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B.C. Reg. 133/98
O.C. 522/98
Deposited April 21, 1998

Motor Vehicle Act

Emergency Vehicle Driving Regulation

Note: Check the Cumulative Regulation Bulletin 2014
for any non-consolidated amendments to this regulation that may be in effect.

[includes amendments up to B.C. Reg. 27/2013, January 30, 2013]

Point in Time

Contents
 1 Definitions
 2 Application
 3 Pursuit by police
 4 Emergency response by peace officer
 5 Emergency response by a person other than a peace officer
 6 Entering an intersection
 7 Limitation on application of sections 3 and 4
 8 Driver's licence and training course requirements

Definitions

1  In this regulation:

"attempting to close the distance" means attempting to close the distance between a peace officer's vehicle and another vehicle but does not include a pursuit;

"emergency light" means a flashing red or blue light;

"emergency siren" means an audible siren, signal bell or exhaust whistle;

"indictable offence" means an offence under the Criminal Code or another statute of Canada which may be prosecuted by indictment and includes dual offences as described in the definition of "indictable offence" in the Interpretation Act (Canada);

"pursuit" means the driving of an emergency vehicle by a peace officer while exercising the privileges granted by section 122 (1) of the Motor Vehicle Act for the purpose of apprehending another person who refuses to stop as directed by a peace officer and attempts to evade apprehension.

[am. B.C. Regs. 37/2000, s. 1; 136/2007, s. 1.]

Application

2  This regulation establishes the circumstances and conditions that apply to the exercise of the privileges granted by section 122 (1) of the Motor Vehicle Act.

Pursuit by police

3  (1) To engage in or continue a pursuit, a peace officer must

(a) have an emergency light and siren activated, and

(b) have reasonable grounds to believe that

(i)   the driver or a passenger in the vehicle being or to be pursued has committed, is committing or is about to commit an offence, and

(ii)   the seriousness of the offence and the need for immediate apprehension outweigh the risk to the safety of members of the public that may be created by the pursuit.

(2) In considering whether there are reasonable grounds under subsection (1) (b), the driver of the emergency vehicle must consider any pertinent factors, including the following, if relevant:

(a) the nature and circumstances of the suspected offence or incident;

(b) the risk of harm posed by the manner in which the emergency vehicle is being or is likely to be operated;

(c) the risk of harm posed by the distance, speed or length of time required or likely to be required to exercise the privileges;

(d) the nature, condition and use of the highway;

(e) the volume and nature of pedestrian or vehicular traffic that is, or might reasonably be expected to be, in the area.

(3) For the purposes of subsection (1) (b),

(a) the need for immediate apprehension will be low if

(i)   the driver or a passenger in the vehicle pursued has not committed an indictable offence, or

(ii)   identification or apprehension of the suspected offender may be achieved by other means at that or a later time,

(b) the greater the distance, speed or length of time required or likely to be required for the pursuit, the greater the risk to the safety of members of the public, and

(c) an attempt to evade apprehension is not a factor to be considered in determining the seriousness of the offence or the need for immediate apprehension.

[am. B.C. Reg. 136/2007, s. 2.]

Emergency response by peace officer

4  (1) A peace officer operating an emergency vehicle for purposes other than pursuit may exercise the privileges granted by section 122 (1) of the Motor Vehicle Act if

(a) the peace officer has reasonable grounds to believe that the risk of harm to members of the public from the exercise of those privileges is less than the risk of harm to members of the public should those privileges not be exercised, and

(b) the peace officer operates the following emergency equipment, as applicable:

(i)   in the exercise of privileges described in section 122 (1) (a) to (c) of the Motor Vehicle Act, an emergency light and siren;

(ii)   in the exercise of privileges described in section 122 (1) (d) of the Motor Vehicle Act, an emergency light or an emergency light and siren.

(2) Having determined that there are reasonable grounds referred to in subsection (1) (a), the peace officer referred to in subsection (1) may, in the following circumstances, exercise any of the privileges granted by section 122 (1) of the Motor Vehicle Act without operating an emergency light and siren or by operating an emergency light alone:

(a) the peace officer is responding to an incident and has reasonable grounds to believe that an offence has been, is being or is about to be committed and that the risk of harm to members of the public entailed in operating an emergency siren or an emergency light and siren, as the case may be, outweighs the risk of harm to members of the public entailed in not operating them;

(b) the peace officer is engaged in the lawful execution of his or her duty other than as described in paragraph (a) or section 3 and has reasonable grounds to believe that it is safe to operate the emergency vehicle without operating an emergency siren or an emergency light and siren, as the case may be.

