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RE: [NorCalFire] I gotta ask...

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  • Larish, Michael
    I m not saying that a lot of folks don t turn off the siren... I do myself under some circumstances but to be strictly legal, California law states that
    Message 1 of 20 , Oct 13, 2007
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      I'm not saying that a lot of folks don't turn off the siren... I do myself under some circumstances but to be strictly legal, California law states that lights AND siren have to be operating. You are essentially betting on the odds that nothing bad will happen that will put you in court.

      As for stopping at intersections to clear before you go through, that's an agency policy, not CVC. Basically, lights and sirens do not give you free reign on speed or blowing red lights/stop signs nor do they automatically give you the right of way. They are essentially a form of asking permission. Since code 3 driving is such a high liability issue, most agencies set policies they feel follow due dilligence such as stopping at all red lights and ensuring you have eye contact with everybody before you go through or setting code 3 speed limits above and beyond the posted limit, etc.

      Mike

      ________________________________

      From: norcalfire@yahoogroups.com on behalf of David Coursey
      Sent: Sat 10/13/2007 6:01 PM
      To: norcalfire@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: Re: [NorCalFire] I gotta ask...



      My wife, who works for AMR, has been trained in occasions not to run
      the siren (like on the freeway, where you are outrunning it) and
      times when you just turn everything off and wait -- rather than push
      people through the intersection. They also are required to stop/
      almost stop before every intersection they need to clear. I need to
      take a look at the CVC. :>

      On Oct 13, 2007, at 12:04 PM, Larish, Michael wrote:

      > To be legal driving in an emergency response, in California you
      > just employ both lights and siren all the time. While it is common
      > to see cops and even EMS and Fire occasionally responding with
      > lights but no siren, if they were ever in an accident driving
      > outside the normal CVC laws, they're in deep do-do legally.
      >
      > Code 1 - at your leisure
      > Code 2 - Important and needs to be done soon or get there soon but
      > still gotta obey all CVC traffic laws
      > Code 3 - Emergency - lights & siren
      >
      > Mike
      >
      >
      >
      >
      > -----Original Message-----
      > From: norcalfire@yahoogroups.com <mailto:norcalfire%40yahoogroups.com> [mailto:norcalfire@yahoogroups.com <mailto:norcalfire%40yahoogroups.com> ]
      > On Behalf Of David Coursey
      > Sent: Friday, October 12, 2007 4:40 PM
      > To: norcalfire@yahoogroups.com <mailto:norcalfire%40yahoogroups.com>
      > Subject: Re: [NorCalFire] I gotta ask...
      >
      > Long ago, at least in Dallas:
      >
      > Code 1 -- Normal driving
      > Code 2 -- Lights, no siren
      > Code 3 -- Lights and siren
      >
      > Here in San Joaquin County, Code 2 is the former Code 1 -- and
      > represents normal driving. Code 3 means emergency driving, with
      > lights/siren used as necessary.
      >
      > In other places, like Santa Clara, I think they have a Priority
      > System in which Priority 1 is most serious. But in other places,
      > Priority 3 is most serious (to match Code 3, I suppose). Or, I've
      > heard "we're running Priority 1, Code 3."
      >
      > This is why the feds remind us that plain language makes
      > interoperability work.
      >
      > On Oct 12, 2007, at 4:10 PM, Gene wrote:
      >
      > > I have heard code 3...immediate, lights and siren response...code 2,
      > > reduced code, quiet not a high speed response...and code 4 being
      > free
      > > of the incident, or not of any importance ( as far as I have
      > > interpreted them).
      > >
      > > But what is a code 1 response?
      > >
      > > Heard it for Sheriff today in Tuolumne.
      > >
      > > Gene
      > > Sonora, Ca
      > >
      > >
      > >
      >
      > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      >
      > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      >
      >
      >

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]






      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Dan Shapiro
      Here is the practical legal skinny on this. Running with lights and siren entitles an emergency vehicle operator, when actually engaged in an emergency
      Message 2 of 20 , Oct 13, 2007
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        Here is the practical legal skinny on this. Running with lights and
        siren entitles an emergency vehicle operator, when actually engaged in
        an emergency response, to violate the usual traffic laws, such as
        speeding, red lights, lanes, and such like that, but the driver must
        still drive carefully and be certain that the intersections are safe to
        proceed through and must also maintain the same standard of care as
        other drivers and maybe even higher, as negligent driving is not ever
        permitted.

