The Fourth Department determined the city’s motion for summary judgment should have granted in an action resulting from a collision with a police vehicle responding to an emergency. The court determined the defendants demonstrated as a matter of law that the officer did not act with conscious indifference to the consequences of his actions:
At the time of the collision, defendant officer was responding to a police call and was therefore operating an authorized emergency vehicle while involved in an emergency operation … . We further conclude that, by failing to yield the right of way while attempting to execute a left turn at a green light, defendant officer was “engage[d] in the specific conduct exempted from the rules of the road by Vehicle and Traffic Law § 1104 (b)” … , i.e., he was “exercis[ing one of] the privileges set forth in” the statute at the time of the accident (§ 1104 [a]…).
We further conclude that defendants established as a matter of law that defendant officer’s conduct did not rise to the level of reckless disregard for the safety of others …, and that plaintiff failed to raise a triable issue of fact in opposition to the cross motion … . Defendant officer testified that, as he was approaching the intersection in a southbound direction, the only traffic he observed was a line of northbound vehicles waiting to turn left. When he reached the intersection, he stopped for a “few seconds” to ensure that the intersection was clear. Defendant officer testified that he could see a distance of approximately three car lengths in the right northbound lane and that he did not see any traffic in that lane when he started his turn. He then “cre[pt] into the intersection, making sure . . . nobody was passing on the right of the vehicles stopped to make a left.” Plaintiff similarly testified that there was a line of cars in the northbound lane preparing to turn left, that she “veered to the right” around the line of cars in order to proceed straight through the intersection, and that the accident occurred in the intersection. We thus conclude that, “[g]iven the evidence of precautions taken by [defendant officer] before he attempted his [left] turn, . . . he did not act with conscious indifference’ to the consequences of his actions” … . Williams v Fassinger, 2014 NY Slip Op 05085, 4th Dept 7-3-14