The Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner has been notified after a VicPD cruiser crashed into an SUV in downtown Victoria earlier this week.
Dashcam footage from a passing vehicle shows the police vehicle speeding through a red light without sirens or lights deployed, and crashing into an SUV that was driving through the Douglas and Johnson Street intersection at a green light.
In a statement to Victoria Buzz, OPCC media spokesperson Andrea Spindler stated that the police watchdog was notified of the incident by the Victoria Police Department on July 8, the day of the crash.
“We are currently in the process of reviewing the materials provided by the Victoria PD and any results from their collision investigation before making a final determination of whether there will be any Police Act investigation into officer misconduct,” reads the statement from Spindler.
She has confirmed that the dashcam footage is will “form part of the review, along with the collision investigation results and outcome”.
Fortunately there were no injuries in the collision that resulted in heavy damage to both vehicles.
The dashcam video was shared with Victoria Buzz by Alexander Woodman on July 8 and can be seen here.
In one of the videos, the owner of the dascham can be heard saying “You crossed the light, sir!” to the police officer in the cruiser. The officer can be heard responding with “I know”.
Under the Motor Vehicle Act in B.C., police officers are allowed to disregard red lights, stop signs, and other traffic controls without deploying their sirens and lights under specific circumstances.
In particular, officers can do this if they are in the middle of a case or investigation in which they deem the harm to public posed by a threat is greater than the risks that come with speeding through a red light without their emergency lights or siren on.
They may also run red lights if they have “reasonable grounds to believe that it is safe to operate the emergency vehicle without operating an emergency siren or an emergency light and siren”.
No information on the circumstances surrounding this officer’s decision has been made available by VicPD.