        I learned this from first hand experience as an attorney in a case that
        went to trial involving a motorcycle police officer who ran over a woman
        crossing the street. I was also involved as an attorney in another case
        that settled involving a police officer in a patrol car that blew
        through an intersection without properly clearing it first and caused an
        accident, even though he allegedly had his lights and siren on.

        The case law developed to its current state after two fire engines
        responding lights and siren to the same fire on different routes
        collided in an intersection.

        Dan Shapiro
        Riverside

        David Coursey wrote:
        > My wife, who works for AMR, has been trained in occasions not to run
        > the siren (like on the freeway, where you are outrunning it) and
        > times when you just turn everything off and wait -- rather than push
        > people through the intersection. They also are required to stop/
        > almost stop before every intersection they need to clear. I need to
        > take a look at the CVC. :>
        >
        > On Oct 13, 2007, at 12:04 PM, Larish, Michael wrote:
        >
        >
        >> To be legal driving in an emergency response, in California you
        >> just employ both lights and siren all the time. While it is common
        >> to see cops and even EMS and Fire occasionally responding with
        >> lights but no siren, if they were ever in an accident driving
        >> outside the normal CVC laws, they're in deep do-do legally.
        >>
        >> Code 1 - at your leisure
        >> Code 2 - Important and needs to be done soon or get there soon but
        >> still gotta obey all CVC traffic laws
        >> Code 3 - Emergency - lights & siren
        >>
        >> Mike
        >>
        >>
        >>
        >>
        >> -----Original Message-----
        >> From: norcalfire@yahoogroups.com [mailto:norcalfire@yahoogroups.com]
        >> On Behalf Of David Coursey
        >> Sent: Friday, October 12, 2007 4:40 PM
        >> To: norcalfire@yahoogroups.com
        >> Subject: Re: [NorCalFire] I gotta ask...
        >>
        >> Long ago, at least in Dallas:
        >>
        >> Code 1 -- Normal driving
        >> Code 2 -- Lights, no siren
        >> Code 3 -- Lights and siren
        >>
        >> Here in San Joaquin County, Code 2 is the former Code 1 -- and
        >> represents normal driving. Code 3 means emergency driving, with
        >> lights/siren used as necessary.
        >>
        >> In other places, like Santa Clara, I think they have a Priority
        >> System in which Priority 1 is most serious. But in other places,
        >> Priority 3 is most serious (to match Code 3, I suppose). Or, I've
        >> heard "we're running Priority 1, Code 3."
        >>
        >> This is why the feds remind us that plain language makes
        >> interoperability work.
        >>
        >> On Oct 12, 2007, at 4:10 PM, Gene wrote:
        >>
        >>
        >>> I have heard code 3...immediate, lights and siren response...code 2,
        >>> reduced code, quiet not a high speed response...and code 4 being
        >>>
        >> free
        >>
        >>> of the incident, or not of any importance ( as far as I have
        >>> interpreted them).
        >>>
        >>> But what is a code 1 response?
        >>>
        >>> Heard it for Sheriff today in Tuolumne.
        >>>
        >>> Gene
        >>> Sonora, Ca
        >>>
        >>>
        >>>
        >>>
        >> [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        >>
        >> [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        >>
        >>
        >>
        >>
        >
        >
        >
        > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        >
        >
        >
        > Acronyms and More!
        > http://fire.norcalscan.org/glossary.html
        >
        > Moderator questions/problems?
        > mail directly at norcalfire-owner@yahoogroups.com
        > Yahoo! Groups Links
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
      • Harry Marnell
        ... The vehicle code requires the red light to the front of the vehicle in order to exempt it from specified rules of the road, but the siren need be used only
        Message 3 of 20 , Oct 13, 2007
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          David Coursey wrote:
          > My wife, who works for AMR, has been trained in occasions not to run
          > the siren (like on the freeway, where you are outrunning it) and
          > times when you just turn everything off and wait -- rather than push
          > people through the intersection. They also are required to stop/
          > almost stop before every intersection they need to clear. I need to
          > take a look at the CVC. :>

          The vehicle code requires the red light to the front of the vehicle in
          order to exempt it from specified rules of the road, but the siren need
          be used only "as may be reasonably necessary."

