A question on California Emergency lighting.

Aug 20, 2010
112
Texas USA
Good evening, I have a nagging question involving the use of emergency equipment in California that I'm hoping someone here can answer.


On seeing old pics of LAPD, SFPD and so on, I wonder why the emergency signals used were skimpy to say the least and in my opinion not really good for use in large metro areas. Was this because the agencies were cheap or some other reason besides state law when so many other signals of those eras had 360 degree coverage?


Thanks!
 

smitty711

Member
May 23, 2010
684
California
It's California. We like to be diffrent. I would agree with you. Look at CHP now. nice Liberty bars, Mirror beams and lights on the puch bumbers. they even have red/blue light in the trunk now. they wont put strobes or leds in the headlight or taillight modules because technically it it makes the light housing non DOT compliant. This being CA some will file a lawsuit....Most Ca agencies have down a good job in the last 10-15 years to get the most and effective lighting. We order the CHP package cars (miror beams, ballistic panel) and place lights on the bumber now.
 

RolnCode3

Member
May 21, 2010
322
Sacramento, CA
TheLightFromMars said:
No, lights such as the Trio T-2 (LA) and what appears to be Dietz spotlights (SF) with just a steady red light.
Some places confuse "the minimum legally required" with "the maximum needed". My old boss did that. Single red/blue dual Talon at the RVM and D2 amber blue in the back. For a marked patrol vehicle. It was ridiculously painful to clear intersections and fight Sacramento freeway rush hour traffic (which is why I added a D6 and 2 ViperEXTs to the front).


I agree that it's California and we want to be different. As we put fewer and fewer squads on the street and expect each car to do more and more, the lighting package is becoming more important than ever.
 

CABARS

Member
Dec 21, 2010
22
West Coast
I think the reason the lights you've seen is so skimpy is because a lot of major companies such as Code3, Federal Signal, and especially Whelen did not make many bars that had California Spec. Thats why you either see shop-made lights like the A-Bar(CHP) & Platter light(L.A.) or the smaller companies like Sireno, Lectric lights, SVP, and Dietz bumping into the game making any bar you tell them to make. Many companies today make every single lightbar for CA and especially CHP.


I have seen in my town they are so cheap, they have 6 liberties none them are the same looks like they are just using demos, one bar has a different traffic advisor, different placement of takedowns, different alleys. One of the cars has a slim lighter infront and two single talons at the rear. One car is soooo old it has a dual coplite r/b rear halogen dashmiser A/B.
 

Fast LT1

Member
May 24, 2010
2,018
Sedgwick County, KS
Up until about 2008 the city here had an older impala about a 99 i think, with just a hlf, dashlazer up front, and 2 dashlazers and tlf in the rear! It was effective at night but i would not want to drive that thing!
 

CFD125

Member
May 21, 2010
488
Carver, Mass.
Don't forget, back then, (1950's thru 1970's) there was not nearly as much traffic, or population for that matter.


Just look at some of the older fire trucks, with only a single siren/light combo on the front fender or roof.


Even here in Massachusetts, a lot of emergency vehicles from that era, used only a single Beacon Ray.


Some of the light set-ups used today, seem like extreme overkill to me, actually creating a "Moth effect". Blinding and confusing approaching motorist, and causing a lot of rubbernecking.


When I lived in San Jose, back in the 80's, the CHP would pull off the road onto the shoulder when possible, and just turn on the 4-way hazzard lights instead of beacons.


Even though you are suppossed to stop, or pass slowly by an EV on the side of the road, the 8000 lights in the back of that cruiser can blind a person to the presence of an officer standing in the road.


Not to mention that incandesent sealed beams like the 4001R & 4434A used in the Trio and dietz lights were much more eye catching at a distance than any LED. They penetrated bad weather, and gave you a heads-up from much farther away.
 

Phillyrube

Member
May 21, 2010
1,272
Flatistan
CFD125 said:
Not to mention that incandesent sealed beams like the 4001R & 4434A used in the Trio and dietz lights were much more eye catching at a distance than any LED. They penetrated bad weather, and gave you a heads-up from much farther away.

We used to have Whelen Edge lightbars with strobe outers and flashing halogen inboard.....you could see those flashers WAAAAY before the strobes.
 

Doug

Member
May 23, 2010
1,151
Maryland
CFD125 said:
Don't forget, back then, (1950's thru 1970's) there was not nearly as much traffic, or population for that matter.

Cars were also constructed differently (not as much sound insulation), and people weren't talking on the cell phone, texting and reading the newspaper (all at the same time).
 

norcalbusa

Member
May 23, 2010
73
California
Lights and sirens are highly over rated- don't count that anyone sees or hears them. I dig the minimalist way...and its often easier to get around quickly with no lights showing to the front.
 

nerdly_dood

Member
Jun 15, 2010
2,312
Georgia
SFR1986 said:
negative on that...The Chevrolet Impala has been in production since 1965.

Or, by other estimates, 1957-1985; 1994-1996; 2000-present.


Personally, I like the 2000-2005 version best. The newer one is remarkably boring.
 

SFR1986

Member
Oct 5, 2010
493
San Diego, CA
nerdly_dood said:
Or, by other estimates, 1957-1985; 1994-1996; 2000-present..

Let me un-fuck myself here...the impala was not debuted until 1958 it was the replacement for the Bel Air which was removed from production in 1975
 

NPS Ranger

Member
May 21, 2010
1,990
Penn's Woods
It was not the replacement for the Bel-Air, it was one trim line higher than the Bel-Air, they were produced together. In 1958 the trend was started where the Impala had 3 rear lights on a side and the Bel-Air/Biscayne had only 2.
 

NPS Ranger

Member
May 21, 2010
1,990
Penn's Woods
No need to apologize. Those were nice pics you posted, my dad had a 58 Bel Air with a straight 6 and 2-speed Powerglide. Slow as a dog but built like a tank.
 

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