Official Location based warning law discussion thread

HILO

Forum Guru
Man you yanks have some strange rules. Courtesy lights for VFF's and permits for amber lights!


But, rules is rules, so I guess if you want to blink you have to get commercial plates.
 

theroofable

Veteran Member
You will never see any trouble for running amber lights if you are doing so with a purpose, not just riding around with them on. But you should get commercial tags though if you are doing recovery.
 

NPS Ranger

Veteran Member
A magnetic beacon will work fine if you're winching someone out in a blizzard or those other rare times when you actually need it, rest of the time it's under your seat. For what you describe I'm not sure I'd bother with the permit, the light wouldn't be permanently mounted. Don't get commercial plates, for the reasons you mentioned.
 

chief1562

Silver Supporter
That is kinda wierd.


If you do plowing I would expect it to be a prudent to have. Not a reason for getting a permit.Unless it's just one more way to generate revenue.
 

kitn1mcc

Veteran Member
ct has them as well. but the law has holes. like if your on private property or the vehicle is not moving no need to for a permit
 

Phoenix_Rising

Resident Ghost
Gold Supporter
JGG said:
People actually slow down a bit more.



I don't want to be confrontational here, but I would welcome you to give me a good reason why wreckers should not be equipped with anything besides amber lights.
Sorry mate, you answered you're own question in a sense. They slow down because they are confused, they're not sure if you're a cop, fire truck or spaceship. Which is why certain colors should (and are) restricted to certain vehicles. People have a hard enough time as is figuring out what color means what vehicle,etc. Tie in the fact that if every vehicle had such and such color, they begin to become immune to the lights, in a manner of speaking. Never mind the people who don't care what color you're running or who you are ( LEO, FIRE, EMS, pope, street sweeper, etc)
 

NERT11

Member
Can anyone help me with a solid answer on what the lay allows for volunteer firefighters in Ontario. My understanding is that you can display green lights to the front of the vehicle. Does it state where and how many lights?


My other question, is what is allowed to the side and rear of the vehicle... Color restriction... can you use them?


Thank you!


(I do understand that each department had guidelines, but I'm looking for the official provincial answer)
 

Phoenix_Rising

Resident Ghost
Gold Supporter
If the answer you seek cannot be found in these pages, perhaps PM Unlisted, he may be able to help
 

unlisted

Gold Supporter
Pretty straightforward: (btw, this has been asked and brought up a few times before)


(From Ontario Highway Traffic Act)

Green flashing light restricted


(16) The following persons may carry on or in his or her vehicle and operate a lamp that produces intermittent flashes of green light:


1. A firefighter, within the meaning of subsection 1 (1) of the Fire Protection and Prevention Act, 1997, while proceeding to a fire or other emergency.


2. A prescribed class of volunteer medical responder, while driving a prescribed class or type of vehicle or engaging in a prescribed activity or in prescribed conditions or circumstances. 2007, c. 13, s. 17 (5).


Same


(16.1) No person other than a person described in subsection (16) shall operate a lamp that produces intermittent flashes of green light. 1994, c. 35, s. 1.
Highway Traffic Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. H.8


Now, where it gets sticky.. The law states "a lamp".. this law was written (with more recent medical responder additions) a long time ago, when people used a normal single throw light, or a mini bar (halogen). With the advance of lighting and LED, well, the law has not caught up. I've not heard of anything recently (past 7 years) of anyone getting in trouble for too many lights, however, with that said, I have heard of more than a few people getting a talking to both from police and their chief on excessive lighting. Basically if you have green to the front and rear, and its not over board/tacky, it won't raise an eyebrow. Having green to the side or intersection lights.. well, no one can legally run stop signs/traffic lights as its a courtesy light....


For VFF's no other color is technically permitted, however you will find some running with clear (which most police don't like too much) or sometimes amber.


For more fun, from a legal standpoint, police do have the right to ask for your fire identification/proof you are permitted to have green lights. Most depts in Ontario will go so far to issue green light permits for their members, and the MTO even has a VFF identification program in place- I'm not going to mention what it entails, however if you are a VFF, you know what that "other" sticky green thing facing forward means. ;)


And just to make it even more muddled.. Ah never mind thats enough right there. Basically have a light to the front, and maybe one to the rear, with the chief's blessing and you will be good to go. .


Do people sometimes run with illegal colors/combos? Yup.. but its normally short lived.. Gets the attention of other vollies, chief's and even police real quick.. And sometimes they wait a long time before acting to catch someone in the act.. ;)
 

Skip Goulet

Passed Away
HILO said:
Man you yanks have some strange rules. Courtesy lights for VFF's and permits for amber lights!

