In an Emergency, Can You Break Traffic Laws?
We have all seen it in a movie or on TV: a woman in labor, a man bleeding from a deep wound, or any other kind of medical emergency situation. As a matter of life and death, they must be taken to the hospital immediately by our hero. While zipping through town, our hero appears to ignore the posted speed limit, as well as all stop signs, red lights, and other traffic regulations.
Then, the scene is usually chopped to show that our hero has gotten away with their blatant disregard for the law. Wow!
In the actual world, however, this is not how things usually go.
Emergency Traffic Laws in North Carolina
It is against the law to break traffic regulations at any time, even in an emergency. This is because the purpose of these regulations is to keep the flow of traffic as safe as possible. Drivers who flout the law endanger not just themselves and their passengers, but also other motorists and pedestrians.
If you have reason to suspect that a loved one is in urgent danger and needs medical assistance, dialing 911 is the best course of action. This is because it is lawful for ambulances to disobey traffic regulations when it is safe for them to do so, and these vehicles are operated by professionals who are trained to know when and how to drive them.
You Will Almost Certainly Get a Ticket if You Break Traffic Laws
Unlike the hero mentioned earlier, dire repercussions often apply to motorists who do not follow the law, and maybe cause extensive damage(s) in the process.
Be prepared to see red and blue lights in your rear-view mirror if you are trying to make it to the hospital by speeding or running a red light. Even if the police officer agrees to take you to the hospital so that the person in need of medical attention may receive it, you will still be issued a ticket.
Is it Possible to Argue That You Were in an Emergency When You Received a Traffic Ticket?
From a legal standpoint, it is hard to argue that you were in an emergency when you were speeding. The law requires that you maintain a safe speed for the conditions of the road, and exceeding that limit is considered a violation. While there may be rare instances where a driver was forced to exceed the speed limit in order to avoid an emergency situation, these cases would be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
For those speeding because of emergencies, the presumption is often that an ambulance or a 911 call should have been made in the first place if the situation was so critical.
Need Help Defending Against a Traffic Ticket?
Defending against a traffic ticket is tough, but not impossible under specific circumstances. Because of the emergency, your driving conduct may have been influenced, and there may be additional factors that might be collected to support your case.
Get in touch with Coastal South Law as soon as possible if you have been issued a traffic ticket in an emergency and need help fighting it.