In mid-October, a San Francisco bicycle police officer was seriously injured when a fleeing suspect crashed into the officer. The suspect fled the scene but was later found and taken into custody. While most people would not intentionally cause a crash with a first responder, it is to do our part to keep them safer. As we work to keep them safer, we are also working to keep ourselves safer. There are several ways you can do this.
- When you see flashing emergency lights, either behind you or coming toward you, pull over. When possible, pull off to the side of the road. When you are unable to pull to the side of the road, pull as close to the side of the road as possible.
- Never block an intersection, preventing an emergency vehicle from getting through safely. Even if your light is green, emergency vehicles have the right-of-way.
- Obey California’s Move Over law. When you see any stationary vehicle with flashing emergency lights or warning lights, move over to a lane that is not immediately next to the vehicle. When it is not safe to move over to another lane, slow down. The Move Over law applies to emergency vehicles, Department of Transportation vehicles that are displaying flashing lights, and tow trucks with flashing lights.
- When a police officer is directing traffic, obey the officer’s directions, even if it means taking a less convenient route.
- Watch for police officers who are on bicycles or who are traveling on foot.
- If possible, avoid getting in the middle of a car chase. If you see a vehicle driving erratically, get out of the way as quickly and safely as possible.
Unfortunately, suspects fleeing the police may not have much respect for the safety of others. If you were injured in an accident involving a suspect fleeing the police, contact us.