June 29th, 2012 - by DKRPA
When police officers are responding to a call, they are obligated to turn on their flashing lights and their siren. This isn’t just so they can get from point A to point B as quickly as possible. It also serves as a warning to vehicles, bikers and pedestrians alike that they should be alert. A speeding car is nearby and everyone needs to focus and make sure they are safe and clear of the police car.
In the absence of these warnings, many people are needlessly put at risk and an accident can occur. There is little chance that a biker on the side of the road or a turning car would know that a police car is charging up behind them without the flashing lights and blaring siren as an indicator. As much as they help police officers quickly respond to a serious situation, they are equally important as a safety measure for innocent bystanders.
One officer seemingly forgot this in a fatal Florida accident that killed a pedestrian. The police officer was responding to a call and had his lights on, but it seems he may have forgotten to turn his siren on. As a result, a truck driver who was steeping out from behind his vehicle was struck by the officer speeding car. He was dealt life-threatening injuries and ultimately succumbed to the trauma at the hospital.
Details are sparse and officials are looking into the accident. Should it be true that the officer failed to turn on his siren, he could be held liable for the accident.
Source: Associated Press, “Pedestrian killed by officer responding to crash,” June 14, 2012