32-17-42. Lights on emergency vehicles--Duty of driver--Authorization to use lights--Violation as misdemeanor.

Any motor vehicle authorized by the Department of Transportation, a tow truck or wrecker as defined in § 32-17-10, or a vehicle operated by a member of an organized fire department or organized search and rescue unit or by a person who is an ambulance driver, attendant, or emergency medical technician affiliated with a licensed ambulance service may be equipped with blue lights. This provision does not relieve the driver of such a vehicle from the duty to drive with due regard for the safety of all persons using the street nor does it protect the driver of any such vehicle from the consequence of a reckless disregard of the safety of others.

No person may use a blue light unless the person is authorized by this chapter and is either operating a Department of Transportation vehicle in performance of their duties in maintaining the highway, or actually en route to the scene of a fire or other emergency requiring the person's services and the person has been authorized in writing to so use a blue light. The authorization may be given by the Department of Transportation, highway patrol, chief of the fire department, coordinator of the search and rescue unit, or operator or ambulance service director of the ambulance service only to members of the department or service who are in good standing.

The unauthorized use of a blue light in violation of this section is a Class 2 misdemeanor.

Source: SL 1968, ch 179; SL 1974, ch 219, § 22; SL 1978, ch 158, § 37; SL 1986, ch 258; SL 1993, ch 234, § 1; SL 2014, ch 150, § 1; SL 2020, ch 119, § 2.