MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – In a Facebook post that was shared more than 4,000 times on Wednesday, the Chisago County Sheriff’s Office reminded drivers of what Minnseota law requires when emergency vehicles appear with lights flashing in their rearview mirrors.
In a 320-word post title “Someday It Might Be You…”, Deputy James Mott wrote that on Sunday, when he was driving an ambulance so that medics could continue lifesaving efforts, he passed over 100 cars, none of which complied with state laws on pulling over for emergency vehicles.
As such, Mott said the ambulance was delayed several minutes in getting to the hospital.
“Imagine if this victim was a loved one of yours,” he wrote. “You’d want the seas to part so they could get to the hospital in time, right? It deeply saddens me to say that the victim in this incident did not survive. Would she have survived if the transport hadn’t been delayed due to irresponsible motorists? I can’t say for sure, but it’s definitely possible.”
Minnesota law requires drivers to pull over to the right shoulder and stop until the emergency vehicle passes. Mott said that while many drivers pulled over Sunday night, they kept driving on the shoulder. This caused him to almost miss an exit.
He also said that some drivers stayed in the left lane, which caused him to have to slow down and wait until they moved.
“This can add minutes to our response time,” Mott wrote. “Sometimes we don’t have those minutes to spare.”
Drivers are only supposed to be in the left lane when passing another car, passing a parked emergency vehicle and when construction requires it, he said.
As of Wednesday afternoon, Mott’s post had more than 3,000 likes and 4,400 shares.