AB 2998 of 2012 shifted liability to public employers for automobile accidents involving public safety officers. Prior to January 1, 2013, most public employers insurance policy would be excess to the employee’s personal automobile insurance while using their personal vehicle. AB 2998 changed this for public safety officers requiring that public entities are responsible for the vehicle and the accident if they direct the public safety officer to use their personal vehicle for business purposes. This change in law is tied to the recent Moradi case (see our Coming and Going post).
If your organization requires public safety officers to drive their personal vehicle for business, you should review your driving policies. Implementing driver record checks, vehicle safety inspection and holding training maybe your best defense against this additional liability.