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  1. #1
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    Parking lights at night?

    I am curious to know if it is legal for officers to sit on the side on the road at night with no lights on. Lately it seems as though every cruiser I see on the side of the road has there lights off trying to catch speeders.

  2. #2
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    Why would any think that is illegal?

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    Is this a serious question???


    I am a police officer, and if I think that it is what I need to do to prevent speeders, or enforce speeding laws then I will do that. Provided that I am not a road hazard. You are also assuming that catching speeders is the only enforcement the officer is doing.

    It kills me when people think that they know exactly what I am doing in my squad when I am sitting there. I might be looking for a stolen car that just came over dispatch and it is supposed to be coming down the road I am on. You dont know what I am doing, and frankly, you dont have to know.

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    "I am curious to know if it is legal for officers to sit on the side on the road at night with no lights on..."

    But of course. Why wouldn't they be able to do so?


    "...Lately it seems as though every cruiser I see on the side of the road has there lights off trying to catch speeders."

    So? They are paid to enforce the law. If you are driving at a legal speed you have nothing to fear. Just make certain you follow the law and don't worry about what the officers are doing to make certain you do!!!!
    Be courteous to all, but intimate with few, and let those few be well tried before you give them your confidence!

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    I am not trying to catch speeders when I do that. I'm trying to take a nap after eating my donuts.


    I hear a saucer of cream calling my name....


    I don't agree with your opinion, but I respect its straightforwardness in terms of wrongness.

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    Hey Smurfette is that Officer in thelink from your Department?
    I'm an Explorer now and ready for action!!!!!!!

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    I was just curious I wasn't saying I was against it. Sometimes it just seems that they are putting themselves in danger by doing it. I recently saw an officer on a blind corner with his lights off in a snow storm and it just seemed like it was an accident waiting to happen.

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    We're just teasing you , Alex...okay, well I was...I won't speak for others...LOL. And yes, given that scenario, that does seem a little dangerous.


    I don't agree with your opinion, but I respect its straightforwardness in terms of wrongness.

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    Quote Originally Posted by finnalyacop05
    You dont know what I am doing, and frankly, you dont have to know.

    LOL!!! I Love it..my thoughts exactly...I get a laugh when Im doing something weather important or unimportant and people creep up..for example...I had a guy trapped in an elevator the other day so I was waiting for the elevator man to arrive... I then notice some guy slowly creeping closer and closer.. he is milling around... putting up a front..reading stuff on the walls.. and finally he gets up enough nerve, hoping for the news of the century and asks "whats going on, did something happen"? "Is everything OK"? Skip the covert stuff.. you look stupid. If it is something you need to be aware of I will inform you otherwise everything is cool. Go back home to your scanner scanner hawk.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by alex13188
    I was just curious I wasn't saying I was against it. Sometimes it just seems that they are putting themselves in danger by doing it. I recently saw an officer on a blind corner with his lights off in a snow storm and it just seemed like it was an accident waiting to happen.

    It wouldn't be if people slowed the @%$! down when approaching a blind curve in a snow storm. Not to mention if the car is sitting on the side of the road he shouldn't be hit by anyone.


    TGY
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    Quote Originally Posted by alex13188
    I was just curious I wasn't saying I was against it. Sometimes it just seems that they are putting themselves in danger by doing it. I recently saw an officer on a blind corner with his lights off in a snow storm and it just seemed like it was an accident waiting to happen.
    Seriously doubt the cop was running radar in those conditions. Could have been doing any number of other things, but chasing speed in a snow storm is not the kind of thing a rational cop is going to do.
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    Quote Originally Posted by alex13188
    I am curious to know if it is legal for officers to sit on the side on the road at night with no lights on. Lately it seems as though every cruiser I see on the side of the road has there lights off trying to catch speeders.
    If it wasn't legal do you really think the officer would have been doing it?

    Do you think that police officers are so eager to write tickets that we are willing to break the law to do so?

    Please feel free to apply the above logic to any other questions regarding the legality of any other activities you see the police engaged in.
    Cogito ergo summopere periculosus.

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    Ask yourself this question, could the officer cite you if you pulled over on the side of the road without impeding the flow of traffic and turned your lights off? No!!!!!
    If one man can make a difference, every man should.

  14. #14
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    See I have been hasseled by a police officer before for not having my parking lights on while on the side of the road. I was warming up my car outside my friends house, and an officer pulled over and told me that if my car is running on the side of the road I am required to have at least my parking lights on. Thats why I thought it was illegal.

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    I'm no guru when it comes to traffic but if your vehicle is parked along the curb or on the side of the road not causing a hazard I don't see the problem. What difference does it make if it is running or not providing you aren't parked in a no parking zone?

    Cops don't have to be seen first in order to do traffic enforcement. I occasionally get that on the side of the road. People don't like it when you run speed traps and hide behind things

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by alex13188
    See I have been hasseled by a police officer before for not having my parking lights on while on the side of the road. I was warming up my car outside my friends house, and an officer pulled over and told me that if my car is running on the side of the road I am required to have at least my parking lights on. Thats why I thought it was illegal.

    I seriously doubt that!!!! I am not familiar with Rhode Island Motor Vehicle laws but they should not be too different than other places in the nation. If your vehicle is LEGALLY parked or stopped at the side of the road or next to the curb, you do not have to have your parking lights on. That said, there are laws dealing with HAZARD LIGHTS in the event the stopped or parked vehicle is in such a location as to be a hazard to passing traffic.

