“ASK A TROOPER” by Sgt. Jesse Grabow of the Minnesota State Patrol
Question: What is the proper procedure if you are stopped at a red light and an emergency vehicle with its lights and siren activated comes up behind you? Where do you go to get out of the way?
Answer: Good question! As frustrating and tempting as it may be to pull into the intersection with a red light – DO NOT DO THAT! Other people can't run a red light based on an emergency vehicle's siren and/or emergency lights, so they have to wait until the light turns green and then go, and then move over to the right if possible. If for some reason you have enough room while stopped you should pull over to the right shoulder or left shoulder (if on multi-lane road way -which is legal) just as long as it doesn’t require you to enter the intersection.
While responding to emergencies, I have observed drivers trying to squeeze into the intersection in an attempt to create room for the emergency vehicle, but that is not safe or recommended. We will just have to use some patience along with the legal and safe opportunity when the light turns green again.
If you have any questions concerning traffic related laws or issues in Minnesota, send your questions to Trp. Jesse Grabow – Minnesota State Patrol at 1000 Highway 10 West, Detroit Lakes, MN 56501-2205. (You can follow him on Twitter @MSPPIO_NW or reach him at,firstname.lastname@example.org).