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Emergency Vehicles: Cases Summarized By Injury Lawyer

This page within Virginia Tort Case Law is a compilation of cases reported by the Virginia Supreme Court and summarized by Brien Roche dealing with the topic of Emergency Vehicles and the related topic of vehicle accidents. For more information on emergency vehicles see the pages on Wikipedia.

Emergency Vehicles-Statutes

See Va. Code § 46.2-920 permitting ambulances and rescue vehicles in response to emergency calls to exceed posted speed limits within corporate limits of cities and towns.

See Va. Code § 46.2-920 as to certain exceptions applicable in regards to speed limitations. This section is not intended to release operator of emergency vehicles from civil liability for failure to use reasonable care in such operation.

See Va. Code §§ 46.2-829 and 46.2-920 as to duty of motorist upon approach of emergency vehicles and fact that these vehicles are exempt from regulations in certain instances.

See Va. Code § 46.2-921 as to following or parking near fire apparatus.

Emergency Vehicles-Cases

2004 Friday-Spivey v. Collier, 268 Va. 384, 601 S.E.2d 591.

Collision between motor vehicle and fire truck. Driver of fire truck not immune because he was responding to “Priority 2” call, which means that he is to respond with no lights and no sirens. A “Priority 2” call is no different than a call for such a thing as a cat in a tree. Sovereign immunity does not extend to ordinary driving situations.

1972 Smith v. Lamar, 212 Va. 820, 188 S.E.2d 72.

Police exempted from certain rules of road when in pursuit of law violator provided police activate siren and flashing lights. Standard of care applicable to such officer is that of prudent man in discharge of official duties of like nature under similar circumstance.

1970 Yates v. Potts, 210 Va. 636, 172 S.E.2d 784.

Plaintiff police officer on motorcycle in pursuit of defendant rear-ended defendant. Jury issue presented.

1966 Mite v. John Doe, 207 Va. 276, 148 S.E.2d 797.

Plaintiff policeman was pursuing speeding motorist on his motorcycle. As officer came alongside left rear of vehicle, it suddenly turned left into intersecting street. Plaintiff injured attempting to avoid collision. Trial court found plaintiff guilty of contributory negligence as matter of law, as officer was in violation of Va. Code § 46.1-190(e) [now § 46.2-858] which forbids overtaking or passing another vehicle at intersection. Plaintiff, even as police officer, not exempt from requirements of statute.

1965 Ocean View Imp. Corp. v. Norfolk & W. Ry., 205 Va. 949, 140 S.E.2d 700.

Plaintiff had fire on property. Defendant’s train, passing at crossing, blocked fire equipment from passing; ordinance prohibiting blocking of crossing only applies to standing trains. Held: no negligence.

1959 Virginia Transit Co. v. Hodges, 201 Va. 232, 110 S.E.2d 231.

Under city ordinance, drivers are required to pull to right and stop upon approach of emergency vehicles giving audible signal. This is true even at intersection where ambulance has red light and regardless of whether ambulance was engaged in genuine emergency assignment.

1952 Virginia Transit Co. v. Tidd, 194 Va. 418, 73 S.E.2d 405.

Police vehicle with red lights and siren activated is still required to stop for red light.

1952 Manhattan For Hire Car Corp. v. O’Connell, 194 Va. 398, 73 S.E.2d 410.

There is no statute that relieves ambulance of requirement of stopping for red light.

1947 Hatfield v. Thomas, 186 Va. 7, 41 S.E.2d 460.

Even when on errand of mercy, vehicles cannot exceed speed limit and disregard traffic lights. Here, defendant was transporting his injured brother to hospital.

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Emergency Vehicles: Cases Summarized By Injury Lawyer

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