Patrol car on HOV on-ramp

The in basket: Ronda Armstrong of Central Kitsap called to say she was in bumper-to-bumper traffic, working her way down Highway 16 toward the Tacoma Narrows Bridge on the east side one weekday afternoon recently, and saw a car with just one occupant entering on the Jackson Avenue on-ramp that is off limits to single-occupant vehicles that time of day. This car was a Tacoma Police cruiser with just one man in the driver’s seat. He was in civvies but had a uniform on a hanger in back. Was he violating the law, she asked.


The in basket: Ronda Armstrong of Central Kitsap called to say she was in bumper-to-bumper traffic, working her way down Highway 16 toward the Tacoma Narrows Bridge on the east side one weekday afternoon recently, and saw a car with just one occupant entering on the Jackson Avenue on-ramp that is off limits to single-occupant vehicles that time of day. This car was a Tacoma Police cruiser with just one man in the driver’s seat. He was in civvies but had a uniform on a hanger in back. Was he violating the law, she asked.
The out basket: Mark Fulghum of Tacoma police said there is an exemption in the state law that permits what Ronda saw. WAC 468-510-010 in the Washington Administrative Code says, “Motor vehicles authorized to use HOV lanes (include) official marked law enforcement and fire department vehicles equipped with emergency lights and siren, operated by an on-duty state patrol, local, or county law enforcement personnel, or on-duty local, county, or special district fire department personnel.”
There’s nothing about the lights and siren having to be operating or the officer being on an emergency run.
So was that officer on duty? Yes, said Mark, able to track who it was by the car number and date Ronda provided. The man was a firing range officer on duty, wearing a range officer’s uniform designed to make him very visible, though he may have had a coat on over it. That was his ordinary uniform in the back, Mark said.
   

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Before you post, please complete the prompt below.

Please enter the word MILK here: