Oklahoma Vehicles Permitted to Use Emergency Vehicle Lights
Authorized emergency vehicles - Equipment.
A. When equipped as prescribed in subsection B of this section:
1. Vehicles of fire departments;
2. Ambulances or vehicles specified pursuant to subsection B of Section 1-2512 of Title 63 of the Oklahoma Statutes of licensed ambulance service providers;
3. State vehicles of law enforcement agencies;
4. County vehicles of sheriffs and full-time commissioned deputies and vehicles designated by the sheriff for support of the sheriff’s office including privately owned vehicles driven by the sheriff and full-time, part-time and reserve commissioned deputies; provided the audible sirens and flashing red lights equipped on such privately owned vehicles are used only in a law enforcement capacity and in the course of duty;
5. Municipal vehicles of police departments;
6. Vehicles owned and operated by the United States Marshals Service or the Federal Bureau of Investigation;
7. Vehicles of Oklahoma National Guard units designated by the Adjutant General for support to civil authorities; or
8. Vehicles owned and operated by any local organization for emergency management as defined by Section 683.3 of Title 63 of the Oklahoma Statutes,
are authorized emergency vehicles.
B. All vehicles prescribed in subsection A of this section shall be equipped with sirens capable of giving audible signals as required by the provisions of Section 12-218 of this title and flashing red lights as authorized by the provisions of Section 12-218 of this title.
Added by Laws 1961, p. 315, § 1-103, eff. Sept. 1, 1961. Amended by Laws 1976, c. 284, § 1, emerg. eff. June 17, 1976; Laws 1983, c. 220, § 1, eff. Nov. 1, 1983; Laws 1984, c. 29, § 1, eff. Nov. 1, 1984; Laws 1987, c. 74, § 1, eff. Nov. 1, 1987; Laws 1991, c. 167, § 1, eff. July 1, 1991; Laws 2003, c. 329, § 58, emerg. eff. May 29, 2003; Laws 2005, c. 190, § 6, eff. Sept. 1, 2005; Laws 2007, c. 120, § 2, eff. Nov. 1, 2007.
Authorized emergency vehicles.
A. The driver of an authorized emergency vehicle, when responding to an emergency call or when in the pursuit of an actual or suspected violator of the law or when responding to but not upon returning from a fire alarm, may exercise the privilege set forth in this section, but subject to the conditions herein stated.
B. The driver of an authorized emergency vehicle may:
1. Park, or stand, irrespective of the provisions of this chapter;
2. Proceed past a red or stop signal or stop sign, but only after slowing down as may be necessary for safe operation;
3. Exceed the maximum speed limits so long as speeding does not endanger life or property;
4. Disregard regulations governing direction of movement; and
5. Disregard regulations governing turning in specified directions.
C. The exemptions herein granted to the driver of an authorized emergency vehicle shall apply only when the driver is properly and lawfully making use of an audible signal or of flashing red or blue lights or a combination of flashing red and blue lights meeting the requirements of Section 12-218 of this title, except that an authorized emergency vehicle operated as a police vehicle need not be equipped with or display a red or blue light visible from in front of the vehicle. This subsection shall not be construed as requiring a peace officer operating a police vehicle properly and lawfully in response to a crime in progress to use audible signals.
D. The exemptions in paragraphs 3 and 5 of subsection B of this section shall be granted to a law enforcement officer operating an authorized emergency vehicle for law enforcement purposes without using audible and visual signals required by this section as long as the action does not endanger life or property if the officer is following a suspected violator of the law with probable cause to believe that:
1. Knowledge of the presence of the officer will cause the suspect to:
a. destroy or lose evidence of a suspected felony,
b. end a suspected continuing felony before the officer has obtained sufficient evidence to establish grounds for arrest, or
c. evade apprehension or identification of the suspect or the vehicle of the suspect; or
2. Because of traffic conditions, vehicles moving in response to the audible or visual signals may increase the potential for a collision.
The exceptions granted in this subsection shall not apply to an officer who is in actual pursuit of a person who is eluding or attempting to elude the officer in violation of Section 540A of Title 21 of the Oklahoma Statutes.
E. The provisions of this section shall not relieve the driver of an authorized emergency vehicle from the duty to drive with due regard for the safety of all persons, nor shall such provisions protect the driver from the consequences of reckless disregard for the safety of others.
Added by Laws 1961, p. 373, § 11-106, eff. Sept. 1, 1961. Amended by Laws 1998, c. 168, § 1, eff. Nov. 1, 1998; Laws 1999, c. 189, § 1, eff. July 1, 1999; Laws 2002, c. 229, § 1, eff. Nov. 1, 2002; Laws 2004, c. 418, § 12, eff. July 1, 2004.