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  1. #1
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    Emergency Lighting in personal vehicle for Emergency Management volunteers IL

    Hello, I have a question about my vehicle and lighting, I have been in Emergency Management for over 20 years, I recently purchased a 2006 Crown Victoria, my department is volunteer so we can use all the vehicles we can get, I have corner stobes which are clear, I have Blue/White led's in the grille, I have stobes in my tail lights and backup lights, and I recently added a LED arrowstick on the rear deck, I also have multiple 2 way radios, which I have a letter of authorization from our department regard communication equipment, according to the IL vehicle statue volunteer members are allowed blue in combination with white for emergency management. My question is am I breaking any laws and why do I get some pretty serious stares from law enforcement officers, I work a full time job in Chicago where they use blue for law enforcement, I DO NOT respond using lights I only use them with my department village limits I carry a commision card and a village ID for OEM.

    Thank you

    Newcomer
    Last edited by newcomer2438; 09-19-2007 at 05:40 PM.

  2. #2
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    Not sure about in IL, but in Tx, Your private vehicle used for Emergency Management is not listed as an authorized emergency vehicle.

    Remember that there is a lot of liability in driving with your “woo woo” on. If you get into an accident or cause one, you will be sued down to your socks.. Most issuances will not cover you if you’re breaking Traffic laws with negligence. You’re essentially like a wrecker with out the extra coverage.

    § 547.702. ADDITIONAL EQUIPMENT REQUIREMENTS FOR
    AUTHORIZED EMERGENCY[0] VEHICLES[0]. (a) An authorized emergency[0]
    vehicle[0] may be equipped with a siren, exhaust whistle, or bell:
    (1) of a type approved by the department; and
    (2) that emits a sound audible under normal conditions
    at a distance of at least 500 feet.
    (b) The operator of an authorized emergency[0] vehicle[0] shall
    use the siren, whistle, or bell when necessary to warn other vehicle[0]
    operators or pedestrians of the approach of the emergency[0] vehicle[0].
    (c) Except as provided by this section, an authorized
    emergency[0] vehicle[0] shall be equipped with signal lamps that:
    (1) are mounted as high and as widely spaced laterally
    as practicable;
    (2) display four alternately flashing red lights, two
    located on the front at the same level and two located on the rear at
    the same level; and
    (3) emit a light visible at a distance of 500 feet in
    normal sunlight.
    (d) A private vehicle[0] operated by a volunteer firefighter
    responding to a fire alarm or a medical emergency[0] may, but is not
    required to, be equipped with signal lamps that comply with the
    requirements of Subsection (c).
    (e) A private vehicle[0] operated by a volunteer firefighter
    responding to a fire alarm or a medical emergency[0] may be equipped
    with a signal lamp that is temporarily attached to the vehicle[0] roof
    and flashes a red light visible at a distance of at least 500 feet in
    normal sunlight.
    (f) A police vehicle[0] may, but is not required to, be
    equipped with signal lamps that comply with Subsection (c).
    "An officer has the confidence to stand alone, the courage to make tough decisions, and the compassion to listen to the needs of others. He does not set out to be a leader, but becomes one by the quality of his actions and the integrity of his intent."

  3. #3
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    I DO NOT respond with lights on, I only activate them when approaching the scene of the call to do traffic.

  4. #4
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    Let me get this straight, you bought a well-known police vehicle (crown vic), equipped it with lights, some of which were blue, and you only use them for traffic control at emergency scenes? Isn't that what the police are there for?

    Are you authorized at all to respond "emergency traffic" in your area? If so, what are the guidlines that dictate an emergency response for OEM personnel?
    I'm 10-8 like a shark in a sea of crime..

  5. #5
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    we respond mainly for all box alarms for FD , we also assist police with scene control, traffic, storm duty, any emergency in town that may happen we relieve them so they can hit the streets again,

  6. #6
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    Newcomer,

    I'm trying to understand your post. You state you have been in "Emergency Management" for over 20 yrs. But you also state your "Department" is volunteer and you have credentials for your lights/radios.

    My questions is this...are you in "Emergency Management" or are you with a Fire Department/EMS/Rescue Squad?

