Friday, January 29, 2010

Car Accident Involving Police Vehicle in Howard County

On January 20, 2010, an unmarked police vehicle was traveling eastbound along Route 108 in Columbia, Maryland. When the officer was making a left hand turn on Bendix Road he was hit by another vehicle traveling westbound on Route 108 in Howard County. The drivers of both vehicles were taken to Howard County General for injuries.

Although emergency vehicles have their own set of rules to which they adhere while driving, it is unclear in this situation as to what capacity the unmarked police cruiser was being used. The law clearly states that emergency vehicles such as police cars, ambulances, or fire trucks cannot be held to the same standard of care as other drivers. Designated emergency vehicles that are responding to an emergency have special privileges. For instance, they are permitted to exceed the speed limit (so long as they do not endanger other drivers), pass a red light or stop sign, and disregard traffic control devices. However, it is important to keep in mind that these privileges only exist if the responding vehicle is using its audible and visual signals except in the even event that the police vehicle is not equipped with such signals..

If you, a family member, or someone you know has been injured in a motor vehicle accident that involves the use of an emergency vehicle or would like more information on car accidents, please contact Portner & Shure.

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