Emergency Services Vehicles Provided Exemptions for Running Red Lights


see source, CBC

Emergency vehicles on P.E.I. no longer have to wait for red lights to turn green before proceeding.                                                                                                                                

Running red lights has been a common procedure for fire trucks, ambulances and police cars responding to an emergency, but it was illegal — until last week. Transportation Minister Ron MacKinley told CBC News on Wednesday that the new law will save precious seconds.

“Especially if someone was having a heart attack or something,” said MacKinley.

“They’re still going to have to stop. It’s going to act like a stop sign. They’re still going to be responsible to make sure they don’t drive out in front of somebody coming the opposite way.”

Before the legislative change, the rules were of particular concern for volunteer firefighters.

Fire Marshal Dave Blacquiere said they had been concerned about losing their insurance if they had an accident.

“It would be difficult definitely if a family member who was responding to a fire all of a sudden found out that his insurance became void because of what might be considered a violation of the Highway Traffic Act,” he said.

Blacquiere recalls an incident where a Mountie pulled over a fire engine that had gone through a red light. The firefighter was ticketed, but the court threw the case out.

The new law gives emergency responders one less thing to worry about, he said.

Read more: http://www.cbc.ca/canada/prince-edward-island/story/2010/12/16/pei-emergency-vehicle-red-light-584.html#ixzz19uRIlJL7

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