewale

Old Mossy Horns
Regardless of the legality, if the kid isn't being taught to look both ways before crossing, they're not being taught correctly.
 

koszman

Eight Pointer
Contributor
The driver has to come to a complete stop to make sure it is clear to proceed without causing danger to anyone else. He is wrong for going around in a careless manner. If you have the ambulance info I would call and voice my displeasure.
 

bowhuntingrook

Old Mossy Horns
If I was driving I would have turned the lights and siren off and waited. Common sense.

Common sense to me, as an "ambulance driver" for 10 years is I don't put other's lives at risk to shave 15 seconds off my response time. 99% of calls are no different when I arrive 15 seconds later. In general, lights and sirens get us there no quicker, instead people slow down and it puts too many other people who are not involved at risk, unless there is a traffic jam, then lights and sirens make sense.

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Homebrewale

Old Mossy Horns
My common sense is different. I don't know what the law is in this situation but common sense and the law are not always the same. IMO common sense tells me an ambulance can move slowly in the left lane next to the bus until the ambulance driver is directly across from the bus driver. At this point, the ambulance can only proceed if the bus driver signals that it is okay to do so. Unless a kid crawls under a bus, a kid is not in danger of being hit since the front of the ambulance is not past the front of the bus.
 

Moose

Administrator
Staff member
Contributor
School bus has the right of way in this situation. Emergency vehicles have a duty to stop until the bus yields it's right of way by deactivating its stop lights. My driving instructor drilled that into my head when I was learning to drive ambulance đźš‘
 

Firedog

Old Mossy Horns
Contributor
No they cannot do that. Just like they cannot blow through any stop sign or light. They are given leeway in some situations when using due caution. The right thing would have been for the bus driver to have stopped unloading the bus and retract the sign.
 

btsharky

Ten Pointer
100% illegal. Know of the same situation recently with a deputy responding to a call with lights and siren on. Pretty sure he won't do it again.
 

Rescue44

Twelve Pointer
If the ambulance had struck a child, the ambulance driver would have been charged. Doesn't matter what the bus driver should have done..in hind site, fore sight, etc. There is leeway, but it's your butt if you screw up. So I've been taught.
 

team muddy creek

Ten Pointer
I work for a fire dept, we do not have the right of way in nc. Lights and sirens are just asking for the right of way. You still have to proceed with due requard for the public. That being said, i have had a stopped school bus in front of me while going to a call, turn off its stop lights and pull in the stop sign,and then motion me around. I proceeded with caution and had my capt. As a witness. However at any given time in the town i work for at rush hour is a damn suicide mission, so i drive with caution. Sometimes i feel like playing frogger.

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Bailey Boat

Ten Pointer
As a Trooper we were taught (for those that couldn't figure it out for themselves) that if you don't arrive at the scene you were dispatched to then you are worthless because now I have to send another unit in your place and we have 2 incidents to investigate.

And don't get me started on "high speed pursuits"..................

In the case of the Ambulance, he was wrong, thank God he wasn't "dead" wrong.....
 

Crappie_Hunter

Ten Pointer
Contributor
Thanks for all the input and expertise guys. Sounds like the ambulance driver was in the wrong in this situation. Was one of those deals you can see coming and nothing you can do about it, your stomach just turns in knots...
 

bigten

Twelve Pointer
Contributor
Yes, nothing really you could have done then, but you can help prevent that from happening in the future. Contact either the county Emergency Management Coordinator or the EMS Director. I feel sure it will be addressed with ALL drivers of their emergency vehicles.
 

hunter

Six Pointer
Contributor
Had a similar situation in the 5th grade except it was a car in a hurry instead of an ambulance. A classmate was crossing in front of the bus and probably couldn't hear the car coming. It was a tragic loss of life with a number of other lives impacted as well. Glad the kid(s) weren't crossing the road in this situation!
 

Frostcat

Twelve Pointer
What gets me is someone in a private vehicle decked out with all kinds of flashing lights running like a bat out of h--- while running other cars off the road going to a fender bender.
 

Rescue44

Twelve Pointer
What gets me is someone in a private vehicle decked out with all kinds of flashing lights running like a bat out of h--- while running other cars off the road going to a fender bender.
Those are the ones HP or local leos should deal with. No excuse. Even if it's a serious wreck.
 
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