Question: Can emergency vehicles disregard all traffic laws when responding to an emergency?
Answer: The operator of an emergency vehicle does not have an unqualified right to disregard traffic laws. The law in the State of Indiana is that a person who drives an authorized emergency vehicle may: park or stand, notwithstanding other provisions of this article; proceed past a red or stop signal or stop sign, but only after slowing down as necessary for safe operation; exceed the maximum speed limits if the person who drives the vehicle does not endanger life or property; disregard regulations governing direction of movement or turning in specified directions; execute a lawful intervention technique if the person has completed a training course that instructs participants in the proper execution of lawful intervention techniques. This law applies to an authorized emergency vehicle only when the vehicle is using audible or visual signals as required by law. An authorized emergency vehicle operated as a police vehicle is not required to be equipped with or display red and blue lights visible from in front of the vehicle. Further, Indiana law does not do the following: relieve the person who drives an authorized emergency vehicle from the duty to drive with due regard for the safety of all persons or protect the person who drives an authorized emergency vehicle from the consequences of the person’s reckless disregard for the safety of others.