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Delaware Statutes

Delaware Vehicles Permitted to Use Emergency Vehicle Lights

4106

a) The driver of an authorized emergency vehicle, when responding to an emergency call or when in the pursuit of an actual or suspected violator of the law or when responding to but not upon returning from a fire alarm, may exercise the privileges set forth in this section, but subject to the conditions herein stated.

(b) The driver of an authorized emergency vehicle may:

(1) Park or stand, irrespective of the provisions of this chapter;

(2) Proceed past a red or stop signal or stop sign, but only after slowing down as may be necessary for safe operation;

(3) Exceed the speed limits so long as the driver does not endanger life or property;

(4) Disregard regulations governing direction of movement or turning in specified directions.

(c) The exemptions herein granted to an authorized emergency vehicle shall apply only when such vehicle is making use of audible or visual signals meeting the requirements of this title, except that an authorized emergency vehicle operated as a police vehicle need not make use of such signals.

(d) The driver of an emergency vehicle is not liable for any damage to or loss of property or for any personal injury or death caused by the negligent or wrongful act or omission of such driver except acts or omissions amounting to gross negligence or willful or wanton negligence so long as the applicable portions of subsection (c) have been followed. The owner of such emergency vehicle may not assert the defense of governmental immunity in any action on account of any damage to or loss of property or on account of personal injury or death caused by the negligent or wrongful act or omission of such driver or owner.

(e) Authorized emergency vehicles within the meaning of this chapter mean vehicles of a fire department, police vehicles, ambulances, vehicles used by a fire chief, deputy fire chief, assistant fire chief, chief engineer or fire police officer of any duly organized fire company in the performance of those duties, the vehicle of the State Forester in the performance of the State Forester's duties, the vehicle of the Forest Fire Control Supervisor in the performance of the Forest Fire Control Supervisor's duties, the vehicles of the State Emergency Response Team in the performance of its duties and emergency vehicles of state, federal, county or municipal departments or public service corporations as are designated or authorized by the Secretary of Safety and Homeland Security.

 

14-96q

(a) Any lighted lamp or illuminating device upon a motor vehicle, other than head lamps, spot lamps or auxiliary driving lamps, which projects a beam of light of an intensity greater than three hundred candle power shall be so directed that no part of the beam will strike the level of the roadway on which the vehicle stands at a distance of more than seventy-five feet from the vehicle.

(b) No person shall drive or move any vehicle or equipment upon any highway with any lamp or device thereon displaying a red light visible from directly in front of the center thereof. The provisions of this subsection and subsection (c) shall not apply to authorized emergency and maintenance vehicles.

(c) Flashing lights are prohibited on motor vehicles other than school buses, except (1) as a means for indicating a right or left turn, (2) flashing blue lights used by members of volunteer or civil preparedness fire companies, as provided by subsection (b) of section 14-96p, (3) on certain emergency and maintenance vehicles by special permit from the commissioner, (4) flashing or revolving yellow lights on (A) wreckers registered pursuant to section 14-66, or (B) vehicles of carriers in rural mail-delivery service or vehicles transporting or escorting any vehicle or load or combinations of vehicles or vehicles and load which is or are either oversize or overweight, or both, and operated or traveling under a permit issued by the Commissioner of Transportation pursuant to section 14-270, (5) flashing red lights (A) on a motor vehicle accommodating fifteen or fewer handicapped students used only during the time such vehicle is stopped for the purpose of receiving or discharging such handicapped students, (B) used by members of the fire police on a stationary vehicle as a warning signal during traffic directing operations at the scene of a fire, (C) on rescue vehicles, (D) used by chief executive officers of emergency medical service organizations as provided in subsection (a) of section 14-96p, (E) ambulances, as defined in section 19a-175, or (F) used by local fire marshals or directors of emergency management, (6) flashing green lights used by members of volunteer ambulance associations or companies as provided in subsection (c) of section 14-96p, or (7) flashing white lights or flashing lights of other colors specified by federal requirements for the manufacture of an ambulance used in conjunction with flashing red lights or flashing head lamps and a flashing amber light on an ambulance responding to an emergency call. The prohibitions in this section shall not prevent the operator of a motor vehicle who while traveling on a limited access divided highway, because of the grade, is unable to maintain the minimum speed of forty miles per hour, or who while traveling on any other highway is operating such motor vehicle at such slow speed as to obstruct or endanger following traffic, or the operator of a disabled vehicle stopped on a hazardous location on the highway, or in close proximity thereto, from flashing lights, installed on the vehicle primarily for other purposes, in any manner that the operator selects so as to indicate that such vehicle is traveling slowly, obstructing traffic or is disabled and is a hazard to be avoided. The commissioner is authorized, at such commissioner’s discretion, to issue special permits for the use of flashing or revolving lights on emergency vehicles, on escort vehicles, on maintenance vehicles and on other vehicles that display lights for which a permit is required, in accordance with the provisions of subsection (a) of section 14-96p, provided any person, firm or corporation other than the state or any metropolitan district, town, city or borough shall pay an annual permit fee for each such vehicle, provided vehicles not registered in this state used for transporting or escorting any vehicle or load or combinations of vehicles or vehicles and load which is or are either oversize or overweight, or both, when operating under a permit issued by the Commissioner of Transportation pursuant to section 14-270, shall not require such permit. Such annual permit fee shall be twenty dollars. If the commissioner issues a special permit to any ambulance, such permit shall be issued at the time of registration and of each renewal of registration.

(d) Use of lamps and flashing lights except as authorized by this section shall be an infraction.

 

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