8 LONG TITLE
9 General Description:
10 This bill requires agencies to have written policies to govern the protocol for engaging
11 and terminating authorized emergency vehicle pursuit and modifies the duty of care if
12 the operator acts outside the written policy.
13 Highlighted Provisions:
14 This bill:
15 ▸ requires agencies operating authorized emergency vehicles to have a written policy
16 to govern the protocol of the operator of the authorized emergency vehicle to
17 engage, conduct, and terminate vehicle pursuit;
18 ▸ provides that the operator of an authorized emergency vehicle owes a duty of care to
19 the occupant of a vehicle under pursuit if the operator of the authorized emergency
20 vehicle acts outside the written protocol for vehicle pursuit;
21 ▸ requires the head of a law enforcement agency involved in a pursuit resulting in
22 injury or property damage to evaluate compliance with policies and document and
23 remedy any violations of the policies; and
24 ▸ makes technical changes.
25 Money Appropriated in this Bill:
27 Other Special Clauses:
29 Utah Code Sections Affected:
31 41-6a-212, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2014, Chapter 288
33 Be it enacted by the Legislature of the state of Utah:
34 Section 1. Section 41-6a-212 is amended to read:
35 41-6a-212. Emergency vehicles -- Policy regarding vehicle pursuits --
36 Applicability of traffic law to highway work vehicles -- Exemptions.
37 (1) As used in this section, "marked authorized emergency vehicle" means an
38 authorized emergency vehicle that:
39 (a) has emergency lights that comply with Section 41-6a-1601 affixed to the top of the
40 vehicle; or
41 (b) is displaying an identification mark designating the vehicle as the property of an
42 entity that is authorized to operate emergency vehicles in a conspicuous place on both sides of
43 the vehicle.
44 (2) Subject to Subsections (3) through (6), the operator of an authorized emergency
45 vehicle may exercise the privileges granted under this section when:
46 (a) responding to an emergency call;
47 (b) in the pursuit of an actual or suspected violator of the law; or
48 (c) responding to but not upon returning from a fire alarm.
49 (3) The operator of an authorized emergency vehicle may:
50 (a) park or stand, irrespective of the provisions of this chapter;
51 (b) proceed past a red or stop signal or stop sign, but only after slowing down as may
52 be necessary for safe operation;
53 (c) exceed the maximum speed limits, unless prohibited by a local highway authority
54 under Section 41-6a-208; or
55 (d) disregard regulations governing direction of movement or turning in specified
57 (4) (a) Except as provided in Subsection (4)(b), privileges granted under this section to
58 the operator of an authorized emergency vehicle, who is not involved in a vehicle pursuit,
59 apply only when:
60 (i) the operator of the vehicle sounds an audible signal under Section 41-6a-1625; or
61 (ii) uses a visual signal with emergency lights in accordance with rules made under
62 Section 41-6a-1601, which is visible from in front of the vehicle.
63 (b) An operator of an authorized emergency vehicle may exceed the maximum speed
64 limit when engaged in normal patrolling activities with the purpose of identifying and
65 apprehending violators.
66 (5) (a) Privileges granted under this section to the operator of an authorized emergency
67 vehicle involved in any vehicle pursuit apply only when:
71 under Section 41-6a-1601, which is visible from in front of the vehicle;
76 accordance with the written policy described in Subsection (5)(b); and
78 conformance with standards established under Subsection (6).
79 (b) (i) Each public agency that owns, operates, or causes to be operated an authorized
80 emergency vehicle shall have a written policy that describes the manner and circumstances in
81 which an operator of an authorized emergency vehicle shall engage, conduct, and terminate
82 vehicle pursuit.
83 (ii) The policy described in Subsection (5)(b)(i) shall conform with the minimum
84 standards set forth pursuant to Subsection (6).
85 (6) In accordance with Title 63G, Chapter 3, Utah Administrative Rulemaking Act, the
86 Department of Public Safety shall make rules providing minimum standards for all emergency
87 pursuit policies that are adopted by public agencies authorized to operate emergency pursuit
89 (7) (a) Except as provided in Subsection (7)(b), the privileges granted under this
90 section do not relieve the operator of an authorized emergency vehicle of the duty to act as a
91 reasonably prudent emergency vehicle operator under the circumstances.
92 (b) The operator of a marked authorized emergency vehicle owes no duty of care under
93 this Subsection (7) to a person who is:
94 (i) (A) a suspect in the commission of a crime; and
95 (B) evading, fleeing, or otherwise attempting to elude the operator of a marked
96 authorized emergency vehicle; or
97 (ii) in a motor vehicle with the suspect described in Subsection (7)(b)(i), unless it is
98 proven by a preponderance of the evidence that:
99 (A) the person's presence in the vehicle was involuntary; and
100 (B) the person's participation in evading, fleeing, or attempting to elude was
102 (c) (i) Notwithstanding Subsection (7)(b), an operator of a marked authorized
103 emergency vehicle may be held liable for a fleeing suspect's injuries if the operator of a marked
104 authorized emergency vehicle had actual intent to cause harm to the fleeing suspect in an act
105 that was unrelated to the legitimate object of the arrest.
106 (ii) "Actual intent" under this Subsection (7)(c) means a malicious motive to cause
107 injury, not merely an intent to do the act resulting in the injury.
108 (d) If an operator of a marked authorized emergency vehicle complies with the
109 requirements described in Subsections (5) and (6) while operating the marked authorized
110 emergency vehicle, the operator shall be deemed to have met the operator's duty to act as a
111 reasonably prudent emergency vehicle operator under the circumstances.
112 (8) (a) For each instance involving an authorized emergency vehicle in pursuit that
113 results in injury or property damage, the head of the law enforcement agency involved in the
114 pursuit shall evaluate the situation to determine whether the operator of the authorized
115 emergency vehicle complied with the agency's policies.
116 (b) After the evaluation described in Subsection (8)(a), the head of the law enforcement
117 agency shall document and appropriately remedy through agency administrative action any
118 violations of the agency's policies.
119 (c) Any document produced under Subsection (8)(b) shall be subject to Title 63G,
120 Chapter 2, Government Records Access and Management Act.
122 not apply to persons, motor vehicles, and other equipment while actually engaged in work on
123 the surface of a highway.