Section 14-164 Operation of vehicles on approach of authorized emergency vehicles.

    (a) Upon the immediate approach of an emergency vehicle giving audible signal by siren or while having at least one (1) lighted lamp exhibiting red light visible under normal atmospheric conditions from a distance of five hundred (500) feet to the front of such vehicle or a flashing blue light authorized by state law, the driver of every other vehicle shall yield the right-of-way and shall immediately drive to a position parallel to, and as far as possible to the right of, the traveled portion of the highway and thereupon stop and remain in such position until such emergency vehicle has passed, except when otherwise directed by a police or traffic officer.

    (b) An "emergency vehicle" is a vehicle of any of the following types:

    (1)    A vehicle operated by the state highway patrol, those vehicles operated by enforcement personnel by the division of transportation of the department of economic development, police or fire department, sheriff, constable or deputy sheriff, federal law enforcement officer authorized to carry firearms and to make arrests for violations of the laws of the United States, traffic officer or coroner or by a privately owned emergency vehicle company;

    (2)    A vehicle operated as an ambulance or operated commercially for the purpose of transporting emergency medical supplies or organs;

    (3)    Motor vehicles and equipment which are operated by any member of an organized fire department, ambulance association or rescue squad, whether paid or volunteer, may be operated on streets and highways in this city as an emergency vehicle under the provisions of this section, while responding to a fire call or ambulance call or at the scene of a fire call or ambulance call and while using or surrounding a warning siren and while using or displaying thereon fixed, flashing or rotating blue lights, but sirens and blue lights shall be used only in bona fide emergencies. Permits for the operation of such vehicles equipped with sirens or blue lights shall be in writing and shall be issued and may be revoked by the chief of an organized fire department, organized ambulance association, or rescue squad and it shall be unlawful to use or display a siren or blue lights on a motor vehicle, fire, ambulance, or rescue equipment without a valid permit authorizing the use;

    (4)    Any wrecker or tow truck, or a vehicle owned and operated by a public utility or public service corporation while performing emergency service, except however, any wrecker or tow truck not summoned by a public safety official to the scene of an emergency but rather engaged in routine business is not an emergency vehicle and shall not exhibit a lighted red light but shall instead use a lighted amber light;

    (5)    Any vehicle transporting equipment designed to extricate human beings from the wreckage of a motor vehicle.

    (c)    (1) The driver of any vehicle referred to in subdivisions (1), (2), (3) and (4) of subsection (b) of this section shall not sound the siren thereon or have the front red lights or blue lights on except when the vehicle is responding to an emergency call or when in pursuit of an actual or suspected law violator, or when responding to, but not upon returning from, a fire;

        (2)    The driver of an emergency vehicle may:

            a.    Park or stand irrespective of the provisions of

            b.    Proceed past a red or stop signal or stop sign, but only after slowing down as may be necessary for safe operation
            c.    Exceed the prima facie speed limit so long as he does not endanger life or property;

            d.    Disregard regulations governing direction of movement or turning in specified directions;

        (3)    The exemptions herein granted to an emergency vehicle shall apply only when the driver of any such vehicle while in motion sounds audible signal by bell, siren or exhaust whistle as may be reasonably necessary, and when the vehicle is equipped with at least one (1) lighted lamp displaying a red light or blue light visible under normal atmospheric conditions from a distance of five hundred (500) feet to the front of such vehicle.

    (d) This section shall not operate to relieve the driver of an authorized emergency vehicle from the duty to drive with due regard for the safety of all persons using the highway.

    (e) It shall be unlawful for the operator of any vehicle other than those authorized in this section to display a flashing or rotating red or blue light.

(Code 1964, § 12.100; Ord. No. 10250, § 1, 8-6-84; Ord. No. 11369, § 1, 2-2-87)

     State law reference(s)--Similar provisions, RSMo. § 300.105.