Ambulance drivers are subject to the same rules of the road as normal drivers, but they have few exceptions for emergencies. Well, ambulances could also be pulled over and given speeding tickets and tickets for other traffic violations, but it is very rare.
Exceptions for ambulance
Generally speaking, ambulance drivers also need to obey all the traffic laws and regulations; however, some of those laws are waived when there’s an emergency situation. The normal exception that also applies to the other emergency vehicles such as firetrucks are:
- The vehicle could stand or be parked pretty much anywhere.
- Breaking red lights and other stop signs – only if the situation is as such.
- Driving the wrong way up or in the wrong lane.
- Going beyond the maximum speed limit.
Going beyond the speed limit also depends upon the jurisdiction, while there are states that allow going 10 miles per hour over the speed limit, or other allow going 15 hours per mile above the speed limit. And there are some states that leave it to the driver. He can speed the ambulance as much as possible but without putting anyone’s life or property in danger.
Additionally, depending on location, many localities and states require the ambulance or emergency vehicle to make use of visual signs such as have its lights on, or some may prefer the siren. However, in some places where the siren is supposed to be turned on, medics have the authority to choose to turn it off, since the sound might disturb patients.
Important Note: Some of the exceptions to the basic traffic laws for ambulances may have confusing language and interpretation.
An ambulance driver chose to oppose the traffic by going on the wrong way down the street, for about nearly 300 feet, driving at the speed of 15mph. But unfortunately for him, a police officer who observed this made a different judgment call, and she pulled over the ambulance. While she didn’t give the ambulance driver a ticket, she did hold the ambulance at the location.
The ambulances are expected to behave like other normal vehicles when not responding to an emergency situation. If ambulances without any emergency patients are approached by an emergency responder, they are also expected to stop and give that emergency responder space to go.
So, coming back to question whether ambulance drivers could be pulled over or not. Well, if they are not responding to an emergency situation, then they can be pulled over. But if they are responding to an emergency situation, then they don’t get ticketed or can’t be pulled over. So, when the ambulance is not on duty, it’s just like a normal vehicle, and it could be subject to ticketing or be pulled over at the time of committing an offense, like over speeding.