          21055. The driver of an authorized emergency vehicle is exempt from
          Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 21350), Chapter 3 (commencing
          with Section 21650), Chapter 4 (commencing with Section 21800),
          Chapter 5 (commencing with Section 21950), Chapter 6 (commencing with
          22100), Chapter 7 (commencing with Section 22348), Chapter 8
          (commencing with Section 22450), Chapter 9 (commencing with Section
          22500), and Chapter 10 (commencing with Section 22650) of this
          division, and Article 3 (commencing with Section 38305) and Article 4
          (commencing with Section 38312) of Chapter 5 of Division 16.5, under
          all of the following conditions:

          "(a) If the vehicle is being driven in response to an emergency
          call or while engaged in rescue operations or is being used in the
          immediate pursuit of an actual or suspected violator of the law or is
          responding to, but not returning from, a fire alarm, except that
          fire department vehicles are exempt whether directly responding to an
          emergency call or operated from one place to another as rendered
          desirable or necessary by reason of an emergency call and operated to
          the scene of the emergency or operated from one fire station to
          another or to some other location by reason of the emergency call.

          "(b) If the driver of the vehicle *sounds a siren as may be
          reasonably necessary* and the vehicle displays a lighted red lamp
          visible from the front as a warning to other drivers and pedestrians.

          "A siren shall not be sounded by an authorized emergency vehicle
          except when required under this section."

          And that's followed by the "warning" that

          "21056. Section 21055 does not relieve the driver of a vehicle from
          the duty to drive with due regard for the safety of all persons using
          the highway, nor protect him from the consequences of an arbitrary
          exercise of the privileges granted in that section."

          Also, even when running "Code 3" (which is never mentioned in the CVC)
          an emergency vehicle does not automatically have the right of way. The
          right of way is obtained only when other drivers and pedestrians yield
          it (21806). Nowhere in the vehicle code is any vehicle or pedestrian
          GIVEN the right of way, but it is always stated in terms of who is
          required to yield the right of way.

          Harry
        • Harry Marnell
          ... That is a common misconception, but is not correct under the vehicle code, although it may well be many agencies policy. Forward-facing red light is
          Message 4 of 20 , Oct 13, 2007
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            Larish, Michael wrote:
            > I'm not saying that a lot of folks don't turn off the siren... I do
            > myself under some circumstances but to be strictly legal, California
            > law states that lights AND siren have to be operating.

            That is a common misconception, but is not correct under the vehicle
            code, although it may well be many agencies' policy. Forward-facing red
            light is required, siren only as "reasonably necessary."

            As I just noted in post
            http://groups.yahoo.com/group/norcalfire/message/12956 CVC 21055 (b)
            requires that "the driver of the vehicle sounds a siren as may be
            reasonably necessary and the vehicle displays a lighted red lamp visible
            from the front as a warning to other drivers and pedestrians."

            Harry
          • Mark Ward
            I was living in a very rural area on the north coast, and noticed that the private ambulances here would run with their sirens on even at 4 am out on
            Message 5 of 20 , Oct 13, 2007
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              I was living in a very rural area on the north coast, and noticed that
              the private ambulances here would run with their sirens on even at 4
              am out on nothing-dirt roads where there weren't even any animals for
              miles, much less vehicles.

              I stopped by the ambulance base and asked them about it, and the
              manager told me that their insurance company required continuous
              siren, even though the vehicle code didn't. They had gone so far as
              to install an extra electromechanical siren just in case their
              electronic sirens pooped out on their VERY long runs.

              --
              The Other Mark

              Larish, Michael wrote:
              >Basically, lights and sirens do
              > not give you free reign on speed or blowing red lights/stop signs nor
              > do they automatically give you the right of way. They are
              > essentially a form of asking permission. Since code 3 driving is
              > such a high liability issue, most agencies set policies they feel
              > follow due dilligence such as stopping at all red lights and ensuring
              > you have eye contact with everybody before you go through or setting
              > code 3 speed limits above and beyond the posted limit, etc.
              >
              > Mike
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