Do we really have to pull into another lane just because the officer signals us to?

I can certainly understand an emergency, sometimes an officer has to reach his or her destination quick. But it's become an epidemic. The officer follows close behind for a few, then signals me to move into the other lane. Note, the other lane is usually clear of other vehicles. He would have no problem if he chose, to cross into the next lane and cut in front. Some officers have done just that! The first few times I very innocently complied, thinking it must be an emergency! No officer would flash his lights just to avoid the inconvenience of having to move himself! He must've received an emergency call to 'protect and serve'!! I've come to realize that a lot of cops seem to believe they are above reproach on the road, that they can speed despite the speed limit and use the badge to make you move; half the time all they want is to get ahead. Funny how they slow down and turn off the lights once you've moved. Question: am I legally bound to move over for these lazy, aggravating people?


I have to add that my father is a retired police officer ... in all his 35 years on the force, he has never abused the law in such a way. He caught 35 years of hell from his fellow officers for being one of the fair cops, but he had the respect of most of the public he served. Shame on me? I live by example. Right is right.

22 Answers

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    I am a little confused on the traffic lanes you were talking about.......but i will make a couple of statements that may help.

    some states require slower moving cars to move in a different lane of traffic.

    some states require people to pull over a certian direction for a police officer when resoonding to an emergency. It is my experience that when people see the police just behind them not resoonding to an emergency they tend to pull over to the next lane regaurdless of why, mostly at teh last minute. If the officer does not want to continuously weave back and forth in traffic and go around the car who may just decide to move over at the same time the officer somes around the car to pass them.

    one reason the pull over law states which direction to pull over is to save confusion. It states in black and white what you are to do and you know what the cop will do. That is why you ussually don;t see police with lights and sirens on weaving back and forth in lanes or moving positions at all. people know to move over and if the cop should happen to try to get around you and you suddenly make a lane change you have an accident. so you keep is simple and avoid accidents by the police not moving at all from the lane so both drivers have no doubt in what is going to happen.

    as for turning on the lights on and turning them back off again, it is a momentary need to get by you. I usually never use my lights and sirens more than just a few second just to get by what i need to.

    People tend to do stupid stuff when they are behind a police car with lights and sirens. I will either not use them at all and pass you without them on or use them just to get by you.

    Not using the lights and passing you gets your common complaint that the police are allways speeding.........but i would rather have the complaint of speeding than have confusion or an accident.

    Source(s): police officer
  • 1 decade ago

    It's called "Failure to yeild to an Emergency Vehicle". I admire your Fathers career. I spent 27 yrs being a good cop. What I can't understand is why you feel offended when you are signeled to move over, and why you think the Officer is abusing his powers. And, I have to tell you. I think you are really stretching the truth when you say that they turn off their lights and slow down after they pass you. Grow up and move over, and show some more respect for the Police who already have a tough job putting up with citizens who are always trying to second guess you

  • 1 decade ago

    Here goes... First the police officer... Sounds to me like you were in the left lane(the passing lane) when the police officer came up behind you... In North Carolina, slower traffic must keep to the right, it is the law. In some states(not sure which) I think you have to stay in the right lane unless passing. Often police officers are responding to calls such as drug deals where they do not want to alert the criminals that they are coming by using there sirens. Keep that in mind.

    Just make life easier for all of us in the driving public, use common sense.

    For those of us that have to drive emergency vehicles for a living; please pull left when you see us approaching. We have a very tough job to do when we get to where we are going, please do not compound this by making our trip there more difficult. Who knows the life we save may be you are someone you know.

    Source(s): 15 years of driving a fire truck
  • Anna M
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago

    "half the time all they want is to get ahead"

    don't know how you know that! But YES you do have to move aside. It may not be an emergency, maybe a transport or just a call to respond or just that YOU are impeding traffic and need to move to the slower lane.

    It doesn't matter WHY! They don't turn their lights on for a responce call. Sometimes they are in route to a location for whatever!

    Question: am I legally bound to move over for these lazy, aggravating people?

    Sounds like you don't respect Law Enforcement. If they inconvenience you I suggest that when you need one of those "aggravating people" to respond to YOUR 911 that you simply wait for the flow of traffic to get out their way so they can get to YOU. Maybe the guy in front of them will move over and the Officer will be able to respond faster.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Ok, I am not 100 percent on the exact road you are on, a 4 lane, or are you talking about 2 lane and you pull off the road.

    But if you don't obey the officer, at least in my state you can be charged with failure to obey the lawful command of a officer.

    I wrote that ticket often when I was working traffic lights and people would not obey my hand signals.

    And if you are on a 4 lane, two lanes your way, and you are in the left hand lanes, it is illegal to pass on the right hand lane, and unless passing you are suppose to be in the futher right lane, ( as the law normally reads)

    So if you are in the left lane, and he is wanting to pass you should automaticly just pull to right lane to let him ( or anyone pass) if not you are now impeading traffic, did not write that one very offen but it is there to do

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Yes, you must follow an instruction from a police officer. If you feel that the order was abusive, you can file a complaint with the police complaints commission. Just make a note of the time and place, and the license plate on the police vehicle.

  • 1 decade ago

    Have you ever lived your life under a microscope? Had someone criticize you for eating your lunch? Taking a bathroom break? Making a call to a spouse that you never see? Have you ever said "Thanks" to that jerk cop who was speeding ? That same guy/gal may save your life one day whether you are worth it or not and not ask stupid questions as to why he should. Not saying what he is doing is right or wrong as I am only hearing one side of the story but give me a break. Make sure the next time you have a problem, you don't call the police or hope they drive nice and slow and obey the speed limit. You forgot to mention that you pay their salary.

  • 1 decade ago

    ok please remember that everyone is taught in drivers ed to move to the right if an emergency vehicle is behind them. so to a police officer passing on the right is a very big no. why? because say the emergency vehicle begins to pass and the person sees the emergency lights and decides to move over as the police vehicle is next to them now you have an accident on your hands. just remember just move to the right when you see emergency vehicle behind you in most states it is a violation of the law to not move over for an emergency vehicle.

  • spag
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    Many times I am responding to a call and do NOT activate my lights. Believe it or not, driving with my lights on tends to cause people to react in strange ways and many cause accidents. I drive in the fast lane and try to keep the lights off. If I drive in the other lane and I am traveling fast, many times people in the fast lane will suddenly change lanes because they know they are speeding and think I am coming after them. It's a normal reaction. If you get someone on your backside, let them through. It could be your family that needs assistance.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Ok first off if your father is a police officer (retired) I cannot believe you would ask such a simple question!!! What if it is someone in your family they are going to help. In my state, most often you you pull over for sirens and lights. You should be ashamed calling our officers who are extremely underpaid for their services and life threating things they do for our society each and every day.

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