What must I justify when urgent duty driving?
Urgent duty driving must be able to be justified in response to the threat, and wherever possible, lights and sirens are continually used unless a tactical response is undertaken.
What is the risk assessment tool I must continually use?
Ensuring a continuous risk assessment (TENR - Threat - Exposure - Necessity - Response) while operating a Police vehicle, will assist in minimising risks to all.
Tell me about the ‘Why’ of urgent duty driving?
Prioritising safety by driving with a high standard of care to minimise exposure to risk is critical to reducing road trauma, and ensuring trust and confidence in Police vehicle operation.
Tell me about the ‘How’ of urgent duty driving?
Police ensure this by:
- prioritising Police and public safety when driving,
- enforcement officers prioritising safety by driving with a high standard of care,
- recognising that no duty is so urgent that it requires the public or Police to be placed at unjustified risk,
- enforcement officers being aware that they are individually legally responsible for their actions,
- using the Police risk assessment tool TENR, when deciding whether to commence and continue urgent duty driving,
- continuously using lights and sirens, where fitted, unless a tactical approach is justified.
Tell me about the additional principles of urgent duty driving?
Additional principles are:
- public and police employee safety must be prioritised;
- urgent duty driving must be conducted in the safest possible manner;
- enforcement officers must drive at a speed and manner appropriate to the circumstances;
- enforcement officers are individually legally responsible for their actions;
- enforcement officers will use a risk based assessment (e.g. TENR); and
- category A vehicles are preferred for urgent duty driving as they are more visible.
What should I note when it is necessary to use a vehicle other that a category A vehicle or carrying non constabulary members?
enforcement officers must factor this into their risk assessment. No additional or different legal exemptions exist. The driver must be able to justify their actions based on all of the circumstances that existed at that time.
What is urgent duty driving?
Urgent duty driving is when an enforcement officer on duty is driving above the speed limit or the natural flow of traffic, and may not be complying with certain traffic rules and is either:
- responding to a critical incident
- gathering evidence of an alleged offence
- apprehending an offender for a traffic or criminal offence
- apprehending a fleeing driver
- providing security to and facilitating the movement of, an official motorcade as part of an operation (as established in the relevant Operation Orders)
- engaged in activities approved by the Commissioner in writing.
are relying on the defences under the Land Transport (Road User) Rule 2004 (RUR) and the Land Transport Act 1998 (LTA) for not complying with certain traffic rules and regulations which would prevent the execution of that duty.
What is a critical incident?
- force or the threat of force is involved
- any person faces the risk of serious harm
- Police are responding to people in the act of committing a crime.
What must I consider?
- time of the incident (is it in progress?)
- nature and seriousness of the incident
- proximity of incident
- proximity of other units to the incident
- environment, e.g. weather, traffic volume, road type, speed limit and pedestrians etc
- driver classification, vehicle classification and vehicle passengers
- whether warning devices are activated or a ‘tactical approach’ is being used
- vehicle type.
Tell me about the must around ‘Warning Devices’?
Police must use red and blue flashing lights and siren at all times (continuously) while undertaking urgent duty driving unless a ‘tactical
approach’ is used.
What must I consider when using a ‘tactical approach’?
Vehicle speed and manner of driving must reflect and take into account the increased risks resulting from the absence of warning devices.
Can I always use a ‘tactical approach’?
Undertaking urgent duty driving without the activation of warning lights and/or sirens increases the road safety risks to public and Police.
Therefore, using a tactical approach is the exception rather than the rule.
Give examples of when a tactical approach might be used?
- approaching a scene of a serious crime in progress, or
- attending a report of a suicidal person, or
- obtaining evidence of a speeding offence, where the offender’s driving is not dangerous and the risk of not using the warning devices is judged as low.
When using a tactical approach do I have an exemption for proceeding through an intersection?
- You will need to justify your decision to use a tactical approach should there be any subsequent investigation.
- If neither lights nor sirens are used, then the defences for proceeding against traffic signals or through intersections do not apply.
Can I use a ‘tactical approach’ during a fleeing driver incident?
No, a tactical approach cannot be used once a fleeing driver incident is initiated.
Any deactivation of warning devices must be in line with the fleeing driver abandonment procedure.
What are the responsibilities of the driver in urgent duty driving?
Complies with the law and drives in a manner that prioritises public and Police safety.
