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Watchman
02-23-2002, 11:16 PM
Ive noticed here on this forum that alot of people are running red lights. Here in Arkansas only the Fire Depts. and Ambulances run red lights. Is this a state mandated thing ? Or do the high population centers do their own thing ?

Any opinions on which color appears to be more effective ?

I've seen a few states that run one red/one blue also. Just wondered.

[ 02-23-2002: Message edited by: Watchman ]

JKT
02-23-2002, 11:47 PM
Texas runs Red/Blue combination on marked units, but unmarked can run a ref front-facing light (and usually has red/blue in the rear deck). It is mandated by the State (here) as to who can run what.

LE runs Red/Blue as do ambulances, who also have a white light facing front; Fire trucks run Reds, as do volunteer firemen.

I beleive this was the case the last time I checked.

Sig220Man
02-23-2002, 11:58 PM
Under California law, to be exempted from the rules of the road (and thus be protected from liability in case of a crash), the driver of an "authorized emergency vehicle" must display a continuously lighted red light to the front, among other things.

Here in California, only law enforcement vehicles may display blue lights in addition to the steady burning red light. However, any authorized emergency vehicle may display additional red or amber lighting.

Don
02-24-2002, 12:12 AM
I don't know when the blue lights came into being for emergency vehicles. I know that when I was growing up here in Colorado, the only things with blue lights on them were snow plows. Not so any more.

I understand that for some type of color blindness, the blue lights stand out better then the red ones do. However I still think the "wig-wag" head lights, in combination with the other emergency lights moves traffic out of the way a little better.

Metro174
02-24-2002, 06:33 AM
Here in Maryland most departments run a red blue combination. One notable exception is Anne Arundel County which uses only blue. State law states that police can use red,blue or both. fire and medics can use only red.

kiser401
02-24-2002, 06:51 AM
My area-

Blue. Period. I do know of one agency that is "public safety" (fire and police) and runs 1 red and 1 blue.

I know it's a regional thing, and you guys who have always lived in areas with red lights will feel the same about them, but I can't imagine thinking "police" when I see a red light come over the hill behind me at night.

All fire runs red here, and all DOT/Highway Contractors/etc. run amber.

SpecOpsWarrior
02-24-2002, 07:42 AM
Here it's blue, and thats on the books. Fire and EMS all run red.

I read a study once about emergency lighting, it basically said that red was most visible during daylight hours, and blue was most visible at night, and they surmised that the red/blue combo was the most effective form of emergency lighting.

wesconn207
02-24-2002, 08:41 AM
We, as with most PD's in this area, run the red/blue combination. There are a few cruisers using the red/blue/orange combo.

PeteBroccolo
02-24-2002, 02:03 PM
In Saskatchewan, the regulations under the Highway Traffic Act (a Provincial (state) law) states that only the following vehicles may, and must, use the following lights:
- Police: red and blue;
- Fire vehicles and apparatus: red;
- Ambulance and other "designated emergency vehicles": red and white.

"Designated Emergency Vehicles" are any that a municipality gets written permission for, but does NOT include full-time or volunteer firefighter's personal vehicles.

An operator of such a vehicle, when using the lights and siren equipment, does have the right of way and is allowed to disregard MOST traffic laws EXCEPT they MUST still drive with due caution when entering intersections and/or travelling against traffic lights, as well as have due regard for road, weather and traffic conditions.

Provincial legislation is a Summary Conviction (I guess that would relate to midemeanour) but NOT a Criminal offence. Criminal legislation is any law passed by the Federal Government, and the main Federal legislation is the Criminal Code, which has no regulations regarding equipment to be used by emergency vehicles, but does legislate Dangerous Driving, Criminal Negligence and Obstruction of a Peace Officer, amongst many other sections, any or all of which could apply in a police pursuit situation against the LEO/PO and/or civilians involved.

txinvestigator1
02-24-2002, 05:28 PM
In TX, only authorized emergency vehicles can display a red or blue light to the front.

Ray
02-24-2002, 07:58 PM
There are several agencies in NC that run a red/blue combination. Originally LE had red lights in the south. For some reason, what I dont know someone came up with the color blue for LE.

Now many agencies are going to combinations red/blue/clear and amber to the rear. Studies have shown red is seen easier in the day and blue better at night. The clear lights are to break up those colors and add additional visibility. Amber to the rear realy increased visibility of lights and I understand OSHA may soon require it.

Ksfuzz
02-24-2002, 10:08 PM
I'd welcome a new testing of the light colors with modern day lighting equipment. With these new super bright halogen or strobe lights, blue is much easier to see in day or night time.

Unfortunately here in Kansas any emergency vehicle or tow truck can have red and blue lights.

cajuncop
02-24-2002, 10:22 PM
Our agency uses strictly blue. The Parish/County and the State also uses all blue.

Our fire use all red, and our EMS uses red/white.

