The First Department, reversing (modifying) Supreme Court, noted that while parking in a “no standing” zone maybe subject to the “reckless disregard” standard for emergency vehicles, other injury-causing actions may not be exempt from the ordinary negligence standard:
“[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” … . Here, although defendants established that they engaged in conduct covered by Vehicle and Traffic Law § 1104(b)(1) by parking in a “No Standing” area, there were, at a minimum, questions of fact whether the ambulance had its emergency lights and sirens activated as required by Vehicle and Traffic Law § 1104(c). Taveras v Almodovar, 2022 NY Slip Op 05385, First Dept 9-29-22
Practice Point: Only the specific conduct enumerated in Vehicle and Traffic Law 1104 (e) is subject to the higher “reckless disregard” standard of care for emergency vehicles. Other injury-causing actions involving the emergency vehicle (i.e. failure to activate emergency lights and sirens) are subject to the ordinary negligence standard.