Police officers are given authority to violate many traffic laws when they are responding to emergencies. They can travel at high speeds, weave in and out of highway lanes and run red lights. At the same time, they have an obligation to keep the safety of the public paramount in their minds.
After all, it does little good to rush to respond to one emergency, even if someone's life may be at stake, if they cause an accident on their way there and severely injure or kill someone else.
It is unclear why a police officer was speeding along a highway in Bartlett, on Sunday afternoon, but the consequence were all too clear. Two people in a vehicle were killed when their vehicle was struck by a police cruiser.
One witness noted that the police officer was traveling at a high rate of speed and that he appeared to switch off his blue lights prior to entering the intersection.
The Tennessee Highway Patrol is investigating the accident, and has yet to release any findings. The police vehicle apparently was equipped with dashboard cam, but it was not known if was in use at the time of the accident.
Officers responding to emergency calls and those involved in the hot pursuit of a suspect present a significant danger to any driver in the area. Even with lights and sirens in operation, there is always a risk of their crashing into an innocent driver who happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time.
WMCactionnews.com, "THP investigating fatal Bartlett crash involving officer," October 15, 2014