The Second Department determined the “reckless disregard” standard applied to a police making a u-turn. Plaintiff motorcyclist alleged he lost control of the motorcycle because he was forced to brake when the officer (Balletto) pulled out from the shoulder to make the turn. Believing it was safe to do so, the officer made the u-turn to respond to another officer’s call for assistance. The state’s (defendant’s) motion for summary judgment was properly granted:
“[T]he reckless disregard standard of care in Vehicle and Traffic Law § 1104(e) only applies when a driver of an authorized emergency vehicle involved in an emergency operation engages in the specific conduct exempted from the rules of the road by Vehicle and Traffic Law § 1104(b). Any other injury-causing conduct of such a driver is governed by the principles of ordinary negligence” … . “Conduct exempted from the rules of the road by Vehicle and Traffic Law § 1104(b) includes disregarding regulations governing the direction of movement or turning in specified directions” (… see Vehicle and Traffic Law § 1104[b]).
Here, the defendant established, prima facie, that by attempting to execute a U-turn in response to another trooper’s radio call for assistance, Balletto’s conduct was exempted from the rules of the road by section 1104(b)(4), and that, as a result, his conduct was governed by the reckless disregard standard of care in section 1104(e) … . The defendant also established, prima facie, that Balletto did not operate the emergency vehicle in reckless disregard for the safety of others … . Cable v State of New York, 2020 NY Slip Op 02453, Second Dept 4-29-20