What are the responsibilities of the passenger during urgent duty driving?
- Advises the driver about the route, situational factors and risks.
- Operates the radio if communications are required.
What are the responsibilities of the field supervisor in urgent duty driving?
- Manages Police performance relating to driving behaviour.
- Identifies and manages health and safety risks to those staff.
- Immediately reports policy breaches to their superior.
- Investigates and reports crashes involving a Police vehicle.
What are the responsibilities of the manager in urgent duty driving?
- Sureplan notified of Police Vehicle crashes
- monitoring of health and safety obligations
- crash files progressed to the District Road Policing Manager and District Police Professional Conduct Manager for their review.
What are the responsibilities of the controlling officer.
Controlling officer is a Comms center constable.
- Ensures units are directed to the incident as appropriate.
What is the overarching principle of fleeing driver incidents?
Public and Police employee safety takes precedence over the immediate apprehension of a fleeing driver.
What about additional principles of a fleeing driver?
- fleeing driver incidents must be managed in the safest possible manner;
- an inquiry phase is preferred over a fleeing driver pursuit wherever possible and when circumstances allow;
- fleeing driver incidents will only be commenced and/or continued when the seriousness of the offence and the necessity of immediate apprehension outweigh the risk of pursuing;
- the fact that a driver is fleeing does not in itself justify a fleeing driver pursuit;
- decisions to abandon fleeing driver incidents will be supported;
- Police employees will use risk-based assessments (e.g. TENR) and apply a flexible response to changing circumstances; and
- fleeing drivers will be held to account.
What is a fleeing driver?
A ‘fleeing driver’ is a driver who has been signaled to stop by an officer but fails to do so.
Tell me about the key objective in resolving fleeing driver incidents?
Resolving the fleeing driver pursuit as safely and as quickly as possible, using the least amount of force, is the key objective.
What must I assess continually before and during a Police pursuit?
The decision to commence, continue, or abandon a fleeing driver pursuit in accordance with TENR
Why do I use TENR?
- the actual or perceived risks are fully understood on a continuing basis;
- the tactical options available are understood and deployed appropriately
How Police conduct and manage fleeing driver incidents must balance:
- public and Police employee safety;
- the risks involved; and
- the public interest in apprehending those who fail to stop.
What do the lead, secondary drivers, or passengers, field supervisors and pursuit controller have in common?
Any of these individuals can order the fleeing driver incident to be abandoned.
What does abandon mean?
Permanently abandon the fleeing driver pursuit. No further attempt to signal the vehicle to stop will be made unless the Pursuit Controller gives prior approval.
What is involved in signalling a driver o stop?
Police vehicle drives up behind the vehicle/driver concerned and signals the driver to stop using flashing red and blue lights and a siren. An officer in uniform may also signal a vehicle to stop.
What is a tactical vehicle?
Any Police vehicle or officer not actively pursuing the fleeing driver but seeking authorisation from the pursuit controller to conduct approved tactical options.
When using TENR, the response to any situation must be?
Considered, timely, proportionate and appropriate.
What is the overriding principle of TENR?
‘Safety is success’. Public and employee safety are paramount, and every effort must be made to minimise harm and maximise safety.
As part of a flexible response model what should be considered?
All suitable tactical options should be considered or requested to safely apprehend the fleeing driver. This could include not pursuing or abandonment.
If the driver is not posing an imminent threat what would be the preferred approach?
The preferred approach is for the offender to be apprehended through subsequent lines of inquiry.
Why are motorcyclists treated differently?
Motorcyclists often flee at high speeds, undertaking high risk driving behaviours, which place increased risks on all involved. Any decision to pursue a motorcyclist must balance the severity of the offending against the current risks in accordance with TENR.
What if a drivers behaviour becomes dangerous when I pursue them but it wasn’t before?
If a fleeing driver was not driving in a dangerous or reckless manner prior to being signalled to stop, but now is, the Officer must determine as part of their risk assessment if they should continue to pursue the fleeing driver due to the potential impact of their presence.
Can I be directed to pursue a vehicle?
No driver can be directed
to commence or continue a fleeing driver pursuit against their judgement. A driver’s decision not to commence a fleeing driver pursuit, or to abandon a pursuit, cannot be overridden.
Tell me about the responsibilities of the lead vehicle driver?
