Ask a Trooper

Posted: Monday, June 11, 2001

Question: I was driving today when a private vehicle with a flashing blue light came up behind me, honked its horn, then sped off past me. A few minutes later, I saw the same vehicle stopped at the scene of a car crash. What does the flashing blue light mean, and do I have to pull over for it?

Answer: 13AAC 04.100 allows certain private vehicles to have flashing blue lights on them. If they get appropriate permission, firefighters, EMTs and police can put the blue lights on their personal cars and use them when they are responding to emergency calls.

This happens mostly in rural areas where the fire and EMS personal are volunteers and respond from home, work or wherever they may be when the call comes in.

When the blue lights are flashing, the cars are considered emergency vehicles, and you are required by 13AAC 02.140(b) to yield to them.

When you see flashing blue lights, you must pull to the right and stop, no matter which direction you are going, until they have passed.

People operating with flashing blue lights may violate the speed limit and certain other traffic laws, but they cannot go through a stop sign or red stop light without stopping first.

Anyone operating a flashing blue light on their car without the appropriate authorization can get a ticket.

If you have questions that you would like to ask a trooper, please send them to: Alaska State Troopers, 4060 Heath St., Homer, AK 99603. Or you can e-mail them to Chad_Goeden@ dps.state.ak.us.

The Alaska State Troopers remind you to always wear your seat belt. It's the law.



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