That Burns My Biscuits!

Published 8:30 am Tuesday, September 3, 2019

E.J. Smith

Happy Autumn Elizabethton! The signs are starting; ironweed is beginning to bloom, butterfly weed is dying out, leaves are changing and the mornings are wonderfully made for a nice brisk walk!

This past week, a reader asked this question: why don’t people give ambulances the right-of-way? Our reader is very upset that she has seen so many people that seem unsure of what to do in this situation. She also reports that some drivers attempt to “outrun” the ambulance and make the intersection before it does. Understand that this could cause another disaster, worsening the present situation into a much worse one, adding more chaos to any situation that has already occurred. If there has already been an incident, then you do not want to hamper anyone getting help as fast as possible. So, be aware of what is going on around you when driving to avoid incidents that could get you a ticket, injure yourself or someone else or kill you or them!

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Well, the ambulance gets the right-of-way only if it is in an emergency situation. If an ambulance is driving along like all the other vehicles on the road, then they do not have any right-of-way. However, if you see it speeding toward you with its lights flashing, behind you or you can see it approaching from either side at an intersection, you must stop or move over, then stop. Seems to me that this is common sense, but I guess some people need to be reminded, so here you are, reminded.

The same goes for fire trucks; no right-of-way unless they are on their way to a fire or accident. Sometimes a firetruck will follow an ambulance in case it is needed. For example, a car wrecks and onlookers see gas come out from under the car. The fire department will be alerted and send a truck to the scene. Give this one the right-of-way too!

Anything you have heard about mail vehicles always having the right-of-way is no longer true. They no longer trump all other vehicles in any setting. My suggestion is to give them the right-of-way out of courtesy in every situation. I promise it won’t hurt and will make you feel better about your day and how it is going.

Another question about right-of-way is why do we stop for funerals in procession? I do not know if other states do this or even if it is a law. However, it sure shows respect for someone whose life has ended and for their family. I have seen workmen stop what they are doing, remove caps and stand with respect when a funeral is passing by. Even if it is not a law to stop your car and let funerals go by go ahead and do it if at all possible. Also, gaping at the people in the procession is rude; they are not a sideshow! If you feel the need to see who attended the funeral, maybe you should be in that line of cars.

Always keep in mind that nothing is worth getting injured or killed for. Slow down and let others go first, even when it is not an emergency. You could save more lives than your own!

Feedback requested and welcomed!

You are in my prayers,