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The original item was published from 7/24/2023 4:25:00 PM to 9/1/2023 12:00:00 AM.

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Posted on: August 1, 2023

[ARCHIVED] Move to the right for sirens and lights!

Move to the Right for Sirens and Lights

When being approached by an emergency vehicle using audible and visual signals (lights and sirens), Illinois law requires motorists to immediately pull to the right side of the road and allow the emergency vehicle to pass. A complete stop may sometimes be necessary to allow the emergency vehicle to pass. If stopped at an intersection with two-way traffic, remain stopped until the emergency vehicle passes through the intersection. 


  • Remain calm, don’t panic!
  • Pull to the right and come to a stop. Remain stopped until the emergency vehicle passes. 
  • When on a one-way 3-lane road, keep the center lane open for emergency vehicles. Move to the right (or left if that is the only option) and stop.  
  • Slow down as much as possible when on a high-speed road or when there is no room to stop.
  • Both directions of traffic should pull to the right (unless the road has a barrier divider). The emergency vehicle may have to turn in front of oncoming traffic.


  • Don’t stop in the middle lane when there is room to pull to the right. 
  • Don’t race ahead to get through a traffic light or turn before the emergency vehicle arrives. 
  • Don’t disregard the presence of the emergency vehicle by continuing to drive.  

Other Tips

  • Drivers should stay at least 500 feet behind emergency vehicles. 
  • Have your radio at a level that allows you to hear audible signals. 
  • Remember Scott’s Law. When approaching a stationary emergency vehicle, change to a lane away from the emergency vehicle, and proceed with caution. If a lane change is impossible, reduce speed and proceed cautiously. 

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