Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollectionsPatients

When Physicians Speed, It Could Save Your Life

March 14, 2004

"Drive to Let Doctors Speed Hits Yellow Light" (March 4) gets the issue wrong about a state law that exempts physicians, when going to emergencies, from speeding laws if their cars display a CHP-approved sticker. This is about saving lives, not physician privilege. The most likely "speeders" are rural physicians traveling to emergencies or surgeons answering a nighttime ER call to treat accident victims. The beneficiaries are patients.

The story portrays the California Highway Patrol as surprised by our efforts. The CHP approved the emblem and design, and worked with us for more than six months on the issue. The mutual goal was to implement Vehicle Code 21058, which "allows physicians to exceed speed limits when driving to emergencies" so long as the vehicle is not "operated recklessly or without regard for the safety of others." That has always been our position, and it says so clearly in our newsletter. Your article may have turned a few fine phrases in harking back to the days of "streetcars and Packards," but it did a disservice to patients who might benefit when lives are in the balance.

Peter M. Warren

Vice Pres., Communication

California Medical Assn.

Sacramento

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|