Informer: Statute exempts police, emergency vehicles

By By Andrew Perzo / American Press

Why are police officers allowed to go up to a red light with their lights on, go through the red light and then turn their lights off. Isn’t this against the law?

Not necessarily.

R.S. 32:24 grants traffic-law

exemptions to law enforcement officers, firefighters and ambulance

drivers when they’re “responding

to an emergency call, or when in the pursuit of an actual or

suspected violator of the law, or when responding to, but not

upon returning from, a fire alarm.”

The statute authorizes the driver of an emergency vehicle to do the following:

Park or stand anywhere.

Go past stop signs and signals “after slowing down or stopping as may be necessary for safe operation.”

Exceed the speed limit “so long as he does not endanger life or property.”

Disregard traffic-direction signs.

“The exceptions herein granted to an

authorized emergency vehicle shall apply only when such vehicle ... is

making use of

audible or visual signals ... sufficient to warn motorists of

their approach, except that a police vehicle need not be equipped

with or display a red light visible from in front of the vehicle,”

reads the statute.

“The foregoing provisions shall not

relieve the driver or rider of an authorized vehicle from the duty to

drive or ride with

due regard for the safety of all persons, nor shall such

provisions protect the driver or rider from the consequences of his

reckless disregard for the safety of others.”

Law bars possession, sale of fighting cocks

I know cockfighting is illegal, but is it illegal to raise fighting cocks in Louisiana? If it is illegal, who do I call to report it?

Under R.S. 14:102.23, it’s against the

law to “organize or conduct any commercial or private cockfight” and to

“possess, train, purchase, or sell any chicken with the intent that the chicken

shall be engaged in an unlawful commercial or private cockfight.”

The penalty for a first offense includes a fine of up to $1,000 and six months in jail.

Violations of the law can be reported to police or sheriff’s deputies.

Online: www.legis.state.la.us.

Ordinance prohibits fireworks in Lake Charless

Is there an ordinance in Lake Charles against the use of fireworks?

Yes.

“It shall be unlawful for any person to explode a firecracker or fireworks of any kind within the city,” reads Section 8-3.19

of the city code.

Online: www.municode.com.

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The Informer answers questions from readers each Sunday, Monday and Wednesday. It is researched and written by Andrew Perzo, an American Press staff writer. To ask a question, call 494-4098, press 5 and leave voice mail, or email informer@americanpress.com