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(A) The provisions of this title regulating the operation, parking, and standing of vehicles shall apply to authorized emergency vehicles. However, a driver when operating the vehicle in any emergency, unless otherwise directed by a police officer, may:
(1) Park or stand, notwithstanding the provisions of this title.
(2) Proceed past a red or stop signal or stop sign, but only after slowing down as may be necessary for safe operation.
(3) Exceed the prima facie speed limits so long as he does not endanger life or property.
(4) Disregard regulations governing direction of movement or turning in specified directions so long as he does not endanger life or property.
(B) The foregoing exemptions shall not, however, protect the driver of any authorized emergency vehicle from the consequences of his reckless disregard of the safety of others.
('72 Code, § 11-6)
Emergency vehicles, see G.S. § 20-156