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View Full Version : Siren Policy When Driving Through Work Zones?


oldsmoboat
07-22-2009, 9:59 AM
Let's say there is a 4 lane highway with a jersey wall separating North/South traffic. There is no median shoulder.

The number two lane is closed off by cones and a crew is paving the number two lane.

As you approach with lights/sirens in the number one lane, what do you do? Does your department have an official policy?

The reason I ask is because numerous times we have had an emergency vehicle (not just leo) come trough the area with lights/sirens and the motorists panic and drive into the closed number two lane. It's just a matter of time before one of us gets run over.

TIA

yzernie
07-22-2009, 10:36 AM
No "policy" at my place. We trust our people to make the right decisions in circumstances like that.

Fire in the Hole
07-22-2009, 11:01 AM
No policy specific to this.

1911su16b870
07-22-2009, 12:02 PM
21055 CVC lights and siren allow us to proceed after ROW is given, LEOs should proceed after it is safe

21806 CVC states that when an emergency vehicle approaches with lights and siren "the driver of every other vehicle shall yield the right-of-way..."

FWIW Every CA department should have a policy on Code 3 in order to protect their officers and the department against liability.

nobody33
07-22-2009, 1:48 PM
We can't control what other people do. We have a code 3 policy, but it does not cover this.

Ron-Solo
07-22-2009, 5:51 PM
FWIW Every CA department should have a policy on Code 3 in order to protect their officers and the department against liability.

We have a C3 policy, but this is a very specific situation that has unique and potentially dangerous possibilities. I doubt it is address in most department's c-3 policy.

I've found that the approaching sirens usually alert the work crews first and they increase their situational awareness, but that may not always be the case if operating loud equipment and such.

You can never predict what most motorists will do with the approach of an emergency vehicle rolling code. I've had them pull right out in front of me and stop and some who drove up over the curb, scattering pedestrains, to get out of the way.

oldsmoboat
07-26-2009, 7:46 AM
Thanks for the responses.
In the last two weeks we had two incidents of the sheriff's department come through code 3. Each time motorists drove into the closure.
My boss called the department and spoke to a LT. He said their policy was no code 3 in work zones and that "heads will roll". I think he was just placating the boss as it happened again.

Local fire, CHP (but we work with them everyday) are good about it, the ambulance drivers don't care.

Out of curiosity, what you do if you were rolling code 3 and a motorist in front of you drove into the work zone striking a person or piece of equipment? Do you stop or keep rolling to the emergency?

TIA

Ron-Solo
07-26-2009, 10:39 AM
Depends on the emergency responding to, if there are others available to render aid at either scene. It would require a rapid triage base of the individual circumstances. Most Road Crews are trained in first aid, many to the same level as LE.

Big time judgement call. Are you rolling to something where more people could die if you delay your response any longer, etc? If it's an active shooter at a school and there are CalTrans workers who can give first aid at the same level I can, I would radio for EMS and keep rolling to the active shooter, where I can do the most good based on my training. It may sound cold, but these are decisions were are faced with every day. Occasionally we get it wrong and the press attacks us for it. When we get it right, you never hear about it.

oldsmoboat
07-26-2009, 4:04 PM
Doesn't sound cold to me, sounds right.

Fire in the Hole
07-26-2009, 6:20 PM
Thanks for the responses.
In the last two weeks we had two incidents of the sheriff's department come through code 3. Each time motorists drove into the closure.
My boss called the department and spoke to a LT. He said their policy was no code 3 in work zones and that "heads will roll". I think he was just placating the boss as it happened again.

Local fire, CHP (but we work with them everyday) are good about it, the ambulance drivers don't care.

Out of curiosity, what you do if you were rolling code 3 and a motorist in front of you drove into the work zone striking a person or piece of equipment? Do you stop or keep rolling to the emergency?

TIA


As Ron statetd. It depends on the initial emergency call. There are different levels. Which one has the most life threatening immediency to it?

CSDGuy
07-26-2009, 6:47 PM
For me, it's even easier. I'm a Medic. If I'm running C3 to something, I will not generally stop to assist. I'm already committed to a call. I will, however, call for other available units to respond to that new incident, and appropriate resources will be sent to that one. I don't envy that judgment call that LEOs have to make in incidents like what's described here.

As far as siren policy is concerned, we're expected to use our own judgment.