    Being in an FD/EMS/Rescue capacity, and authorized by law/department policy, you are fine. You WILL get some looks because there are a lot of wannabe's out there. Once they know you, or see you a lot...and you are not breaking laws...it'll get better.

    Being in "Emergency Management" here in Texas DOES NOT qualify you to have lights/radios in your POV... Like AKA=Cruz said.

    Another thing...in Texas, and other places i'm sure, only a police officer (or peace officer if you will) is allowed to legally direct/re-direct traffic. If you do not qualify to do that, I would not do it. You need to check your legal do's and don'ts on that issue if you are taking over police officer's duties so they can 'return to hit the streets'.

    My .02
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  7. #7
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    Yes I believe the laws in IL are different, we used to be ESDA, but was changed to OEM I am authorized in our village limits to direct or re - direct traffic, my concern is not in our village but in the villages outside of there, and it does state in the IL code book that a volunteer of an emergency management dept is allowed blue in conjuction with white.

  8. #8
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    oops........
    Last edited by Petergriffin; 09-20-2007 at 04:33 AM.

  9. #9
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    (sorry for posting here)
    Last edited by Petergriffin; 09-20-2007 at 04:30 AM.

  10. #10
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    I'll post what he couldnt since he brought up what most of us were thinking...

    You have been in Emergency Management for 20 years and dont know what you can and can't do? What is Emergency Management in your village? In most places EM is an office that comes up with plans to respond to incidents, usually natural disasters.

    What are your duties that you need lights at all? Just traffic control? For that amber lights are more than enough. But to purchase a crown vic and put blue lights in it? Hell you put a lot of lights in it! If you cant respond from anywhere why do you need to have any of this?

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    I apologize to all for posting this subject, I have received nothing but negativity and was only looking for an answer directed to IL law

    Again my apologies

    N

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by newcomer2438 View Post
    I apologize to all for posting this subject, I have received nothing but negativity and was only looking for an answer directed to IL law

    Again my apologies

    N
    Reading the answers I did not see anything negative and sorry that you feel that way. But, it is a touchy subject. There are a lot of wanabees out their and it make it harder for the real LEOs to do our jobs. Like when someone will not yield to an emergency vehicle because they didn’t think it was real.

    And as far as directing traffic in TX only Law Enforcement and crossing guards in the function of their duties may do so. Most officers don’t like to do traffic control because of how dangerous it is, but we have been trained to do so and we have the authority to do so.

    I would check with your state to see what is legal and what authority you have. Just because you can get by buying stuff from a civilian store does not make it legal to use or have. Its a liability issues that you do not want have on your shoulders.

    By the way, we tend to call a Crown Vics’ with no marking a “Home Invasion Kits”
    Last edited by AKA=Cruz; 09-20-2007 at 11:41 AM.
    "An officer has the confidence to stand alone, the courage to make tough decisions, and the compassion to listen to the needs of others. He does not set out to be a leader, but becomes one by the quality of his actions and the integrity of his intent."

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by newcomer2438 View Post
    I apologize to all for posting this subject, I have received nothing but negativity and was only looking for an answer directed to IL law

    Again my apologies

    N
    You're being treated with skepticism because what you are saying doesn't make a lot of sense to a few folks.

    Generally speaking, an Emergency Manager is someone who crafts intricate disaster and emergency response plans for a city or county. Those plans coordinate the activities of various departments within the city or county he works for with multiple city, county, state and federal agencies during major incidents. OTOH, the traffic directing and crowd control duties you describe are normally provided by police or reserve police officers and not an Emergency Manager (at least as they are known to most law enforcement officers). So, a lot of red flags are being raised here when you say when you say you are a "voluntary emergency manager" whose duties are merely directing traffic, and even though you have been doing this for 20 years, you don't know if it is legal to have emergency lights on your personally owned car. It's not that you're getting negative responses. It's just that a few folks are questioning whether you are really what you say you are.