But, rules is rules, so I guess if you want to blink you have to get commercial plates.
Since you're here in Texas I guess you know that red is the prescribed warning color on emergency vehicles, although blue is allowed as an auxilliary color. What I found curious several years ago was in seeing Spur's new ambulance at the time, a '77 lowtop Suburban. It had a Federal Visibar with blue beacons and red lollipops to the inside, along with twin CP100 speakers powered by an Interceptor. Now from what I've always been told, red is supposed to be in the primary position. That wasn't the case with this ambulance. But who would argue with them? The police dept ran the ambulance!
 
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Skip Goulet

Passed Away
Jared @ 911Lights said:
After reading the laws carefully, I don't think Amber is legal for Rural Mail Carriers, at least to the front. There is no mention of Amber to the rear being regulated.

On a side note, your comment on urban mail carriers is not correct. Mail deliver in urban areas is by USPS LLVs or other USPS owned vehicles. As federally owned vehicles they are not subject to state laws. Rural Mail Carriers use their own personal vehicles to deliver mail and are subject to state laws.
You make a good point about mail carriers using amber lights, Jared. Since amber isn't regulated here in Texas, all of the rural mail carriers have amber magnetic strobes in their POVs, but I've rarely seen them in use.
 

kitn1mcc

Veteran Member
the thing is most rural Mail carries dont use the LLV but use there own Personal one. as for Regular mail trucks they are excempt from local laws
 

DalmatProd

Premium Member
Though the title above usually refers to commercial real estate, I've been thinking how it actually deals with may of us, as well.


I've often perused through YouTube© to see the various "responding," and/or "POV" videos that have been submitted there. However, I've noticed that most of the posters there, while maybe including the name of their department, rarely include its location. And that's almost universally true for those who post their POV videos. Red lights, blue lights, white lights, sirens, air-horns, etc. With 50 states and so many members on this board, I believe that it would be interesting, especially for those who get to customize their vehicles, to not only let us know their state, but what are that state's regulations regarding visual and audio warning equipment, for first responders.


For example, when I lived in North Carolina, we were allowed red or red/white lights, but no siren unless you were a chief of one level or another. When I moved to New York (state), blue or blue/white were allowed, but again, no siren unless you were a chief.


Yet, when I lived in Ohio (1976) it was red or red/white with a siren, if and only if, your chief would sign a state-designated permission slip.


So, what do some of you think?


Be well and stay safe!


Steve G.
 
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In NY:


-A volly EMT/Medic can have ONE green light (nobody has just one) with no siren.


-A volly Firefighter can have ONE blue light (again nobody has just one) with no siren.


-An agency with permission can get their members' pov's part 800 compliant and inspected by the state and certified as emergency vehicles. These vehicles can have red/white to the front and red/blue to the back (same as PD) and sirens. Hatzolah is famous for this.


Sidenote: Most pov's in NY have either several green lights (EMT) or several blue lights (FF). Many have green/white or blue/white, and some people who are not certified as fly cars have red/blue to the back. NY state law states "authorized vehicles" can have rear facing red. Kinda vague... I have rear facing red......


Not everyone in NY cares so much about "legality" as they do being seen. It is unrealistic to think ONE single light can get anyone anywhere safely in NY...
 
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DefianceEngineCompany

Senior Member
In Maine the law says one red or red/white dash light or one set of grill lights, but 75% of us run dash, grill, and rear window warning.
 

coopers

Member
  • Blue- law enforcement only
  • Red - authorized emergency vehicles (if you go through the hassle of obtaining a permit issued by the state patrol then you can run red with a combination of amber and/or white and I believe you must have a siren).
  • Amber - anyone
  • White - emergency vehicles (although this is not enforced and many utility companies and other non-emergency vehicles combine white with amber).
  • Green - volly FF's and Incident Command rigs on BC vehicles.
 

bfd740

Member
A new trend I have noticed in New York is that the state DOT has flashing white lights on some of its trucks now which according to the vtl is for authorized emergency vehicles in addition to red.
 

Skip Goulet

Passed Away
I've just discovered a new trend here in TX. Most of the TXDOT (highway maintenance) vehicles have been using amber lights, and most recently amber/blue lights. Some of these are the new generaton LED bars which can be seen for a long way; and if you're not looking closely you can confuse the amber for red.


