California Medical Association To Sell Car Stickers To Exempt Doctors From Posted Speed Limits in Some Cases
The California Medical Association in its Feb. 26 newsletter announced that it would begin selling to physicians stickers for their cars that under a state law CMA said would exempt physicians "from most speeding laws" if they were not driving recklessly, the Los Angeles Times reports. Under the law, enacted in the 1930s, physicians who are on their way to medical emergencies are allowed to drive faster than the posted speed limit in areas such as city streets and rural roads, where the limit is lower than the state's maximum posted speed of 65 mph or 70 mph, according to D.O. Helmick, head of the California Highway Patrol. However, doctors cannot exceed the maximum state speed limit. CMA plans to sell red stickers that read "M.D." and list the identification number of the law for $10 to member physicians and $50 to nonmember physicians. CMA CEO Jack Lewin said CHP officers likely also would be "sympathetic to doctors who drive in carpool lanes or on the shoulder on their way to a medical emergency," the Times reports. However, Helmick said CHP is "not supporting this" because CMA was misinterpreting the law. He added that it is still illegal for physicians to use emergency vehicle lanes or drive in carpool lanes without meeting passenger requirements (Bernstein, Los Angeles Times, 3/4).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.