Can a Physician make a right turn on red in an emergency ?
Hi I'm a physician in state of NJ , was pulled over by a state trooper in a neighborhood area, at 6:50AM on holiday morning(thanksgiving) for making a right on red with no other vehicles visible on the road for miles. The cop made a U turn and signaled me over 1/2 a mile later to explain "You came to a full stop then made a right on red where there's a sign no right on red". How about I was trying to be as safe a driver as possible whilst actively trying to save a life.
I explained I was on my way to the hospital to an emergency (fully dressed in scrubs attire, ID badge on with stethoscope around my neck) , he held me up for 20 mins (which i felt was egregious), then gave me a ticket for "Obstructing Passage of other Vehicles" 39:4-67 Mun Code0215. Is there any provision under the law of necessity to have this case dismissed by a judge.
3 attorney answers
Same question same answer. The case law is clear. You cannot violate traffic laws even in an emergency. (unless you are in an ambulance or blue light EMT) The cop should have let you proceed and sent you the ticket in the mail. Show the prosecutor you were answering a real emergency (not that you are just a doctor headed for the hospital and are therefore special) and my guess is the prosecutor may dismiss or just charge costs. But you need to go to court and wait a few hours and it might not work. It is 0 points and a small fine. If twenty minutes is egregious what is 2-3 hours.
No even physicians are required to adhere to the laws of the State of New Jersey.
The officer did you a favor and gave you a no point ticket. My advise is to pay it and move on.
39:4-67. Obstructing passage of other vehicles or street cars prohibited; clearance of intersections
No vehicle or street car shall be permitted by the owner or driver thereof to so occupy a street as to interfere with or interrupt the passage of other street cars or vehicles, nor shall the driver of a vehicle or street car drive such vehicle or street car into an intersection if preceding traffic prevents immediate clearance of the intersection.
While you may have made an illegal right on red, you may not have violated 39:4-67.