Texas Drivers Forget "Who Rules the Road"

Before getting your driver's license, you were probably asked what to do when an emergency vehicle approaches?

But, emergency workers in East Texas think a few drivers may have forgotten the answer to that question. Tyler firefighters worry that one day on a rescue mission, they'll end up in a wreck themselves.

So what do you do when a firetruck, EMS vehicle or cop car approaches with sirens on? Emergency personnel say drivers should follow state code, which states all cars should move right and stop.

"Once we pass, don't speed up right after we go by," said firefighter and engineer Morgan Herron with Tyler Fire Department. "Give us about 300 feet, and then continue on your way."

But, more people are racing fire trucks, failing to stop or moving into the left lane instead of the right. The erratic movements of some drivers stem from confusion, impatience or simply just not knowing what to do, according to Senior Captain Joey Wiggins with Tyler Fire Dept.

The most complex situation for drivers is when all three lanes are blocked, and it's impossible to head right.

"Most of the time, if we get to an intersection where there's no place for them to go," said Wiggins. "If they'll just stop and be still, we usually find a way around them."

Not following these procedures could negatively affect more lives than people realize.

"People forget there's usually four or five lives on that truck," said Captain Wiggins. Not to mention, other drivers on the road and someone needing help on the other end of the emergency call.

Fire fighter Morgan Herron, also District 2 vice president of the Texas State Association of Fire Fighters, says yielding to a fire truck is a courtesy that benefits everybody in the long run.

"If they would just keep in mind that it might be some of their family members that we're going to help."