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Policemen ignoring traffic rules, allowed?

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  • Policemen ignoring traffic rules, allowed?

    Hello all,

    To make my background a little more clear; I am from the Netherlands, hopefully a policeman within a year and interested in law enforcement organizations out of my own country as well.

    Now in my own country there are footages on facebook and other social media where policemen are ignoring certain traffic rules in their vehicles. The law states that policemen may ignore these, even if they are not using their sirens or flashing blue lights, as long as this is needed for their duty. This includes running red lights, speeding, overtaking at the right lane (we do not have the hold your lane rule), etcetera

    How is this done in the US? Does it differ per state or are these laws equal to all states?
    Last edited by Mado; 06-19-2014, 06:24 PM.
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  • #2
    How is this done in the US? Does it differ per state or are these laws equal to all states?
    It differs state by state.

    In Colorado, for example, you have to have lights OR siren on to violate the traffic code, unless you're investigating a violation of the traffic code, and only specific exemptions are allowed... you can't break EVERY rule, just certain rules.

    The whole thing can be found here:

    http://www.coloradodot.info/library/..._download/file

    ...in Part 1, Section 108.

    ...but every state is different.
    "I am a Soldier. I fight where I'm told and I win where I fight." -- GEN George S. Patton, Jr.

    "With a brother on my left and a sister on my right, we face…. We face what no one should face. We face, so no one else would face. We are in the face of Death." -- Holli Peet

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    • #3
      We can ignore any rule if it's reasonable to do so and we are taking reasonable care. We don't need to use lights or siren if it's reasonable not to do so.

      Leaves quite a lot of room for arguing about what is reasonable.

      Comment


      • #4
        It varies by state and individual department policy. A state law may allow a police vehicle to violate traffic laws without using lights and sirens, but a department may forbid it (liability reasons or otherwise).
        I’ll die with blue in my veins.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Mado View Post
          Does it differ per state or are these laws equal to all states?
          The wording will vary from state to state but the intent is similar to your law. In my state, Washington, the law reads:

          RCW 46.61.035
          Authorized emergency vehicles.
          (1) The driver of an authorized emergency vehicle, when responding to an emergency call or when in the pursuit of an actual or suspected violator of the law or when responding to but not upon returning from a fire alarm, may exercise the privileges set forth in this section, but subject to the conditions herein stated.

          (2) The driver of an authorized emergency vehicle may:

          (a) Park or stand, irrespective of the provisions of this chapter;

          (b) Proceed past a red or stop signal or stop sign, but only after slowing down as may be necessary for safe operation;

          (c) Exceed the maximum speed limits so long as he does not endanger life or
          property;

          (d) Disregard regulations governing direction of movement or turning in specified
          directions.

          (3) The exemptions herein granted to an authorized emergency vehicle shall apply only when such vehicle is making use of visual signals meeting the requirements of RCW 46.37.190, except that: (a) An authorized emergency vehicle operated as a police vehicle need not be equipped with or display a red light visible from in front of the vehicle; (b) authorized emergency vehicles shall use audible signals when necessary to warn others of the emergency nature of the situation but in no case shall they be required to use audible signals while parked or standing.

          (4) The foregoing provisions shall not relieve the driver of an authorized emergency vehicle 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 reckless disregard for the safety of others.
          [1969 c 23 § 1; 1965 ex.s. c 155 § 6.]

          Comment


          • #6
            California:

            http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/fa...ctionNum=21055.

            Each Department will have more specific information guiding their Officers' actions also.
            My comments are my personal opinion and are based on my life experiences and training. They are not to be construed as legal advice in any form as I am not an attorney. Should you act on any of the information I provide in my comments, you do so at your own risk!!

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            • #7
              A lot of new/old questions about police behavior here lately, from brand new posters. Hmmm?

              Comment


              • #8
                Policemen???? What about Policewomen??? Do they get a pass?
                My comments are my personal opinion and are based on my life experiences and training. They are not to be construed as legal advice in any form as I am not an attorney. Should you act on any of the information I provide in my comments, you do so at your own risk!!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by chiefjack View Post
                  Policemen???? What about Policewomen??? Do they get a pass?
                  so do PoliceChief's
                  Since some people need to be told by notes in crayon .......Don't PM me with without prior permission. If you can't discuss the situation in the open forum ----it must not be that important

                  My new word for the day is FOCUS, when someone irritates you tell them to FOCUS

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