Law above the law

As I was waiting on my bike at the light at Moulton Parkway and Ridge Route drive, I observed a Laguna Hills Policeman making a left turn talking on a phone sans hands free. If it wasn’t pouring rain and I wasn’t on my bike, I would have taken a photo of it.

That got me wondering, does the hands-free law apply to law enforcement? or only if another law enforcement wanted officer wanted to cite them?


5 Comments so far

  1. Gina (oc_gina) on December 17th, 2008 @ 1:48 pm

    From what I understand, law enforcement officers are given an exemption from the law in the California DMV code.

  2. Dave Share (daveshare) on December 17th, 2008 @ 1:50 pm

    I voted no because I used to drive ambulances and know that sometimes, in non-emergency situations, you need to use the phone. To me, the headsets just don’t work that great (maybe I just have crappy ones) and when you’re trying to get info from dispatch (no the radio isn’t the only line of communication) it’s easier to just talk on the phone. Also, anyone who drives an emergency vehicle must take a special test (cops even more so) to make sure they’re EXTRA careful behind the wheel, because not only is it common to run red lights and drive on the wrong side of the road, but unless it can be completely proven otherwise, the emergency vehicle will almost always be at fault in an accident.

    But maybe I’m biased.

  3. Gina (oc_gina) on December 17th, 2008 @ 2:59 pm

    I’m guessing that fire and emergency vehicle drivers are exempt as well.

  4. frazgo on December 18th, 2008 @ 12:40 pm

    Daveshare, I disagree with "the emergency vehicle will almost always be at fault in an accident." After years of claims handling I learned the police reports will 99% of the time put the cops, fire and ambo folks not at fault. The remaining its done with significant fault still on the other driver.

    Oh…public tranpsort, especially buses are pretty immune from fault too. Govts protect their ASSets that way.

    On topic with the post – I see more non-observation of the law than compliance. So far I’ve heard in my area only Glendale will issue a citation.

  5. rargirl on December 28th, 2008 @ 9:02 pm

    Santa Ana issues citations.

    Regarding the police – I feel they should be required to observe the law, however, all vehicles should be equipped with hands-free speakers making it easy for them to do so.

    For some reason I was not able to vote in this pole (maybe voting was closed?). I vote yes.

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