(3) In considering whether there are reasonable grounds under subsection (1), (2) or (5) a peace officer must

(a) consider the factors described in section 3 (2), and

(b) weigh the degree of risk of harm to members of the public against the seriousness of the nature and circumstances of the suspected offence or incident.

(4) Subsection (2) does not apply if the peace officer must disregard a stop sign or approach or pass signs described in section 147 of the Motor Vehicle Act relating to schools and playgrounds.

(5) A peace officer operating an emergency vehicle in the circumstances set out in subsection (2) must stop at a red light and may then disregard the red light and proceed through the intersection if the peace officer has reasonable grounds to believe it is safe to do so without operating relevant emergency equipment.

(6) Factors which will increase the risk of harm to members of the public for purposes of subsections (1), (2) and (5) include

(a) attempting to close the distance between a peace officer's vehicle and another vehicle,

(b) if there is poor visibility,

(c) if there is pedestrian or other vehicular traffic on the highway, and

(d) if the peace officer must disregard a yield sign or pass through a crosswalk or uncontrolled intersection.

(7) For the purposes of subsection (2), the greater the distance, speed or length of time required or likely to be required in exercising the privileges granted by section 122 (1) of the Motor Vehicle Act, the greater the risk to the safety of members of the public.

(8) For the purposes of subsection (2), the risk of harm to members of the public must be considered to be substantially increased when a peace officer is attempting to close the distance if the other vehicle is not in the sight of the peace officer.

[en. B.C. Reg. 37/2000, s. 2; am. B.C. Reg. 136/2007, s. 3.]

Emergency response by a person other than a peace officer

5  (1) When a person other than a peace officer operates an emergency vehicle, the person may exercise the privileges granted by section 122 (1) of the Motor Vehicle Act if the person operates the following emergency equipment, as applicable:

(i) in the exercise of privileges described in section 122 (1) (a) to (c) of the Motor Vehicle Act, an emergency light and siren;

(ii) in the exercise of privileges described in section 122 (1) (d) of the Motor Vehicle Act, an emergency light or an emergency light and siren.

(2) When a person other than a peace officer operates an emergency vehicle, the person may exercise the privileges granted by section 122 (1) of the Motor Vehicle Act if the person has reasonable grounds to believe that the risk of harm to members of the public from the exercise of those privileges is less than the risk of harm to members of the public should those privileges not be exercised.

(3) In considering whether there are reasonable grounds under subsections (2), the driver of an emergency vehicle must consider the factors described in section 3 (2).

(4) Subsections (2) and (3), do not apply until a date specified by the Attorney General.

[am. B.C. Regs. 37/2000, s. 3; 136/2007, s. 4.]

Entering an intersection

6  The driver of an emergency vehicle exercising the privileges granted by section 122 (1) of the Motor Vehicle Act must slow that vehicle to a speed consistent with reasonable care when approaching or entering an intersection.

Limitation on application of sections 3 and 4

7  A peace officer may not engage in a pursuit as described in section 3 or operate an emergency vehicle as described in section 4, if

(a) Repealed. [B.C. Reg. 37/2000, s. 4.]

(b) the peace officer operating the emergency vehicle fails, on or after a date specified by the Attorney General, to follow the guidelines for operating the emergency vehicle published by the Police Services Division.

[am. B.C. Reg. 37/2000, s. 4.]

Driver's licence and training course requirements

8  Commencing on a date specified by the Attorney General, the privileges granted by section 122 (1) of the Motor Vehicle Act may not be exercised by a member of a group unless the member has successfully completed training approved for the group by the Director of Police Services in the Ministry of Justice for the purposes of this regulation.

[am. B.C. Reg. 27/2013, Sch. 2, s. 2.]

[Provisions relevant to the enactment of this regulation: Motor Vehicle Act, R.S.B.C. 1996, c. 318, section 210 (3) (q)]