LCSO Tip of the Week – Watch out for Emergency Personnel

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Sheriff Lincoln County Logo LCSO Tip of the Week Featured ImageOFFICE OF THE SHERIFF

Sheriff Dennis L. Dotson

225 W. Olive Street

Newport, Oregon 97365

Tel (541) 265-4277

Fax  (541) 265-4926


Date: May 9, 2016


The law requiring motorists to yield to emergency vehicles was signed into law in 2003, yet many motorists still fail to comply with the law. Whether it is from inattention, being unaware of the law or indifference, failure to act needlessly places police officers, fire fighters, emergency medical technicians (EMTs) and tow truck operators at risk of harm. Every year, police officers, firefighters, and medical workers are killed or injured while working along our nation’s highways, enforcing traffic laws or assisting at motor vehicle crashes.

On September 4th, 2001, Oregon State Police Trooper Maria Mignano and Albany Police Officer Jason Hoerauf were killed, and Oregon State Police Sergeant John Burright was critically injured when a car struck them while assisting a motorist along Interstate 5 near Albany. In response to these tragic incidents, the 2003 Oregon Legislature created the traffic violation of Failure to Maintain a Safe Distance from an Emergency Vehicle or Ambulance.

The law requires that any person operating a motor vehicle who approaches an emergency vehicle, roadside assistance vehicle, tow truck or ambulance which is stopped and displaying warning lights:

• Must move into the lane furthest away from the emergency vehicle, or

• Reduce their speed if unable to move into an adjacent lane by at least 5 mph below the posted speed limit.

If you are approaching the scene of a crash, carefully watch for emergency workers directing traffic and follow all of their instructions.

For more tips and information, visit the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office website, use the “MobilePatrol” app on your Smartphone, and Like us on Facebook.