Amber is used by tow trucks, and other public vehicles.

[ 02-24-2002: Message edited by: cajuncop ]

Watchman
02-25-2002, 12:13 AM
"Unfortunately here in Kansas any emergency vehicle or tow truck can have red and blue lights."

WOW...Ive never heard of that before. A TOW truck with red or blue lights ? Seems like it could get confusing. I've never seen anything but amber on tow trucks or highway vehicles.

Watchman
02-25-2002, 12:18 AM
BTW...does anybody in here ever get a headache when they are working a wreck and several cars have their lights operating ? Short term isnt bad, but after a half hour or so it starts messing with my eyes or something.

Those lights popping all over the place seem to get on my nerves after awhile. Anybody else ever experience that ?

klar
02-25-2002, 01:17 AM
I ran red and blues in the military the reasoning for the combo at that time was that red lights were easier to see from a distance in the daylight while blue lights were easier to see in the distance at night. Thus you were able to provide more of a safety cushion (if the driver is paying attention) to those who are approaching the traffic stop or other situation that you are in. Of course that is a real big IF. I know the officers here have gone over to the red/blue combo and I think it looks nice.

Klar

Hightower
02-25-2002, 05:50 AM
In MN, state law mandates the emergency lighting colors. Any and all emergency vehicles can have only red to the front, we can also supplement the reds with white. We can have red, amber, and blue to the rear. The only vehicles allowed to have blue lights to the front are snowplows.

Hightower

comcen
02-25-2002, 11:15 AM
In New York State, an authorized emergency vehicle can have at least one flashing red or white light.

In New York State, a blue light is used by Volunteer firefighters responding in their POV's to the scene of a Fire call.

This is by statute.

Magicop
02-25-2002, 03:21 PM
In Ohio, state law mandates the colors. Fire and ambulances can run red or red and white. Police must use all blue, a combination of red and blue, all red, or a combination of red, blue, and white. Blue is ONLY for police vehicles here. Highway workers, wreckers, snowplows (public and private), utility vehicles, funeral escorts, etc., can only use amber. Some private security firms use green, but that's not mandated by law.

Ksfuzz
02-26-2002, 10:32 AM
comcen,

I was surfing through some websites the other day and noticed something I thought was quite interesting, expecially since emergency vehicles are only supposed to use red or red/white in New York.

Yonkers PD uses red and blue lightbars. Any idea how they manage to do that? Just curious.

jeeper
02-26-2002, 01:48 PM
Wisconsin mandates red on the driver's side of LE vehicles while blue must be on the passenger side. The above is mandated by statute. State law also mandates what colors can be used for what, for instance clear "intersection" lights on a light bar are supposed to be prohibited. It seems that clear is only used for "take down or alley" lights, not as a warning color for LE uses. Amber is used facing to the rear only and mostly for directional use, ie arrow sticks.


Fire/Ems runs red/clear all around and amber as additional to the rear. Green is used on the FD's command vehicles only as a traditional thing in the fire service. Volunteers are allowed red or clear as well as sirens but is more or less restricted by policy of respective departments


Tow trucks must run red and/or amber. NO blue or clear.


Private security runs amber/clear/green/and red, again NO blue.

PartTimer
02-26-2002, 01:59 PM
Originally posted by Magicop:
<STRONG>In Ohio, state law mandates the colors. Fire and ambulances can run red or red and white. Police must use all blue, a combination of red and blue, all red, or a combination of red, blue, and white. Blue is ONLY for police vehicles here. Highway workers, wreckers, snowplows (public and private), utility vehicles, funeral escorts, etc., can only use amber. Some private security firms use green, but that's not mandated by law.</STRONG>
A story that I had once heard was the blue was reserved for "armed" people, ie police. Did you ever here of that?
PS I saw Whip a little while ago.

Magicop
02-26-2002, 07:50 PM
Originally posted by PartTimer:
<STRONG>
A story that I had once heard was the blue was reserved for "armed" people, ie police. Did you ever here of that?
PS I saw Whip a little while ago.</STRONG>

Never heard of that...only what's in the ORC...blue for police (ie, police, sheriff, etc.).

Whip's mom passed away a little while ago. Great lady...a real shame. John, Bill, and Pattie took it hard...especially John.

Joseph
02-27-2002, 08:34 PM
In New Orleans things can't be easy. It use to be the police had blue, ambulances,emergency vehicles used red tow trucks used yellow. We then had a series of rapes by a person pulling over women in an unmarked unit using a blue light. Instead of just trying to catch the rapist in the mean time which makes no sense they changed the law for police units to change to red lights. Like a rapists can't go out and get a red light and do the same thing. Now we use red or a combination of red and blue on the unmarked units. Red ,Blue and clear together on the marked units.

comcen
02-27-2002, 08:53 PM
ksfuzz,

I'm guessing they just went ahead and did what they wanted to. I know of a department in Orange County, NY that attempted to do that and the local Volunteer Fire Companies went CRAZY :eek:. They complained to anyone that'd listen to 'em.