Texas is going thru a whole lot of revamping on all major highways and the interstates. It's been literal hell here in West Texas, with I20 being reduced to single lanes between Midland and Odessa the past 3 months or so, and this is supposed to last until October.


One of the news stations just announced that a new law has been signed into effect that requires traffic to yield to oncoming amber/blue lights. Now that's something new!


But what's bad is with traffic slowed to a crawl on I20 not that far from my house, they're having one bad wreck after another because people aren't watching what they're doing. And with the "oil boom" here in West Texas, those big oilfield trucks are literally running over people. They don't stop for stop signs, blow thru yield signs and they'e the biggest cause of the bad wrecks and numerous fatalities we've had!
 

adamogden

Member
Hello all-


I know this is probably right on the edge of what this thread is really about, but it's the only location-based thread I could find. I am looking for anyone to contact me who lives in Austin, TX. I'm very interested in talking to LEO's from Austin, but I'll gladly take anyone from Austin who responds.


Thanks!
 

NcC0WBy

Newbie
tcfd126 said:
SOUTH CAROLINA -

Any fire/ems vehicle or pov must display red light or lights visable 360 degrees and a siren audible up to 500ft away...


any combination of red, white, amber but red must be visable 360 degrees


wig wags and strobes are allowed and everyone must have a siren if you have lights, however they are very lax


about the siren and lights and it is not heavily enforced as long as your not driving horribly or displaying blue lights

Is it true that when you respond, your vehicle becomes classifies as an emergency vehicle and is then insured by the state?
 

foxtrot5

Gold Supporter
NcC0WBy said:
Is it true that when you respond, your vehicle becomes classifies as an emergency vehicle and is then insured by the state?
When responding to a call for emergency assistance, either to the station or to the scene direct, your POV is considered an emergency vehicle HOWEVER you are still responsible for insurance. I have a rider on my policy that states that my company knows that my POV is used as an emergency response vehicle as needed.
 

Skip Goulet

Passed Away
NcC0WBy said:
Is it true that when you respond, your vehicle becomes classifies as an emergency vehicle and is then insured by the state?
Here in TX if you respond in your own POV with lights and siren (both of which are required in TX), you are considered an emergency vehicle. It's in the motor vehicles codes. But you have to provide your own insurance. IF you have an accident here in Texas, the investigating officer will determine if your emergency lights were clearly visible and if your siren was clearly audible and in use. As I've noted before, both lights and sirens have to be in use. Once-upon-a-time TX allowed lights only but that hasn't been the case in many years. If the investigating officer determines your lights and sirens were working properly and in use properly, and that you were exercising proper driving skills and weren't otherwise negligent.....like busting a red light w/o slowing down, etc., then you aren't at fault and the other driver is ticketed for "failure to yield right of way to an emergency vehicle".
 

jtf027

Member
Can you guys reply with information about states that allow blue for Volunteer Fire Dept personnel ?


I have a huge amount of blue lighting (everything from rotator bars to LED lightheads) that I want to sell. I want to know what areas might be best, as my intention is to travel to a Fire Muster or FD flea market, and sell everything. I have no desire to try to sell and ship all this stuff... just thought this idea might be easier.
 

ful-vue

Member
jtf027 said:
I want to know what areas might be best, as my intention is to travel to a Fire Muster or FD flea market, and sell everything.
Pennsylvania. Despite our blue light laws many folks run a ton of lighting gear on their cars.
 

foxtrot5

Gold Supporter
jtf027 said:
Can you guys reply with information about states that allow blue for Volunteer Fire Dept personnel ?

I have a huge amount of blue lighting (everything from rotator bars to LED lightheads) that I want to sell. I want to know what areas might be best, as my intention is to travel to a Fire Muster or FD flea market, and sell everything. I have no desire to try to sell and ship all this stuff... just thought this idea might be easier.
PA, NJ, NY, CT off the top of my head.
 

NERT11

Member
This is relevant to volunteer firefighters in Ontario, Canada...


A guy at a neighboring station claimed that he had intentions on putting white grill lights to supplement the green dash lights. I believe this is not legal, but he claims to have researched and found that white flashing lights don't have a restriction. Am I wrong in thinking that this is totally illegal and asking to get in to hot water? I've seen a few municipalities that use green/white dash lights (which I still don't know if it's legal) but are grill lights and any other supplementary white lights not pushing it?
 

dwk270

Member
Does anybody know what the ORS is about using a red HAW in the rear of the pickup? I have amber and white now.
 

nerdly_dood

Veteran Member

Steve0625

Veteran Member

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