What should drivers at a red light do if an emergency vehicle approaches? Trooper Steve explains

Trooper Steve answers viewer questions

News 6 traffic safety expert Trooper Steve Montiero answers viewer questions about the rules of the road every week, helping Orlando-area residents become better drivers by being better educated.

[ASK TROOPER STEVE: Send safety question to Trooper Steve]

The most recent question asks: What should drivers at a red light do if an emergency vehicle approaches from behind?

Montiero said many drivers are not sure what to do in this situation.

“The problem is the majority of drivers will simply just stay right where they’re at and they think they’re doing the right thing. In some cases this is OK, but the majority of the time you not moving from a stopped position could impair that first responder from getting by you.”

Trooper Steve explained that it is best for drivers to safely get out of the way.

“As long as you are completely aware of your surroundings it would be OK to slowly move past the stop bar out of the way of this emergency vehicle,” Montiero said. “Remember to always attempt to merge to the right first prior to going anywhere else. It would be permitted if you were in the center travel lane and crossed over the stop bar to move slowly in front of the vehicle to your right. This would allow any emergency vehicle to get by. Everyone else is aware of the emergency situation so once it passes, everyone would slowly resume back to normal traffic.”

Montiero said drivers should not worry about the possibility of being ticketed for entering an intersection during these situations.

“Some people are concerned about traffic light cameras,” he said. “A good thing to know is that every traffic light violation is observed by a person. The individual would see why you moved out of the way and you would not be sent a violation. At the end of the day, this should be common sense but a good friendly reminder to never overreact and simply move your vehicle out of the way never hurts.”

About the Authors:

Steven Montiero, better known as “Trooper Steve," joined the News 6 morning team as its Traffic Safety Expert in October 2017. A Central Florida native and decorated combat veteran, Montiero comes to the station following an eight-year assignment with the Florida Highway Patrol.

Thomas Mates is a digital storyteller for News 6 and ClickOrlando.com. He also produces the podcast Florida Foodie. Thomas is originally from Northeastern Pennsylvania and worked in Portland, Oregon before moving to Central Florida in August 2018. He graduated from Temple University with a degree in Journalism in 2010.