When you hear the sound of an ambulance, you are expected to make room for it to pass. There are plenty of video compilations on the web about how drivers in different countries react to the sound of an ambulance and in some cases, drivers seem to ignore the siren. Most of us try to make way as quickly and as safely as possible, but may not pay as much attention as to whether what we are doing is strictly legal since we may think that yielding immediate right of way to the ambulance takes priority over minor traffic rules, and that we would not be penalized.
But in the UK at least, you can be fined for making way for emergency vehicles if you break a rule. The link gives you the things that you should not do, such as:
Advice online says you should not break the law to make way for police, fire and ambulance vehicles – this includes entering bus lanes or running red lights.
Do not try to speed or outrun an emergency vehicle, only allow the emergency vehicle to overtake only when there is space to do so and it is safe.
When driving on a motorway emergency services are likely to use the hard shoulder if lanes are slow moving, so don’t use the lane but instead pull over to the inside to wait for the emergency vehicle to pass.
Of course, many drivers will be willing to break the rules in order to let an emergency vehicle to help it pass more quickly and make its way to the incident, but it is worth noting that you are liable for any offences committed.
There are other rules you should not break. It says that ambulance drivers do not expect you to move aside immediately whatever the cost but only if it is safe and legal to do so.
Good to know.
What about in the US? The California driver’s handbook (which I suspect is similar to that of other states) is much less restrictive (see page 74).
Drive to the right edge of the road and stop until the emergency vehicle(s) have passed. However, never stop in an intersection. If you are in an intersection when you see an emergency vehicle, continue through the intersection, and then drive to the right as soon as it is safe and stop. Emergency vehicles often use the wrong side of the street to continue on their way. They sometimes use a loudspeaker to talk to drivers blocking their path.
You must obey any traffic direction, order, or signal given by a traffic or peace officer, or a firefighter even if it conflicts with existing signs, signals, or laws.
It says nothing about not going through a red light but that seems like a good thing not to do anyway.