Thread: Speed limit

  1. #1
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    2

    Default Speed limit

    I am helping put together SOGs for our department. We are using another departments set as a guidline to go off of. The first section we are going to tackle is responding to a call. In the departments set that we are using, they say to NOT speed on the way to the station, but once in the apparatus with lights and sirens that we may exceed the speed limit by no more than 10mph depending on road conditions of course. I'm wondering if this is legal. We are a rural department with lots of highways so we are often on dry pavement where it is somewhat safe to speed. I was told that their SOGs were gone over by a reputable attorney here in NE and that they were ok. That's what I heard. I would like some opinions on this. Thanks.

    Jeff

  2. #2
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    Lusby, MD
    Posts
    1,035

    Default

    I think you get into a little trouble putting numbers in the SOG's. Our EVOC class teaches us that we can go 10 mph over for a priority 1 response. Our department procedures don't mention a number, but we must proceed with due regard and take into account weather and road conditions.

    No department SOG can allow you to speed when responding to your station in a POV.

  3. #3
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    470

    Default

    You'll have to check your State's Vehicle Code to find out exactly what liberties a "legally operating" emergency vehicle (lights, siren, dept owned, or whatever is required in your state). In my State, we MUST operate with "due regard" always. School buses have right of way when they have their red lights on. Other than that, dept policy sets the requirements. Our dept states no more than 10 mph over posted speed limit (obviously considering weather/roadway conditions). Also, we must stop before we proceed through a controlled intersection. If safe, we can go into on-coming traffic or the wrong way down a street, but you better darn sure be able to justify without a doubt why you had to do that. Red lights and sirens don't demand right of way, they request it (at least in most states). If you are in an accident while responding and you were doing something that wasn't called for, it will most likely be considered your fault.

    I suggest once you get a draft prepared, get together with a local prosecuting attorney and also a defense attorney. Have them pick the policy apart to find your vulnerabilities BEFORE they do it in a courtroom. Better to patch them up now.

  4. #4
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    813

    Cool Speed.....

    Check with your State Regulations and base your SOP/SOG on that. I'd even state it word for word how it's written there that way if there is any legal questions you have that to fall back on.

    We used to be able to exceed the speed limit by 15 m.p.h. as stated in our State Regulation but our Chief repealed that and now we go the posted speed limit. I actually like it because it helps to calm those personnel that "amp up" when the alarm goes off.
    "Be LOUD, Be PROUD..... It just might save your can someday when goin' through an intersection!!!!!"

    Life on the Truck (Quint) is good.....

    Eat til you're sleepy..... Sleep til you're hungry..... And repeat.....

  5. #5
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    SW MO
    Posts
    4,249

    Default

    If you want to be safe about it, look through NFPA 1500. There's a lot of it that'll write the SOG for you. However, be aware it's going to say no apparatus shall exceed the speed limit, emergency or otherwise. If you go to the standard you can get online access, but you can't print or copy/paste any of it.

    Along the same lines, if you're looking at putting in for an apparatus through the AFG, they are requiring that you comply with NFPA 1500.

    If you want, drop me a PM with your email and I'll send you ours to have a look at. It has all the NFPA 1500 stuff in there and then some, including POV responses.

  6. #6
    Forum Member
    Doorbreaker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Near Cooperstown N.Y.
    Posts
    111

    Default

    I wish we had to worry about breaking the speed limit.... Actually with a couple of the newer rigs we can move MUCH better. The last couple of tankers we had were S L O W. It was very sad to be responding with the reds running, siren screaming away and have a 4 year old on the sidewalk on his tricycle keeping pace with us...

  7. #7
    Forum Member
    Tooanfrom's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Location
    whangaparaoa peninsular, north island
    Posts
    488

    Default

    Doorbreaker--you sure the kid on the trike was not a junior member who "missed the boat"?
    "If you thought it was hard getting into the job--wait until you have to hang the "fire gear"up and walk away!"
    Harry Lauder 1981.Me on the left!

  8. #8
    Forum Member
    pasobuff's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Loverly upstate NY
    Posts
    1,734

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Doorbreaker View Post
    I wish we had to worry about breaking the speed limit.... Actually with a couple of the newer rigs we can move MUCH better. The last couple of tankers we had were S L O W. It was very sad to be responding with the reds running, siren screaming away and have a 4 year old on the sidewalk on his tricycle keeping pace with us...
    LOL....we followed a tanker up a hill one day going about 25 mph on a 2 lane highway.......I kept chanting 'I think I can, I think I can'......we stayed behind it the whole way (we could see the column of smoke it was heading toward).......

    I too would look at what the V&T Laws state regarding vehicle operation and use that word for word as closely as possible. I don't think you EVER want to state specifically that someone can exceed the legal speed limit - it just opens you and your department up for a lawsuit.
    Last edited by pasobuff; 02-17-2010 at 10:06 AM.

