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Police Forum Police Head Mod: Skidmark
Questions & info about the Motor Vehicle Act. Mature discussion only.

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Old 11-20-2011, 08:56 PM   #1
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can police speed without sirens/lights

i tried searching, found nothing.

just wondering, can a cop speed without their lights or sirens on?

I believe I heard that they could not, and as such if i were to get a speeding ticket and the only way to prove that I was speeding would be for the cop to admit to speeding without lights/sirens, what would happen? would a cop admit that? is it wrong that they did that?

just interested
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Old 11-20-2011, 09:02 PM   #2
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Old 11-20-2011, 09:37 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4444 View Post
i tried searching, found nothing.

just wondering, can a cop speed without their lights or sirens on?

I believe I heard that they could not, and as such if i were to get a speeding ticket and the only way to prove that I was speeding would be for the cop to admit to speeding without lights/sirens, what would happen? would a cop admit that? is it wrong that they did that?

just interested
Yes they can. There are many situations a police officer would want to go to location with the people there no he is coming,
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Old 11-20-2011, 10:32 PM   #4
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Yes they can. There are many situations a police officer would want to go to location with the people there no he is coming,
is there something in legal documentation that says they can? i've searched around and read 'many' opinions on both sides.

i'd imagine they couldn't speed without lights OR sirens on. i have been told by a friend who got into an accident with a cop car that they were at fault b/c the cop had just his lights on, and that's all the need (either or) - not sure its logical that a cop can speed without some kind of warning system, as other road users would never expect a car speeding like that - especialy an emergency vehicle (which is there to uphold the law)
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Old 11-20-2011, 10:33 PM   #5
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did u get a ticket?
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Old 11-20-2011, 11:18 PM   #6
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did u get a ticket?
no, just asking, but would love to know (one of those things you want to know)
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Old 11-21-2011, 12:00 AM   #7
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They don't need the lights, I've been told by a cop. But take that with a grain of salt.

Or you can just take first hand experience, when i tailed a cop doing 120+ down Shaughnessy.
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Old 11-21-2011, 12:33 AM   #8
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Old 11-21-2011, 12:41 AM   #9
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No, they do not need to use lights and sirens, which is logical since often times they would not want to alert the parties at the location they are proceeding too in advance of arrival.

Quote:
122 (1) Despite anything in this Part, but subject to subsections (2) and (4), a driver of an emergency vehicle may do the following:

(a) exceed the speed limit;
(b) proceed past a red traffic control signal or stop sign without stopping;
(c) disregard rules and traffic control devices governing direction of movement or turning in specified directions;
(d) stop or stand.
(2) The driver of an emergency vehicle must not exercise the privileges granted by subsection (1) except in accordance with the regulations.
(3) [Repealed 1997-30-2.]
(4) The driver of an emergency vehicle exercising a privilege granted by subsection (1) must drive with due regard for safety, having regard to all the circumstances of the case, including the following:
(a) the nature, condition and use of the highway;
(b) the amount of traffic that is on, or might reasonably be expected to be on, the highway;
(c) the nature of the use being made of the emergency vehicle at the time.
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Old 11-21-2011, 06:56 AM   #10
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this is common in vancouver
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Old 11-21-2011, 01:39 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by 4444 View Post
is there something in legal documentation that says they can? i've searched around and read 'many' opinions on both sides.
As posted above, Section 122 of the MVA gives Police, Fire and Ambulance the authority to "break the traffic laws", however sub-sections 2 and 4 regulate how/when/why. We (RCMP) have our own internal Emergency Vehicle Operation policy, which expands on sub-sections 2 and 4, as does every municipal police force, fire department and BC Ambulance Services.

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i'd imagine they couldn't speed without lights OR sirens on. i have been told by a friend who got into an accident with a cop car that they were at fault b/c the cop had just his lights on, and that's all the need (either or) - not sure its logical that a cop can speed without some kind of warning system, as other road users would never expect a car speeding like that - especialy an emergency vehicle (which is there to uphold the law)
Without knowing the details of your friend's collision, having emergency lights activated is having a "warning system" for other drivers.

I can't speak for other agencies, but if we get into a collision on the way to a call/going after someone and can't justify the driving behaviour every step of the way, we are held every bit as accountable in terms of civil and criminal liability as anyone else. Then we also have our internal investigation to deal with.
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Old 11-21-2011, 02:08 PM   #12
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As posted above, Section 122 of the MVA gives Police, Fire and Ambulance the authority to "break the traffic laws", however sub-sections 2 and 4 regulate how/when/why. We (RCMP) have our own internal Emergency Vehicle Operation policy, which expands on sub-sections 2 and 4, as does every municipal police force, fire department and BC Ambulance Services.


Without knowing the details of your friend's collision, having emergency lights activated is having a "warning system" for other drivers.

I can't speak for other agencies, but if we get into a collision on the way to a call/going after someone and can't justify the driving behaviour every step of the way, we are held every bit as accountable in terms of civil and criminal liability as anyone else. Then we also have our internal investigation to deal with.
great response, thanks.

ya, my friends' accidents was an interesting one, she was driving through an intersection on a green, cop comes through the intersection on a red for him, but with lights or sirens (can't recall, it was just one of them, i think it was just lights), they collided, she was found 100% at fault, just good info to know that.

what i would find interesting would be if a cop is speeding for no real reason, what would happen to them, for example if they could just pull someone over, but instead they want to 'ghost' them for a while, is that justified?

just really interesting stuff, this
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Old 11-21-2011, 03:05 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4444 View Post
what i would find interesting would be if a cop is speeding for no real reason, what would happen to them, for example if they could just pull someone over, but instead they want to 'ghost' them for a while, is that justified?
I'm not entirely sure what you're asking here. If you're wondering whether a police officer is justified in trailing a vehicle that is speeding (thereby speeding themselves without lights or siren on) without immediately pulling them over - then yes. Officers will often wait to trigger lights and pull over someone until they're able to get a quick idenfication on the vehicle and it's registered owner. It's beneficial to know whether the registered owner of a vehicle has a suspended license, warrants etc before going to stop them (and especially in the case of driving an unmarked [not everyone is as observant about tinted dark coloured CV's/palas/chargers behind them], you don't want to identify yourself as an officer too soon - potentially spooking someone who may have an inclination to resist and run).

Another traffic enforcement example would be sitting on the side of a quiet road where a driver would have plenty of room to speed off, where if after being passed by a speeding vehicle and the road behind him is clear (minimal other traffic), you commonly wouldn't trigger lights until you'd caught up to the vehicle. Obviously this changes with more traffic around that would need to be alerted to your presence, but you can see that in any situation there are a number of factors that could lead to an officer using different combinations of lights/sirens.
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