Q. Is it legal for City of Wilmington police officers to speed in their police cars without their sirens or lights on? If so, what is the legal amount of speed these vehicles can go over the posted legal speed limit? If not, who can I contact to file a complaint?
A. When on call, police officers are allowed to drive at the speed they deem necessary as long as they are being safe, said Corporal Kevin Smith of the Wilmington Police Department. Safety is the most important issue.
Officers are not always required to put their lights and sirens on when responding to a call. In some instances, putting them on tends to slow traffic down. When it is necessary to reach the destination as fast as possible, officers are allowed to disobey traffic laws. For example, officers can go through a red light if they are aware of public safety.
There is no regulation concerning the speed limit at which an officer can go if he or she is on call. If, however, the officer is patrolling and not responding to a call, legal speed limits and traffic rules must be obeyed.
If you believe you have witnessed an officer disobeying the law, you may contact the police department to file a complaint: (910) 343-3600. It is preferred that the officer’s car number is provided. This makes it easier to verify that the officer was on call at the time, although Smith said every call receives consideration.
Date posted: February 1, 2013
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