  9. #9
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Northeast Coast
    Posts
    3,867

    Default

    Good advice: stay away from numbers or specifically allowing exceeding the speed limit in writing. If these "allowances" are granted by law, then reminding everyone what the law is at annual driver training a long with an extra "Due Regard" statement in you SOP/SOG's will probably be best. As a reminder, speed limits are set for passenger vehicles, not large vehicles with infrequent drivers and less maneuverability. People need to be smart about driving.

  10. #10
    Forum Member
    bum291's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    POHA, Finland
    Posts
    159

    Default

    Back a few years ago, there was a large wildfire inlands. Our departement van, an old VW Transporter, was responding Code 3 with full crew and a trailer. It was driving along the highway at full speed: Just topping 60 MPH, with a speed limit of 75 MPH it was overtaken by all the normal traffic. So the OIC told the driver to shut of the siren and just run Code 2 until they got of the highway.

    The van has now been replaced.

    We don't have a set speed limit, but our normal drivers are pretty good at taking safety first and not speed like crazy. And the OIC is good at reminding them from time to time.

  11. #11
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    2

    Default

    Thanks everyone for your replies and advice. I will take all of this to the others on the committee. I feel your pain being passed by a tricyle while responding code 3.

  12. #12
    Forum Member
    Jonnee's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    1,256

    Default

    Check with your state, regarding the states stature on emergency apparatus, fire engines,emergency equipment, responding with light and siren on emergency response, regardless what code you guys may call it.

    We call it Priority One - lights and siren
    Priority Two - no lights and siren

    If your traffic is, as it is in my area, you may or may not be able to go the posted speed limit. We don't allow our drivers to go over 10 MPH over the posted limit. Saying that, if we are on an interstate and going the posted speed of 60 or 65, if someone passes us, so be it. let them go on ahead. Our guys don't care. We want to arrive safe and alive.

  13. #13
    Forum Member
    HammerheadMedicFF's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Texas Metroplex
    Posts
    31

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by bum291 View Post
    Back a few years ago, there was a large wildfire inlands. Our departement van, an old VW Transporter, was responding Code 3 with full crew and a trailer. It was driving along the highway at full speed: Just topping 60 MPH, with a speed limit of 75 MPH it was overtaken by all the normal traffic. So the OIC told the driver to shut of the siren and just run Code 2 until they got of the highway.

    The van has now been replaced.

    We don't have a set speed limit, but our normal drivers are pretty good at taking safety first and not speed like crazy. And the OIC is good at reminding them from time to time.
    LOL...I have a similar story about an old tanker I was responding in. I used to just shut the lights down while on the highway, they weren't doing any good anyway.

  14. #14
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Wheaton IL
    Posts
    1,767

    Default

    Whatever the state law is should be in your sog.
    POV probably should have drive with due regard following all traffic laws...bla, bla, bla
    Emergency response drive with due regard, bla, bla, bla
    If you put a number on it I think you can get nailed (check with the city attorney)

  15. #15
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    7

    Default

    You nailed the key words, "Due Regard". If you are involved in an accident in you response vehicle or your POV en-route to your station, your lawyer (and theirs) will ask if you were using due regard. Your answer had better be "Yes I Was".

  16. #16
    Forum Member
    len1582's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    N.J.
    Posts
    1,392

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by RFDACM02 View Post
    Good advice: stay away from numbers or specifically allowing exceeding the speed limit in writing..
    Your Chief does not make the traffic laws. An SOG/SOP or whatever does not superceede the law. They can say you can go faster but the law (and the other persons lawyer ) will say you are guilty of speeding.

    Quote Originally Posted by ADSNWFLD View Post
    Whatever the state law is should be in your sog.
    If you put a number on it I think you can get nailed (check with the city attorney)
    ...and possibly loose your license. Especially if there's an injury involved, and it does not matter whose fault it is. It's the state, or local, law that's correct in court. Not your in house or department rules.

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. RPM Mode Vs. Pressure Mode on a Tanker
    By erocktxmade in forum Fireground Tactics
    Replies: 38
    Last Post: 09-25-2009, 01:18 PM
  2. Pressure Governor Help
    By DelSol in forum The Engineer
    Replies: 37
    Last Post: 04-02-2007, 05:27 PM
  3. Florida News
    By captstanm1 in forum Florida
    Replies: 43
    Last Post: 05-12-2003, 07:14 AM
  4. Max vehicle speed
    By ADSNWFLD in forum Emergency Vehicle Operations
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 08-28-2002, 04:52 PM
  5. AFFF or FFFP
    By Lallo in forum Firefighters Forum
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 03-18-2002, 08:34 PM

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts

Log in

Click here to log in or register