California Vehicle Code, Section 17004.7


"Changes" to California Vehicle Code 17004.7, effective July 1, 2007, right here.

Section 17004.7 of the California Vehicle Code became law in 1987. Click here, read page 2. Consequently, the public entities that employ police officers rarely, if ever, have to prove in court or anywhere that officers followed their pursuit policy when uninvolved bystanders are killed or maimed.

California remains the only state where vehicular police pursuit policies are developed, adopted and then legally ignored. California allows law enforcement agencies to adopt a pursuit policies that they do not intend to follow. Compliance to adopted policy is the issue in all court cases.

Section 17004.7 of the California Vehicle Code was changed and extended. Effective July 1, 2007, it will include an extensive list of minimum standards without accountability. Just like the pursuit policy, there is no requirement for officers to follow these minimum standards. The new paragraph on "promulgation of the written policy and requiring proof that all peace officers certify in writing that they have received, read, and understand the policy" becomes meaningless if the policy is not mandatory.

In fact, Section 17004.7 will include the following escape clause: "The failure of an individual officer to sign a certification shall not be used to impose liability on an individual officer or a public entity."