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State Codes and Statutes

State Codes and Statutes

Statutes > Missouri > T19 > C304 > 304_022

Emergency vehicle defined–use of lights andsirens–right-of-way–stationary vehicles, procedure–penalty.

304.022. 1. Upon the immediate approach of an emergency vehiclegiving audible signal by siren or while having at least one lighted lampexhibiting red light visible under normal atmospheric conditions from adistance of five hundred feet to the front of such vehicle or a flashingblue light authorized by section 307.175, RSMo, the driver of every othervehicle shall yield the right-of-way and shall immediately drive to aposition parallel to, and as far as possible to the right of, the traveledportion of the highway and thereupon stop and remain in such position untilsuch emergency vehicle has passed, except when otherwise directed by apolice or traffic officer.

2. Upon approaching a stationary emergency vehicle displaying lightedred or red and blue lights, the driver of every motor vehicle shall:

(1) Proceed with caution and yield the right-of-way, if possible withdue regard to safety and traffic conditions, by making a lane change into alane not adjacent to that of the stationary vehicle, if on a roadway havingat least four lanes with not less than two lanes proceeding in the samedirection as the approaching vehicle; or

(2) Proceed with due caution and reduce the speed of the vehicle,maintaining a safe speed for road conditions, if changing lanes would beunsafe or impossible.

3. The motorman of every streetcar shall immediately stop such carclear of any intersection and keep it in such position until the emergencyvehicle has passed, except as otherwise directed by a police or trafficofficer.

4. An “emergency vehicle” is a vehicle of any of the following types:

(1) A vehicle operated by the state highway patrol, the state waterpatrol, the Missouri capitol police, a conservation agent, or a state parkranger, those vehicles operated by enforcement personnel of the statehighways and transportation commission, police or fire department, sheriff,constable or deputy sheriff, federal law enforcement officer authorized tocarry firearms and to make arrests for violations of the laws of the UnitedStates, traffic officer or coroner or by a privately owned emergencyvehicle company;

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

(3) Any vehicle qualifying as an emergency vehicle pursuant tosection 307.175, RSMo;

(4) Any wrecker, or tow truck or a vehicle owned and operated by apublic utility or public service corporation while performing emergencyservice;

(5) Any vehicle transporting equipment designed to extricate humanbeings from the wreckage of a motor vehicle;

(6) Any vehicle designated to perform emergency functions for a civildefense or emergency management agency established pursuant to theprovisions of chapter 44, RSMo;

(7) Any vehicle operated by an authorized employee of the departmentof corrections who, as part of the employee's official duties, isresponding to a riot, disturbance, hostage incident, escape or othercritical situation where there is the threat of serious physical injury ordeath, responding to mutual aid call from another criminal justice agency,or in accompanying an ambulance which is transporting an offender to amedical facility;

(8) Any vehicle designated to perform hazardous substance emergencyfunctions established pursuant to the provisions of sections 260.500 to260.550, RSMo.

5. (1) The driver of any vehicle referred to in subsection 4 of thissection shall not sound the siren thereon or have the front red lights orblue lights on except when such vehicle is responding to an emergency callor when in pursuit of an actual or suspected law violator, or whenresponding 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 sections 304.014to 304.025;

(b) Proceed past a red or stop signal or stop sign, but only afterslowing down as may be necessary for safe operation;

(c) Exceed the prima facie speed limit so long as the driver does notendanger life or property;

(d) Disregard regulations governing direction of movement or turningin specified directions.

(3) The exemptions granted to an emergency vehicle pursuant tosubdivision (2) of this subsection shall apply only when the driver of anysuch vehicle while in motion sounds audible signal by bell, siren, orexhaust whistle as may be reasonably necessary, and when the vehicle isequipped with at least one lighted lamp displaying a red light or bluelight visible under normal atmospheric conditions from a distance of fivehundred feet to the front of such vehicle.

6. No person shall purchase an emergency light as described in thissection without furnishing the seller of such light an affidavit statingthat the light will be used exclusively for emergency vehicle purposes.

7. Violation of this section shall be deemed a class A misdemeanor.

(L. 1953 p. 587 § 304.020, A.L. 1969 p. 418, A.L. 1971 H.B. 113, A.L. 1981 H.B. 183, A.L. 1986 S.B. 523 merged with H.B. 1428, A.L. 1991 S.B. 265, A.L. 1995 H.B. 424, A.L. 1996 H.B. 1047 merged with H.B. 1369, A.L. 1997 H.B. 244, A.L. 2002 H.B. 1270 and H.B. 2032, A.L. 2004 S.B. 757 merged with S.B. 788, A.L. 2005 H.B. 353 merged with H.B. 487 merged with H.B. 618, A.L. 2006 S.B. 872, et al., A.L. 2007 S.B. 82 merged with S.B. 352)

(2006) Section does not abolish, abrogate, provide, or in any way modify common law doctrine of official immunity. Davis v. Lambert-St. Louis International Airport, 193 S.W.3d 760 (Mo.banc).