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View Full Version : Legality of Flashing Lights in Ohio (Traffic)



Trun
06-26-2009, 09:39 AM
Curious if someone well-versed in Ohio law could tell me if blue lightbars and red rotating lamps are legal on a non-emergency vehicle.

Basically, my idea will look something (if not exactly) like this:

http://jenniesaysrelax.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/06/200472810285_usf-newyork-ecto1.jpg

JLee
06-26-2009, 09:51 AM
I'm going to go with "no" - but I'm sure someone from Ohio will come confirm.

SgtCHP
06-26-2009, 10:03 AM
This is what the law says in Ohio:


Color of Lights
No vehicle shall be equipped with a light of any color other than white or
amber mounted on the front except those operating under special permits,
public safety vehicles, emergency vehicles, disabled vehicles, funeral escort
vehicles and road repair equipment.

http://www.bmv.ohio.gov/pdf_forms/HSY-7607.pdf


Ohio Revised Code pertaining to Public Safety Vehicle Operations



§ 4511.01 Definitions

Text of Statute



(D) "Emergency vehicle" means emergency vehicles of municipal, township, or county departments or public utility corporations when identified as such as required by law, the director of public safety, or local authorities, and motor vehicles when commandeered by a police officer.

(E) "Public safety vehicle" means any of the following:

(1) Ambulances, including private ambulance companies under contract to a municipal corporation, township, or county, and private ambulances and nontransport vehicles bearing license plates issued under section 4503.49 of the Revised Code;

(2) Motor vehicles used by public law enforcement officers or other persons sworn to enforce the criminal and traffic laws of the state;
(3) Any motor vehicle when properly identified as required by the director of public safety, when used in response to fire emergency calls or to provide emergency medical service to ill or injured persons, and when operated by a duly qualified person who is a member of a volunteer rescue service or a volunteer fire department, and who is on duty pursuant to the rules or directives of that service. The state fire marshal shall be designated by the director of public safety as the certifying agency for all public safety vehicles described in division (E)(3) of this section.

(4) Vehicles used by fire departments, including motor vehicles when used by volunteer fire fighters responding to emergency calls in the fire department service when identified as required by the director of public safety.

Any vehicle used to transport or provide emergency medical service to an ill or injured person, when certified as a public safety vehicle, shall be considered a public safety vehicle when transporting an ill or injured person to a hospital regardless of whether such vehicle has already passed a hospital.

(5) Vehicles used by the commercial motor vehicle safety enforcement unit for the enforcement of orders and rules of the public utilities commission as specified in section 5503.34 of the Revised Code.




§ 4511.03 Emergency vehicles to proceed cautiously past red or stop signal.

Text of Statute

The driver of any emergency vehicle or public safety vehicle, when responding to an emergency call, upon approaching a red or stop signal or any stop sign shall slow down as necessary for safety to traffic, but may proceed cautiously past such red or stop sign or signal with due regard for the safety of all persons using the street or highway.

§ 4511.04.1 Exceptions for emergency or public safety vehicle responding to emergency call.
Text of Statute
Sections 4511.12, 4511.13, 4511.131 [4511.13.1], 4511.132 [4511.13.2], 4511.14, 4511.15, 4511.202 [4511.20.2], 4511.21, 4511.211 [4511.21.1], 4511.22, 4511.23, 4511.25, 4511.26, 4511.27, 4511.28, 4511.29, 4511.30, 4511.31, 4511.32, 4511.33, 4511.34, 4511.35, 4511.36, 4511.37, 4511.38, 4511.39, 4511.40, 4511.41, 4511.42, 4511.43, 4511.431 [4511.43.1], 4511.432 [4511.43.2], 4511.44, 4511.441 [4511.44.1], 4511.57, 4511.58, 4511.59, 4511.60, 4511.61, 4511.62, 4511.66, 4511.68, 4511.681 [4511.68.1], and 4511.69 of the Revised Code do not apply to the driver of an emergency vehicle or public safety vehicle if the emergency vehicle or public safety vehicle is responding to an emergency call, is equipped with and displaying at least one flashing, rotating, or oscillating light visible under normal atmospheric conditions from a distance of five hundred feet to the front of the vehicle and if the driver of the vehicle is giving an audible signal by siren, exhaust whistle, or bell. This section does not relieve the driver of an emergency vehicle or public safety vehicle from the duty to drive with due regard for the safety of all persons and property upon the highway.


§ 4511.21.3 Duties upon approaching stationary public safety vehicle displaying emergency light.

Text of Statute

(A) The driver of a motor vehicle, upon approaching a stationary public safety vehicle that is displaying a flashing red light, flashing combination red and white light, oscillating or rotating red light, oscillating or rotating combination red and white light, flashing blue light, flashing combination blue and white light, oscillating or rotating blue light, or oscillating or rotating combination blue and white light, shall do either of the following:

(1) If the driver of the motor vehicle is traveling on a highway that consists of at least two lanes that carry traffic in the same direction of travel as that of the driver's motor vehicle, the driver shall proceed with due caution and, if possible and with due regard to the road, weather, and traffic conditions, shall change lanes into a lane that is not adjacent to that of the stationary public safety vehicle.

(2) If the driver is not traveling on a highway of a type described in division (A)(1) of this section, or if the driver is traveling on a highway of that type but it is not possible to change lanes or if to do so would be unsafe, the driver shall proceed with due caution, reduce the speed of the motor vehicle, and maintain a safe speed for the road, weather, and traffic conditions.

(B) This section does not relieve the driver of a public safety vehicle from the duty to drive with due regard for the safety of all persons and property upon the highway.

(C) No person shall fail to drive a motor vehicle in compliance with division (A)(1) or (2) of this section when so required by division (A) of this section.

(D) As used in this section, "public safety vehicle" has the same meaning as in section 4511.01 of the Revised Code.

§ 4511.24 Emergency vehicles excepted from speed limitations.

Text of Statute

The prima-facie speed limitations set forth in section 4511.21 of the Revised Code do not apply to emergency vehicles or public safety vehicles when they are responding to emergency calls and are equipped with and displaying at least one flashing, rotating, or oscillating light visible under normal atmospheric conditions from a distance of five hundred feet to the front of the vehicle and when the drivers thereof sound audible signals by bell, siren, or exhaust whistle. This section does not relieve the driver of an emergency vehicle or public safety vehicle from the duty to drive with due regard for the safety of all persons using the street or highway.

§ 4511.45 Right-of-way of public safety or coroner's vehicle.

Text of Statute

(A)(1) Upon the approach of a public safety vehicle equipped with at least one flashing, rotating or oscillating light visible under normal atmospheric conditions from a distance of five hundred feet to the front of the vehicle and the driver is giving an audible signal by siren, exhaust whistle, or bell, no driver of any other vehicle shall fail to yield the right-of-way, immediately drive to a position parallel to, and as close as possible to, the right edge or curb of the highway clear of any intersection, and stop and remain in that position until the public safety vehicle has passed, except when otherwise directed by a police officer.

(B) This section does not relieve the driver of a public safety vehicle from the duty to drive with due regard for the safety of all persons and property upon the highway.


http://www.wtfd.net/orc4511.html

I am certain there are some OHP officers on the boards that can better answer your query. Better yet, why don't you go to your nearest office of the OHP and ask them directly?