A recent accident involving a Minot Police Department vehicle illustrates the potential dangers involved when law enforcement officials are called to respond to an incident.
The accident on Jan. 28 at the intersection of 16th Street and 11th Avenue Southwest totaled a 2013 Ford Police Interceptor and inflicted an estimated $5,000 in damages to a Minot man's SUV. Minot police officer Taylor Roe was en route to a medical emergency, and was driving with her emergency lights and sirens activated. According to an investigation, the officer slowed down at the intersection, then proceeded through a red light and struck a vehicle driven by a Minot man. Roe was cited for driving through a red light.
Officials said that police officers en route to an emergency are able to go through red lights, although it's more of a request for the right-of-way rather than guaranteed passage. That's exactly the reason drivers are constantly reminded that they should pull over to the side of the road and stop whenever possible when they are approached by a law enforcement vehicle with flashing lights and sirens. It's simply a matter of safety for everyone involved. We expect drivers to make way for emergency vehicles, but we also expect law enforcement officers to take every precaution necessary to arrive safely at their destination.
We hope the accident, where thankfully no one was injured, serves as a strong reminder of the responsibilities of all drivers, including law enforcement officers, when on the road.