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Name: People v. Copass
Case #: B211281
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 6
Opinion Date: 12/14/2009

A conviction for Vehicle Code section 2800.2, subdivision (a) does not require proof that the lights and siren of the pursuing peace officer’s patrol vehicle were continuously activated. A California Highway Patrol officer patrolling in a surveillance plane saw appellant operating his motorcycle at a high rate of speed and alerted a ground officer who was stopped along the highway. The ground officer motioned appellant to stop. Appellant pulled to the shoulder as if to comply, but then accelerated and sped away. The officer activated his patrol vehicle’s lights and siren and gave pursuit. When he lost sight of appellant’s vehicle, however, he turned off the lights and siren. Within five minutes, the officer in the surveillance plane again saw appellant and notified the ground officer who followed. He initially delayed activating lights and siren to try to “get on top” of appellant’s vehicle but after a time turned them on again and eventually forced appellant to stop by turning his vehicle in front of the motorcycle. The court rejected appellant’s argument that the elements of Vehicle Code section 2800.2, subdivision (a) were not met as the lights and siren of the patrol vehicle were not continuously activated. The purpose of the light-and-siren requirements in Vehicle Code section 2800.2, subdivision (a) is to inform a driver that a peace officer’s vehicle is in pursuit. Here, although the lights and siren of the patrol vehicle were temporarily turned off, by driving from the shoulder as a high rate of speed, it could be reasonably inferred that appellant received notice of the pursuit, such that the intent of the statute was met.