A. When operating at or en route to or from the scene of a traffic accident or similar emergency and when specifically directed by a law-enforcement officer present at the scene of a motor vehicle crash or similar incident, tow truck operators or vehicles owned or controlled by the Virginia Department of Transportation may:
B. When operating at, en route to, or from the scene of a traffic accident or similar emergency, a vehicle operated pursuant to a Virginia Department of Transportation safety service patrol program, with due regard to the safety of persons and property and without direction of law enforcement, may overtake and pass stopped or slow-moving vehicles by going off the paved or main traveled portion of the highway on the right or on the left. For purposes of this subsection, “safety service patrol program” means a program sponsored or operated by the Virginia Department of Transportation that assists stranded motorists and provides traffic control during traffic incidents, including traffic accidents and road work.
C. Nothing in this section, however, shall (i) immunize the driver of any such vehicle from criminal prosecution for conduct constituting reckless disregard of the safety of persons and property or (ii) release the driver of any such vehicle from any civil liability for failure to use reasonable care in operations permitted in this section. However, drivers of vehicles owned or operated by the Virginia Department of Transportation and employees of the Commonwealth of Virginia are immune for acts of simple negligence for claims of civil liability arising from the operation of such vehicles pursuant to this section.
1990, c. 470; 2007, cc. 189, 918; 2012, cc. 27, 108.