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House of Representatives
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: February 6, 2020 01:17 PM
From: Representative Lynda Schlegel Culver
To: All House members
Subject: Correction - Red lights on County Correctional Vehicles
In the near future I will be introducing legislation that amends Title 75 (Vehicles) to authorize county correctional institution vehicles across the Commonwealth to be equipped with revolving or flashing red lights; as is currently done in cities of the first class.

The purpose of this legislation is to address the safety of corrections staff and to provide authority and clarification in the use of emergency lights for specific situations. One situation the legislation will address are those situations involving the escorting of an ambulance when transporting a sick or injured prisoner. If an ambulance passes through a red signal, escorting corrections staff must choose to either proceed through the red signal without any warning lights risking everyone’s life or stop and possibly get stuck at the intersection and risk losing the escort and ability to assure appropriate security of the inmate and others during an emergency transport.

A second equally important situation is when corrections are responding to emergencies under a Corrections Emergency Response Team (CERT) event at a corrections facility. CERT teams are trained in special weapons and tactics, which are critical in the response to major emergencies in correctional facilities. Counties often rely on other counties to assist in these types of emergencies.

By designating correction vehicles as “emergency vehicles” under the situations described above and allowing them to be equipped with proper warning signals, we can ensure that safety is maintained for all involved and the proper security of inmates during emergency transports is provided as expected.

Please join me in cosponsoring this legislation.

Introduced as HB2414