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Posted at 5:58 PM ET, 02/24/2011

Legislature passes police pursuit rules inspired by Fairfax case

By Anita Kumar
Anita Kumar

Virginia legislators passed a bill designed to ensure that police pursuits don't endanger other drivers on the road.

The bill requires that emergency vehicles driving past any signals must stop or sound a siren before proceeding.

The House and Senate passed the bill Thursday. It now heads to Gov. Bob McDonnell (R)'s desk.

The proposal was inspired by the case of Ashley McIntosh, a teacher's assistant who was killed when her car was hit by a vehicle driven by a Fairfax police officer who ran a red light. McIntosh's mother has been pushing for such legislation.

In December, when the Virginia Crime Commission debated the proposal, some law enforcement members had expressed hesitation about imposing new restrictions on police during pursuits. Existing law allows emergency vehicles to disregard traffic rules, provided they take due regard for safety. But the commission endorsed the proposal unanimously after it received the support of Col. W. Gerald Massengill, former superintendent of the Virginia State Police.

By Anita Kumar  | February 24, 2011; 5:58 PM ET
Categories:  Anita Kumar, General Assembly 2011, House of Delegates, State Senate  
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