Yes, an ambulance driver may be charged with reckless driving in Virginia. However, what is considered to be reckless driving may depend on whether or not the ambulance was operating in an emergency situation at the time.
Reckless Driving Charges Against an Ambulance Driver During an Emergency
When an ambulance driver is on the way to get to someone who is facing a medical emergency or is transporting that person to the hospital, then the ambulance driver has the right to exceed the speed limit and to drive in a way that might otherwise be considered reckless driving.
Of course, that right is not unlimited. According to Virginia law (§46.2-920), the driver of an emergency vehicle who is using the vehicle to perform a public service in an emergency situation may do the following without being criminally prosecuted:
Disregard speed limits.
Proceed through a traffic signal or stop sign without stopping but with a reduced speed.
Disregard regulations about which way a vehicle can turn.
Pass another vehicle at an intersection.
Pass a stopped or slow-moving vehicle.
At all times, however, the ambulance driver must have due regard for public safety. These exemptions only apply when the ambulance is using its lights and sirens.
An Ambulance Driver May Not Break Reckless Driving Laws in Non-Emergency Situations
When the ambulance driver is not working in an emergency situation, then all of Virginia’s reckless driving laws apply just as they would to the driver of any other vehicle.
If you are an ambulance driver and you have been charged with reckless driving, then it is important to talk to an experienced reckless driving lawyer as soon as possible. You may be found guilty of reckless driving and that could have a significant impact on your employment and your future.
To learn more, please contact The Wilson Law Firm directly to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation and to learn more about your rights and protecting your future.