    Here is the information for you. These are excerpts from the Rhode Island Vehicle Code:

    § 31-21-1 Stopping on traveled portion of open highway prohibited. – Upon any highway outside of a business or residence district, no person shall stop, park, or leave standing any vehicle, whether attended or unattended, upon the paved or main traveled part of the highway when it is practical to stop, park, or leave the vehicle off that part of the highway. In every event, an unobstructed width of the highway opposite a standing vehicle shall be left for the free passage of other vehicles, and a clear view of the stopped vehicle shall be available from a distance of two hundred feet (200') in each direction upon the highway.

    § 31-21-7 Parallel parking – Proximity to curb. – Except as otherwise provided in §§ 31-21-8 and 31-21-9, every vehicle stopped or parked upon a roadway where there are adjacent curbs shall be stopped or parked with the right-hand wheels of the vehicle parallel to and within twelve inches (12") of the right-hand curb.

    § 31-24-27 Display of lighted lamps required. – At all times specified in § 31-24-1, at least two (2) lighted lamps shall be displayed one on each side at the front of every motor vehicle other than a motorcycle or motor-driven cycle, except when the vehicle is parked subject to the regulations governing lights on parked vehicles. Violations of this section are subject to fines enumerated in § 31-41.1-4.

    § 31-24-32 Vehicles parked on lighted highways. – Whenever a vehicle is lawfully parked upon a street or highway during the hours between one-half ( 1/2) hour after sunset and one-half ( 1/2) hour before sunrise, and in the event there is sufficient light to reveal any person or object within a distance of five hundred feet (500') upon the street or highway no lights need be displayed upon the parked vehicle. Violations of this section are subject to fines enumerated in § 31-41.1-4.

    31-24-33 Vehicles stopped on unlighted highways. – (a) Whenever a vehicle is parked or stopped upon a roadway or shoulder adjacent to it, whether attended or unattended, during the hours between one-half ( 1/2) hour after sunset and one-half ( 1/2) hour before sunrise, and there is not sufficient light to reveal any person or object within a distance of five hundred feet (500') upon the highway, the vehicle so parked or stopped shall be equipped with one or more lamps meeting the following requirements:

    (1) At least one lamp shall display a white or amber light visible from a distance of five hundred feet (500') to the front of the vehicle;

    (2) The same lamp or at least one (1) other lamp shall display a red light visible from a distance of five hundred feet (500') to the rear of the vehicle; and

    (3) The location of the lamp or lamps shall always be such that at least one lamp or combination of lamps meeting the requirements of this section is installed as near as practicable to the side of the vehicle which is closest to passing traffic.

    (b) The provisions of subsection (a) of this section shall not apply to a motor-driven cycle.

    (c) Violations of this section are subject to fines enumerated in § 31-41.1-4.

    And, to help you in the future, here is the RHODE ISLAND motor vehicle laws site:

    http://www.rilin.state.ri.us/Statute...1-24/INDEX.HTM
    Last edited by SgtCHP; 02-20-2007 at 05:25 PM.
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  17. #17
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    Sounds like a question from a guy who received a speeding ticket from an officer on a blind corner with his lights off in a snow storm.

    Just pay it.

  18. #18
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    I love this question... I have been asked this question so many times I've lost count... I've had traffic violators attempt to use this as a defense in traffic court and have had several complaints called in claiming "Entrapment"...

    To set the record straight... It is a myth that was originated several years back by whom is unknown. The myth was that an Officer in a marked patrol unit had to be visible,. ie,. parking lights on, not hiding behind brush, signs, trees, buildings, etc,. in order to effectively make a traffic stop... It has traveled the states, especially Florida for many of years but has always, and I repeat, always been false...

    If you are violating traffic laws no matter what the offense is, we do not have to be in your plain view to take action...

    It's almost like the, "You can't follow me outside of your jurisdiction to write me a citation for speeding..." God I love myths....

  19. #19
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    In Florida, it kinda depends WHERE on the side of the road you are. If you're well off the road, hiding up under a billboard or something (cliche, I know) thats different that sitting on the actual shoulder of the road, where it is illegal for ANYONE to stop or stand, with some exceptions. Sitting with lights off right on the shoulder to run radar might well be a violation of the traffic statutes, depending on the circumstances.

    I did have a friend just the other day though try to argue that it is entrapment to sit in a parkinglot across from a bar and wait for the drunks to leave at night. He didn't believe me when I tried to convince him otherwise. Its just something he's heard so much he accepts it as true. The same can go for this.
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by GatorPD
    I did have a friend just the other day though try to argue that it is entrapment to sit in a parkinglot across from a bar and wait for the drunks to leave at night. He didn't believe me when I tried to convince him otherwise. Its just something he's heard so much he accepts it as true. The same can go for this.
    The entrapment maneuver… LOL I remember a stop involving littering. The car behind me was throwing their Burger King trash out of the window. I pulled over, flagged them around, and stopped them. The driver said that was entrapment.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by alex13188
    I am curious to know if it is legal for officers to sit on the side on the road at night with no lights on. Lately it seems as though every cruiser I see on the side of the road has there lights off trying to catch speeders.

    I have seen cops working speeders with all their lights on (including Light bar) while waiting for a tow. He still pulled over speeders. Lights don't make a bit of deference. People still speed.


  22. #22
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    I wasnt looking to start an argument, just simply to get an answer to a harmless question.

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    The only reason I could think of for an officer on the side of the road being required to have his/her parking lights on would be if it's a department policy for the safety of the officer.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by alex13188 View Post
    I wasnt looking to start an argument, just simply to get an answer to a harmless question.
    Yes... It's legal.

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    The last time I sat on the side of the road with my lights off, I was waiting for a tow for my b/o vehicle...

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