2020 Georgia Code
Title 40 - Motor Vehicles and Traffic
Chapter 6 - Uniform Rules of the Road
Article 4 - Right of Way
§ 40-6-74. Operation of Vehicles on Approach of Authorized Emergency Vehicles

Universal Citation: GA Code § 40-6-74 (2020)
  1. Upon the immediate approach of an authorized emergency vehicle or a vehicle belonging to a federal, state, or local law enforcement agency making use of an audible signal and visual signals meeting the requirements of Code Section 40-6-6,the driver of every other vehicle shall yield the right of way and shall immediately drive to a position parallel to, and as close as possible to, the right-hand edge or curb of the roadway clear of any intersection and shall stop and remain in such position until the authorized emergency vehicle or law enforcement vehicle has passed, except when otherwise directed by a police officer.
  2. This Code section shall not operate to relieve the driver of any authorized emergency vehicle from the duty to drive with due regard for the safety of all persons using the highway.

(Ga. L. 1953, Nov.-Dec. Sess., p. 556, § 76; Code 1933, § 68A-405, enacted by Ga. L. 1974, p. 633, § 1; Ga. L. 1990, p. 2048, § 5.)

Cross references.

- Limitation of liability of persons rendering emergency care, §§ 31-11-8,51-1-29,51-1-30,51-1-30.1.


Charge must fit evidence.

- Trial court did not err in refusing to give a charge on O.C.G.A. § 40-6-74 if the charge was not adjusted to the evidence. Lucas v. Love, 238 Ga. App. 463, 519 S.E.2d 253 (1999).

Construction with O.C.G.A. § 40-6-6. - Read together, O.C.G.A. §§ 40-6-6 and40-6-74 mandate that a driver has a duty to yield the right of way to an authorized law enforcement vehicle when the law enforcement vehicle approaches making use of an audible signal and visual signal under normal atmospheric conditions from a distance of 500 feet to the front of such vehicle, and furthermore the statutes do not restrict an "audible signal" to only sirens, and § 40-6-6 does not apply only when the authorized law enforcement vehicle is responding to an emergency call; accordingly, it was proper to give instructions as to §§ 40-6-6 and40-6-74 in a suit by a driver who ran into a house while the house was being moved and escorted by police vehicles. Hersh v. Griffith, 284 Ga. App. 15, 643 S.E.2d 309 (2007).

Insufficient evidence for conviction.

- There was no violation of O.C.G.A. § 40-6-74 when the evidence was that the officer's purpose was to stop the defendant for speeding and the state failed to prove that the defendant obstructed the roadway and prevented the officer from passing the defendant. Jackson v. State, 223 Ga. App. 27, 477 S.E.2d 28 (1996).

Evidence was not sufficient to support a conviction for failure to yield to an emergency vehicle since it was established that the police officer was pursuing the defendant, rather than seeking to pass the defendant. Burrell v. State, 225 Ga. App. 264, 483 S.E.2d 679 (1997).

Stop not justified as defendant did not obstruct roadway.

- Defendant's motion to suppress was properly granted as the officer lacked reasonable articulable suspicion to justify the stop of the defendant's vehicle because the defendant did not obstruct the roadway and did not fail to yield the right-of-way to the officer as the video showed that the defendant passed the patrol car in the far right lane, leaving two other empty lanes open for the patrol car to proceed forward unobstructed. State v. Shaw, 353 Ga. App. 102, 836 S.E.2d 208 (2019).

Cited in Findley v. McDaniel, 158 Ga. App. 445, 280 S.E.2d 858 (1981); Willis v. Love, 232 Ga. App. 543, 502 S.E.2d 487 (1998).


Am. Jur. 2d.

- 7A Am. Jur. 2d, Automobiles and Highway Traffic, § 298 et seq.


- 60 C.J.S., Motor Vehicles, §§ 35, 53, 54, 56.


- Validity of statute or ordinance giving right of way in streets or highways to certain classes of vehicles, 38 A.L.R. 24.

Right of way at street or highway intersections, 47 A.L.R. 595.

Right of way of vehicle carrying policeman, 65 A.L.R. 140.

Construction and application of statutory provision requiring motorists to yield right-of-way to emergency vehicle, 87 A.L.R.5th 1.

Disclaimer: These codes may not be the most recent version. Georgia may have more current or accurate information. We make no warranties or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained on this site or the information linked to on the state site. Please check official sources.
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.