Gore is OK for yielding to emergency vehicles

The in basket: Norm Jochem, a neighbor of mine, said he was coming coming south on Highway 3 at the Bremerton sewer plant where Highway 304 merges when a police car with its lights flashing but no siren approached him from behind. He was in that stretch where Highway 3 narrows to a single lane, and he had nowhere to go except into the gore area on his right. So that’s where he went and the police car continued on past him.

He wondered if he chose the correct one of two normally illegal things, driving into the gore or staying in the police car’s way.

I asked Trooper Russ Winger of the State Patrol here and also whether it mattered if the driver had continued in motion while the cop passed, rather than coming to a stop?

The out basket: “It is appropriate to yield to the right for an emergency vehicle even if he had to enter the gore area,” Russ replied. “The law says move to shoulder and stop but we know this doesn’t always occur. The objective is to allow the emergency to quickly and safely pass. If vehicles cannot come to a full stop, we do not worry about that as long as the driver has recognized the need to yield and is making the movement.

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