Skip to content




The Townsend Police Department has been experiencing a number of incidents of drivers not yielding to emergency vehicles.

We urge all drivers to yield to oncoming emergency vehicles with their overhead emergency lights flashing. This means that if you observe a police cruiser, fire apparatus or ambulance approaching from the front or from behind your vehicle with their lights flashing, you must do the following:

1) Pull as close as possible to the right side of the road….

2) STOP until the emergency vehicle(s) have passed.

For clarification, please see Massachusetts General Law Chapter 90 Section 7 as is stated below.

M.G.L. Chapter 90 Section 7:

“The members and apparatus of a fire department while going to a fire or responding to an alarm, police patrol vehicles and ambulances, and ambulances on a call for the purpose of hospitalizing a sick or injured person shall have the right of way through any street, way, lane or alley. Whoever willfully obstructs or retards the passage of any of the foregoing in the exercise of such right shall be punished by a fine of fifty dollars or by imprisonment for not more than three months for the first offense and by a fine of not more than five hundred dollars or by imprisonment for up to one year for a second and subsequent offenses; provided, however, that for a third or subsequent offense the court or the registry of motor vehicles, in addition to any such fine or imprisonment, may suspend the license of the person so convicted and may order mandatory classroom retraining in motor vehicle and traffic laws.”

We at the Townsend Police Department appreciate your understanding of the importance of this law and hope this helps in your defensive driving habits. Thank you !