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Old 06-26-2013, 07:01 PM
 
Location: Charlotte NC
11,720 posts, read 9,343,453 times
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I just want to start out by saying I applaud anyone who is running towards a fire... but today I witnessed some strange driving by 2 fire trucks.

On my way to work this morning I'm driving down the road. I'm in the left lane and there is a van right next to me in the right lane. I see a fire truck with it's lights on approaching from the opposite direction in the left lane (well, actually he is straddling the double yellow line to the point where the front left tire was in my lane). There are no cars in font of him or in the right lane... but for some reason he is driving while straddling the yellow line the whole time.

I slowed down and stopped and so did the van next to me. I tried to get over but the van is on my right so I'm stuck in the left lane. I didn't have anywhere to go but I quickly turned my car to the right as far as I could which was maybe a foot. He barely missed me and I expected him to turn immediately but he kept driving while straddling the yellow line until I couldn't see him any longer. Odd... very odd.

IMO this was definitely off... I've never seen a fire truck straddle a yellow line when they have access to 2 lanes and they are driving straight.

but wait, there's more...

On my way from work I'm driving on Sugar Creek by North Davidson. I see a fire truck approaching from the opposite direction. There are 5 to 6 cars in the left lane waiting to turn onto N. Davidson and the fire truck is a quarter mile from the cars in the left lane... the right lane is totally clear but the fire truck forces every car to move to the right lane and continues towards the fire.

Is the fire truck correct to force people out of the left lane even though there were no cars in the right lane? I expected the truck to turn left but it kept going straight. I know you are supposed to pull over when you see a fire truck but when one pops up on you in traffic I thought the procedure was to stay where you are if there is a lane open.

I've always thought Charlotte drivers were pretty good when it came to ambulances and fire trucks but today it looked like there was a fireman who woke up on the wrong side and tried his best to make his trips more adventurous than it needed to be.
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Old 06-26-2013, 08:22 PM
 
Location: The 12th State
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Sounds hot

After watching Under the Dome last night that would freak me out.
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Old 06-26-2013, 09:21 PM
 
Location: Mooresville, NC
2,143 posts, read 2,611,328 times
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Yeah those are odd. I'd probably try to get to the right if I could just in case he was trying to turn left. Not sure why they'd be straddling the yellow line like that with no other traffic. Your lucky day I guess!
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Old 06-27-2013, 08:17 AM
 
Location: State of Being
35,885 posts, read 67,016,830 times
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I think they straddle the line to have a clearer perspective on all traffic approaching from the road crossings as well as on each side of the road ahead. Since the rule is - pull as far over to the right as you can, the assumption is that emergency vehicles will stay to the left, rather than zig zag in and out of traffic lanes that appear to be "open" as they approach.

I have had the sheer bejeebers scared out of me over the years with emergency vehicles suddenly appearing in my rear view mirror.
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Old 06-27-2013, 10:10 AM
 
Location: Charlotte NC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anifani821 View Post
I think they straddle the line to have a clearer perspective on all traffic approaching from the road crossings as well as on each side of the road ahead. Since the rule is - pull as far over to the right as you can, the assumption is that emergency vehicles will stay to the left, rather than zig zag in and out of traffic lanes that appear to be "open" as they approach.

I have had the sheer bejeebers scared out of me over the years with emergency vehicles suddenly appearing in my rear view mirror.
The more I think about it I can see why they wouldn't want to change lanes due to thinking someone may move to the right suddenly...

but straddling the line when there is no traffic on their side of the road while I'm stuck in the left lane due to traffic was odd.
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Old 06-27-2013, 10:38 AM
 
277 posts, read 579,978 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Feltdesigner View Post
...but straddling the line when there is no traffic on their side of the road while I'm stuck in the left lane due to traffic was odd.
...and possibly illegal, based on your description of the event.

Pulled from 20-156 Exceptions to the right-of-way rule

(b) This provision shall not operate to relieve the driver of a police or fire department vehicle or public or private ambulance or rescue squad emergency service vehicle or county fire marshals or civil preparedness coordinators..... from the duty to drive with due regard for the safety of all persons using the highway, nor shall it protect the driver of any such vehicle or county fire marshal or civil preparedness coordinator from the consequence of any arbitrary exercise of such right-of-way...
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Old 06-27-2013, 10:39 AM
 
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i also have seen it to avoid sudden turn outs from the side streets. They won't have to veer to avoid them. And if traffic is clear on both sides, it's even easier to do.

What I do think is odd is forcing the cars onto the right from the second incident you described.
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Old 06-27-2013, 10:59 AM
 
Location: Charlotte NC
11,720 posts, read 9,343,453 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by momtothree View Post
i also have seen it to avoid sudden turn outs from the side streets. They won't have to veer to avoid them. And if traffic is clear on both sides, it's even easier to do.

What I do think is odd is forcing the cars onto the right from the second incident you described.
but traffic wasn't clear on both sides... I could see if I was in the right lane and the left lane was clear but I was stuck due to a van being in my right lane. The fire truck didn't budge at all.
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Old 06-27-2013, 03:39 PM
 
3,185 posts, read 5,759,188 times
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That van in the right lane beside you must have been real looooooooog for you not to be able to speed up and get in front of it or SLOW down quickly and then drop in behind it. LAW says you got to move over to the right curve and stop while the firetruck goes by,,,,,,,,,,you didnt do it. Study up on your drivers handbook and avoid this next time.
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Old 06-27-2013, 04:14 PM
 
Location: Charlotte NC
11,720 posts, read 9,343,453 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crestliner View Post
That van in the right lane beside you must have been real looooooooog for you not to be able to speed up and get in front of it or SLOW down quickly and then drop in behind it. LAW says you got to move over to the right curve and stop while the firetruck goes by,,,,,,,,,,you didnt do it. Study up on your drivers handbook and avoid this next time.
I wasnt going to speed up towards an oncoming fire truck straddling the yellow line...
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