2013 ORS § 820.320¹
Illegal operation of emergency vehicle or ambulance
  • penalty

(1) A person commits the offense of illegal operation of an emergency vehicle or ambulance if the person is the driver of an emergency vehicle or ambulance and the person violates any of the following:

(a) The driver of an emergency vehicle or ambulance may only exercise privileges granted under ORS 820.300 (Exemptions from traffic laws) when responding to an emergency call or when responding to, but not upon returning from, an emergency. The driver of an emergency vehicle may exercise privileges granted under ORS 820.300 (Exemptions from traffic laws) when in pursuit of an actual or suspected violator of the law.

(b) The driver of an emergency vehicle or ambulance must use a visual signal with appropriate warning lights when the driver is exercising privileges granted under ORS 820.300 (Exemptions from traffic laws).

(c) In addition to any required visual signal, the driver of an emergency vehicle or ambulance must make use of an audible signal meeting the requirements under ORS 820.370 (Ambulance or emergency vehicle sirens) when the driver is proceeding past a stop light or stop sign under privileges granted by ORS 820.300 (Exemptions from traffic laws) (1)(b).

(d) A driver of an emergency vehicle or ambulance who is exercising privileges granted under ORS 820.300 (Exemptions from traffic laws) by parking or standing an emergency vehicle in disregard of a regulation or ordinance prohibiting that parking, stopping or standing, shall not use the audible signal.

(e) In exercising the privileges under ORS 820.300 (Exemptions from traffic laws) (1)(e) relating to buses and bus safety lights, the driver of an emergency vehicle or ambulance must first stop the vehicle and then must:

(A) Determine that no passengers of the bus remain on the roadway; and

(B) Proceed with caution.

(f) In proceeding past any stop light or stop sign under the privileges granted by ORS 820.300 (Exemptions from traffic laws), the driver of an emergency vehicle or ambulance must slow down as may be necessary for safe operation.

(g) The driver of an emergency vehicle or ambulance must not exceed any designated speed limit to an extent which endangers persons or property.

(2) The driver of an emergency vehicle that is operated as an emergency police vehicle is not required to use either visual signal or the audible signal as described in this section in order to exercise the privileges granted in ORS 820.300 (Exemptions from traffic laws) when it reasonably appears to the driver that the use of either or both would prevent or hamper the apprehension or detection of a violator of a statute, ordinance or regulation.

(3) The offense described in this section, illegal operation of an emergency vehicle or ambulance, is a Class B traffic violation. [1983 c.338 §759; 1985 c.16 §364; 1995 c.209 §1]