Dashboard cameras show drivers failing to yield - 13 WTHR Indianapolis

Dashboard cameras show drivers failing to yield

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INDIANAPOLIS -

A new video gives a rare look at cars caught on camera not getting out of the way of fire trucks.

The dash cam video on a Wayne Township Fire Department truck shows how a driver first yields to firefighters on an emergency run, then at the last minute, has a change of heart.

"The police actually saw this and went and had a little chat with the guy afterwards," said Wayne Township Fire Chief Gene Konzen.

While most drivers stop or pull to the right like the law says, there are those who don't, putting everyone on the road in danger.

Konzen showed Eyewitness News video from their emergency vehicle camera archives.

"Well, we don't have to worry about battling about whose fault it was, because we have it on video," Konzen said.

"Most of the time, I see people get over. But sometimes you look at people like, 'What are you doing?'," said driver Holly Brancheau.

Konzen says the cameras not only help with training, but also investigating complaints from drivers. The video also helps them investigate crashes involving emergency vehicles.

The chief says although defensive driving is part of their training, it takes every driver knowing when to pull over or when to stop.

"As you are cruising through this traffic and take your eyes off the road, you may be the accident," Konzen said.

In one clip, some drivers ignored an ambulance trying to enter traffic.

"They are just there to do their job, the least we can do is pull over," said driver Jeremy Lundford.

Pulling over is key when getting there can mean the difference between life and death.

Konzen says we will probably see more departments add dashboard cameras to their emergency vehicles.

Yielding right of way law

Indiana law says drivers must yield the right of way to emergency vehicles.

IC 9-21-8-35
Emergency vehicles; yield of right-of-way
Sec. 35. (a) Upon the immediate approach of an authorized emergency vehicle, when the person who drives the authorized emergency vehicle is giving audible signal by siren or displaying alternately flashing red, red and white, or red and blue lights, a person who drives another vehicle shall do the following unless otherwise directed by a law enforcement officer:
(1) Yield the right-of-way.
(2) Immediately drive to a position parallel to and as close as possible to the right-hand edge or curb of the highway clear of any intersection.
(3) Stop and remain in the position until the authorized emergency vehicle has passed.
(b) Upon approaching a stationary authorized emergency vehicle, when the authorized emergency vehicle is giving a signal by displaying alternately flashing red, red and white, or red and blue lights, a person who drives an approaching vehicle shall:
(1) proceeding with due caution, yield the right-of-way by making a lane change into a lane not adjacent to that of the authorized emergency vehicle, if possible with due regard to safety and traffic conditions, if on a highway having at least four (4) lanes with not less than two (2) lanes proceeding in the same direction as the approaching vehicle; or
(2) proceeding with due caution, reduce the speed of the vehicle to a speed at least ten (10) miles per hour less than the posted speed limit, maintaining a safe speed for road conditions, if changing lanes would be impossible or unsafe.
(c) Upon approaching a stationary recovery vehicle, a stationary utility service vehicle (as defined in IC 8-1-8.3-5), or a stationary road, street, or highway maintenance vehicle, when the vehicle is

giving a signal by displaying alternately flashing amber lights, a person who drives an approaching vehicle shall:
(1) proceeding with due caution, yield the right-of-way by making a lane change into a lane not adjacent to that of the recovery vehicle, utility service vehicle, or road, street, or highway maintenance vehicle, if possible with due regard to safety and traffic conditions, if on a highway having at least four (4) lanes with not less than two (2) lanes proceeding in the same direction as the approaching vehicle; or
(2) proceeding with due caution, reduce the speed of the vehicle to a speed at least ten (10) miles per hour less than the posted speed limit, maintaining a safe speed for road conditions, if changing lanes would be impossible or unsafe.
(d) This section does not operate to relieve the person who drives an authorized emergency vehicle, a recovery vehicle, a utility service vehicle, or a road, street, or highway maintenance vehicle from the duty to operate the vehicle with due regard for the safety of all persons using the highway.
As added by P.L.2-1991, SEC.9. Amended by P.L.18-1999, SEC.1; P.L.39-2000, SEC.7; P.L.1-2001, SEC.6; P.L.14-2010, SEC.1.

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