The speed limitations set forth in this Article shall not apply to vehicles when operated with due regard for safety under the direction of the police in the chase or apprehension of violators of the law or of persons charged with or suspected of any such violation, nor to fire department or fire patrol vehicles when traveling in response to a fire alarm, nor to public or private ambulances and rescue squad emergency service vehicles when traveling in emergencies, nor to vehicles operated by county fire marshals and civil preparedness coordinators when traveling in the performances of their duties, nor to any of the following when either operated by a law enforcement officer in the chase or apprehension of violators of the law or of persons charged with or suspected of any such violation, when traveling in response to a fire alarm, or for other emergency response purposes: (i) a vehicle operated by the Division of Marine Fisheries of the Department of Environmental Quality or the Division of Parks and Recreation of the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources or (ii) a vehicle operated by the North Carolina Forest Service of the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. This exemption shall not, however, protect the driver of any such vehicle from the consequence of a reckless disregard of the safety of others.
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