- continuously assess the risks (TENR)
- ensure warning lights and siren are activated throughout the fleeing driver pursuit
- where there is a Police constabulary passenger direct that officer to undertake communications
- notify Police Communications as soon as practicable and when it is safe to do so that a vehicle has failed to stop, location, direction, fleeing vehicle description, and reason that it is being pursued (failure to stop is not a reason)
- acknowledge the pursuit warning given by the dispatcher
- maintain regular communication with Police Communications when it is safe to do so
- comply with all directions from the Pursuit Controller.
What about the responsibilities of a Police passenger?
- Must undertake radio communications if in the lead vehicle.
- Advises the lead vehicle driver of possible risks or any other considerations.
- May direct the lead vehicle driver to abandon the fleeing driver pursuit. The Pursuit Controller must be notified when safe to do so including the reason for abandonment.
What about the secondary vehicle in the pursuit?
- Follows behind the lead vehicle at a safe distance, to provide support and tactical options as required.
- Takes over the pursuit commentary, if the lead vehicle is single-crewed.
- May direct the fleeing driver pursuit to be abandoned by notifying the Pursuit Controller, when safe to do so, including the reason for abandonment.
What about other Police vehicles in the vicinity or responding as a requested tactical option?
- Must not actively participate in the fleeing driver pursuit or respond, unless they are preparing tactical options, undertaking a temporary road closure, collecting intelligence or are responding to a Pursuit Controller direction that could assist in safely stopping the fleeing driver.
- Notify the Pursuit Controller of your location, tactical option and seek permission as appropriate, when safe to do so, if self-initiating a tactical option.
- Must cease all non-essential radio communication.
- Must not follow behind the fleeing driver pursuit unless directed or approved to do so by the Pursuit Controller.
- Must comply with the ‘Urgent Duty Driving’ chapter and any direction from the Pursuit Controller.
When a pursuit is abandoned by any member what must Police drivers do?
All vehicles must comply with the road user rule.
What must I do as a driver when a Police pursuit is abandoned?
- Acknowledge any direction to abandon the fleeing driver pursuit, or advise the Pursuit Controller that the pursuit has been abandoned.
- Immediately reduce speed to increase the distance between the fleeing vehicle and their own.
- Deactivate warning devices once below the posted speed limit.
- Stop as soon as it is safe to do so. If stopping in an area such as a motorway, safety may necessitate that the warning lights remain activated until the vehicle is mobile again.
- Confirm to the Pursuit Controller they are stationary and state their specific location.
- Undertake an inquiry phase as directed by the field supervisor.
What should the inquiry phase consist of?
All viable lines of inquiry to identify and hold the fleeing driver accountable should be exhausted. The inquiry phase should be dealt with as a priority prevention activity.
An inquiry phase may consist of, but not limited to, the following actions:
- Aircraft monitors the fleeing driver to allow inquiry phase to be initiated
- observations on known addresses
- registered vehicle address inquiry
- speed camera photographs
- unlawfully taken vehicle inquiries
- reported petrol drive-offs
- CCTV footage area inquiries
- section 118 Land Transport Act 1998 letter to registered owner
- 28 day impoundment under section 96 (1AB) Land Transport Act 1998.
Can I urgent duty drive during the inquiry phase?
No, an inquiry phase does not qualify for urgent duty driving.
What if I see the vehicle again?
Officers must only signal a driver to stop, who was involved in a recently abandoned fleeing driver event, once approval has been given by the Pursuit Controller.
What tactical options are available during a pursuit?
Non-compliant vehicle stop (moving block) (AOS or STG)
Tyre deflation devices
Temporary road closure
Tell me about road spikes?
When a Police vehicle is positioned at a cordon point and the fleeing vehicle is heading through that cordon, a tyre deflation device may be deployed to stop the fleeing vehicle and apprehend the fleeing driver, so long as the deployment meets the
requirements of the ‘Tyre deflation devices’ chapter.
What powers do I have in a pursuit?
Section 114, Land Transport Act 1998
- The stop is for the traffic enforcement purposes specified in section 114.
Section 9, Search & Surveillance Act 2012
- Empowers a constable to stop a vehicle without a warrant to arrest a person.
Section 121, Search & Surveillance Act 2012
- Empowers a constable to stop a vehicle to conduct a search.