Ambulances & Vehicle Ops, News

Calif. Cracks Down on Motorists Who Ignore Sirens

VICTORVILLE, Calif. — It’s hard to ignore a big red fire engine coming down the street with emergency lights flashing and sirens blaring.

But even with all the noise and lights, many drivers ignore the emergency vehicles and don’t pull over to get out of the way as required by California law. On Monday, 23 of those motorists were cited for it.

During a safety sweep that went from 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., citations were issued for failing to yield to emergency vehicles according to Sgt. John Mattke with the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Victorville station.

The sweep was a direct result of citizens’ comments and concerns about the driving habits they encounter while driving in the city, Mattke said.

“Once again this is an effort to reduce the dangerous driving that often causes serious injuries and make the streets safer in the city of Victorville,” Mattke said.

During the sweep, deputies accompanied fire and ambulance vehicles responding to emergency calls. They would observe traffic in front of them. When a driver failed to yield to the right shoulder within a reasonable amount of time, deputies would stop the driver and issue a citation.

“Today’s operation was different from previous operations since officers actually followed fire and ambulance vehicles responding to emergency calls,” Mattke said. Those cited face a fine of $380.