Within days the local politico's said, "Chief, get those blue lights off our police cars."

The Chief replied, "Yes sir," and that was the end.

Oh, Volunteer ambulance crew responding to their bay use green lights.

I've gotta post updates to my VTL, I'll bring it home and try to quote those subsections verbatim.

occiferdave
02-27-2002, 08:59 PM
Here in California, authorized emergency vehicles must display one steady red light to the front.

EXCEPT West Hollywood which is staffed by Los Angeles Sheriff's. They display a "rainbow" of colors to support the gay community.

jeffroalpha700
03-05-2002, 02:24 AM
I don't know when the blue lights came into being for emergency vehicles. I know that when I was growing up here in Colorado, the only things with blue lights on them were snow plows. Not so any more.

That has always bothered me here in Colorado. You can never tell what is what. Plows have a blue and amber (now the new ones seem to be all amber), fire trucks have blue, red, amber, and clear (front only), same with ambulences, and same with police cars. The cop cars usually have amber rear flashers. I dislike it. They overpower the blue and red lights (especially on halogen bars) and it makes it easy to mistake as a road crew vehicle.

I grew up in Wisconsin and think they have a much better system. Fire trucks - red. Ambulences - red. Law enforcement vehicles - red and blue (I lived there before arrow sticks were popular). Tow trucks - red and amber. (I know, Jeeper already mentioned this.)

SO19JUD
03-05-2002, 04:15 PM
All blue lights here in the UK.....for all emergency vehicles everywhere.
It all started in 1889 when the first police stations like Bow St in London had a blue lamp put outside to distinguish it as a police building......then when police cars came along years later.....hey presto....a blue lamp on top.... This was followed by Fire and Ambulance services when they got mechanical vehicles....... :)

Nikon
03-10-2002, 11:31 PM
Pennsylvania also has laws on who runs with what color. The only reason I know this is because the newspaper ran a story about it a couple of years ago. I know most police cruisers run with red and blue, but I think they can also run with just red grill lights for unmarked cars. The rest from what I can remember is...

Police-Red/blue combo
Ambulance/Fire-Red
Volunteer Fire Fighters-Blue
Volunteer Chief and Asst. Chief-Red

Other vehicles such as, snow plows, construction vehicles, street sweeper and tow trucks run amber.

jpa
03-13-2002, 06:13 PM
IL law is weird on this topic. Ambulances/FD apparatus have white, red, green, blue lights. Construction and tow trucks have amber. Police cars have red and blue EXCEPT in "a municipality with a population over 1,000,000 in Cook county" (read: Chicago) which has to have blue or blue/white. Volunteer FF authorized to have blue or blue/white. very odd, but those are the basic combinations.

720
03-17-2002, 02:04 AM
Here, in Okla. is how it goes...

Red/Blue: Law Enforcement with some fire and EMS. And what is really new, tow vehicles can use red/blue. I don't understand it.

Red: Fire

EMS: Varies.

Amber: Construction, but some also use some clear and blue to supplement the amber.

Bravo8
03-18-2002, 03:50 AM
Nikon is correct.....

If interested in the entire text of the law, check out http://members.aol.com/StatutesP3/75.Cp.45D.html

Nikon, you're from Jim Thorpe, huh? I live in Stroudsburg.

[ 03-18-2002: Message edited by: Bravo8 ]

sub-inspector
03-18-2002, 06:56 AM
My two paisa..
In India it is generally :-
Red Lights for both cops and Fire Brigade (even though both these organisations came into being, under British rule)
Ambulance and Rescue vehicles: Blue
Flying Squads (police vehicles operating as quick response teams in cities): Blue and Red

Police vehicles which generally authroised for training camps, Reserve Police camps do not have any emergency lights or siren.

Silent_Bob
03-19-2002, 08:19 AM
Victoria, Australia

Police: Red/Blue
Fire: Red/ Blue
Ambulance Service:
Actual Ambulance: 1 Red/ 1 Blue
Ambulance Sedan: 2 Red/ 1 Blue
State Emergency Service: Red/ Blue
Road Safety Officers: 2 Purple

Road Safety Officers have pretty much the same powers as Police relating to traffic esp. reguarding trucks. Pretty much anybody can use amber lights but for them to be permenintly mounted on your car you need a permit. I know that some Dr's use green lights but don't thinnk it is covered by law. Vehicles displaying red and blues lights are exempt from all traffic laws except for where road maintance crews are working etc.

Watchman
03-19-2002, 10:14 PM
Interesting...

It seems like the majority here on this forum run a red/blue combination.

Will there ever be a national standard someday ? It seems like it might be a logical thing to do the way things are going.

tcsd1236
03-20-2002, 12:06 AM
Police vehicles in NYS have red lights; blue is for firefighters and green is for private EMS personnel.