They do have to obey the laws regulating traffic. However, the vehicle code spells out exactly what those laws are and what exemptions there are for emergency vehicles.
Specifically, speeding, running red lights and stop signs with just slowing down, going the wrong way on a street, and other things I see them do on a daily basis, are all perfectly legal. And at least around here I see in excess of 95% of people move to the right and stop. With just a few morons that either ignore them or come to a stop in the middle of the road.
316.072 Obedience to and effect of traffic laws.
(1) PROVISIONS OF CHAPTER REFERRING TO VEHICLES UPON THE HIGHWAYS.The provisions of this chapter shall apply to the operation of vehicles and bicycles and the movement of pedestrians upon all state-maintained highways, county-maintained highways, and municipal streets and alleys and wherever vehicles have the right to travel.
(2) REQUIRED OBEDIENCE TO TRAFFIC LAWS.It is unlawful for any person to do any act forbidden, or to fail to perform any act required, in this chapter. It is unlawful for the owner, or any other person employing or otherwise directing the driver of any vehicle, to require or knowingly permit the operation of such vehicle upon a highway in any manner contrary to law. A violation of this subsection is a noncriminal traffic infraction, punishable as a moving violation as provided in chapter 318.
(3) OBEDIENCE TO POLICE AND FIRE DEPARTMENT OFFICIALS.It is unlawful and a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083, for any person willfully to fail or refuse to comply with any lawful order or direction of any law enforcement officer, traffic crash investigation officer as described in s. 316.640, traffic infraction enforcement officer as described in s. 316.640, or member of the fire department at the scene of a fire, rescue operation, or other emergency. Notwithstanding the provisions of this subsection, certified emergency medical technicians or paramedics may respond to the scene of emergencies and may provide emergency medical treatment on the scene and provide transport of patients in the performance of their duties for an emergency medical services provider licensed under chapter 401 and in accordance with any local emergency medical response protocols.
(4) PUBLIC OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES TO OBEY CHAPTER; EXCEPTIONS.
(a) The provisions of this chapter applicable to the drivers of vehicles upon the highways shall apply to the drivers of all vehicles owned or operated by the United States, this state, or any county, city, town, district, or any other political subdivision of the state, subject to such specific exceptions as are set forth in this chapter.
(b) Unless specifically made applicable, the provisions of this chapter, except those contained in ss. 316.192, 316.1925, and 316.193, shall not apply to persons, teams, or motor vehicles and other equipment while actually engaged in work upon the surface of a highway, but shall apply to such persons and vehicles when traveling to or from such work.
(5) AUTHORIZED EMERGENCY VEHICLES.
(a)1. The driver of an authorized emergency vehicle, when responding to an emergency call, when in the pursuit of an actual or suspected violator of the law, or when responding to a fire alarm, but not upon returning from a fire;
2. A medical staff physician or technician of a medical facility licensed by the state when responding to an emergency in the line of duty in his or her privately owned vehicle, using red lights as authorized in s. 316.2398; or
3. The driver of an authorized law enforcement vehicle, when conducting a nonemergency escort, to warn the public of an approaching motorcade;
may exercise the privileges set forth in this section, but subject to the conditions herein stated.
(b) The driver of a vehicle specified in paragraph (a), except when otherwise directed by a police officer, may:
1. Park or stand, irrespective of the provisions of this chapter;
2. Proceed past a red or stop signal or stop sign, but only after slowing down as may be necessary for safe operation;
3. Exceed the maximum speed limits so long as the driver does not endanger life or property;
4. Disregard regulations governing direction or movement or turning in specified directions, so long as the driver does not endanger life or property.
(c) The foregoing provisions shall not relieve the driver of a vehicle specified in paragraph (a) from the duty to drive with due regard for the safety of all persons, nor shall such provisions protect the driver from the consequences of his or her reckless disregard for the safety of others.