Is it illegal to follow an ambulance/fire truck etc to benefit from the traffic light preemption system?

Preemption is when a special strobe light or infrared beam on the emergency vehicle triggers an “eye” on the upcoming traffic light at an intersection, turning it to green.

So here’s the plan:

When an emergency vehicle comes up behind you, you need to pull over right? But if it’s making green lights from the preemption system, you could, in theory, pull back into the road right behind it as it passes and follow it right through the green lights right? Not all the way to the emergency of course, but just to gain a few green lights on the way to wherever it is you’re going to. Is that legal? Because my driver’s ed teacher kinda recommended it. (I’m in New York State btw)

4 Answers

  • Even if you were following an emergency vehicle for some valid reason (like following an ambulance to the hospital while they are carrying a member of your family), you are not immune to receiving tickets for violations!

    In this case, you are probably going to get ticketed for every violation of the vehicle and traffic code you commit while following the vehicle (following too closely [so that you can get through the light with the vehicle you are following], speeding [to keep up with that vehicle], and probably reckless driving or multiple unsafe lane changes).

    It wouldn’t be worth the risk to me.

  • ‘Linebacking’ is generally illegal all over the world for interfering with an emergency situation or various laws of that effect, but we all still do it!

  • You must stay 500ft away

    Source(s): DaBeaver
  • I have no idea, but I wanna know the answer too. lmao

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