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    Thank you for all your respnses, there is obviously different definitions in different states, our job starts as a support team for our village, we do anything and everything in conjuction with police, fire, even public works along with maintaning a didster plan, we have a command vehicle that serves as communication central for our division which is 18 local communities, we have a rehab bus which also serves our community, we automatically respond on all box alarms with the FD and respond to all 211 division wide, we do everything from communications to traffic, though we are not paid we feel we put in numerous hours away from our families to assist in whatever means we can, as far as wannabe's I did not buy a vehicle to impersonate I bought this vehicle because I got it from an auction with low miles and we all know these cars last forever. You won't find me driving above the speed limit I drive at the speed limit. I know in the past that people who have been caught impersenating has ruined it for the rest of us. I apologize if I seem aggrivated but I put in 50 hours at my full time job and volunteer another 20 to 35 hours a week, so being compared to a wannabee just doesn't do it for me. I guess you can consider us, OEM, ESDA, and RESCUE Thanks to everyone.

  15. #15
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    I can't vouch for other states, but I know at least in Florida, you are committing a crime the instant you cross the state line. You are not allowed to even HAVE blue lights in your car here, unless its an authorized police emergency vehicle (police are blue in this state). They don't care that blue = something else in your state.

    I am sure there are a lot of states that are the same way, so just be careful.

    Honestly, if all you are doing is traffic when you get on scene, there's no reason you need blue. take them out and stick to white / yellow. People will see you just fine and you'll accomplish the same thing, and avoid any possible incident involving the light color.
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    Newcomer, I will look this up for you tonight when I get to work. I am sure I could search the internet for IVC book in IL (IVC Illinois Vehicle Code)but I will check mine at work and assuming no one else has given you an answer I will get back to you as soon as I can. I know exactly what ESDA is and now as you say was. I am going to give you the benefit of the doubt and assume for some reason that this is a serious question and you dont know. Oh and what part of IL are you in?
    "People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf."

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  17. #17
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    Thank you that would be much appreciated, I am in western cook county and regards to ESDA I think the village changed it after 9/11 and we are now Emergency Management Agency. I don't know that makes a difference on the subject.

    Thank you
    NC

  18. #18
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    Thank you for the info in regards to leaving the state, I wouldn't take this vehicle out of state. In regards to the colors in my experience when you are trying to control a major traffic incident people disregard amber and just think thet are in a contruction zone and go on through.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by newcomer2438 View Post
    Thank you for the info in regards to leaving the state, I wouldn't take this vehicle out of state. In regards to the colors in my experience when you are trying to control a major traffic incident people disregard amber and just think thet are in a contruction zone and go on through.
    News for you Newcomer, people disregard blue and red lights at traffic incident too…I can tell you I have at least 2 per for every half hour of traffic control I do try to drive through a scene.
    1. Because this is the only way they know.
    2. Because the are in a hurry
    3. They are drunk
    4. They were on the phone.
    5. They were putting makeup on.
    6. They know Officer ________.
    7. They thought the know the car accident victim
    8. They were too busy getting rid of their dope.
    "An officer has the confidence to stand alone, the courage to make tough decisions, and the compassion to listen to the needs of others. He does not set out to be a leader, but becomes one by the quality of his actions and the integrity of his intent."

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by newcomer2438 View Post
    Thank you for all your respnses, there is obviously different definitions in different states, our job starts as a support team for our village, we do anything and everything in conjuction with police, fire, even public works along with maintaning a didster plan, we have a command vehicle that serves as communication central for our division which is 18 local communities, we have a rehab bus which also serves our community, we automatically respond on all box alarms with the FD and respond to all 211 division wide, we do everything from communications to traffic, though we are not paid we feel we put in numerous hours away from our families to assist in whatever means we can, as far as wannabe's I did not buy a vehicle to impersonate I bought this vehicle because I got it from an auction with low miles and we all know these cars last forever. You won't find me driving above the speed limit I drive at the speed limit. I know in the past that people who have been caught impersenating has ruined it for the rest of us. I apologize if I seem aggrivated but I put in 50 hours at my full time job and volunteer another 20 to 35 hours a week, so being compared to a wannabee just doesn't do it for me. I guess you can consider us, OEM, ESDA, and RESCUE Thanks to everyone.
    Thanks for clarifying things for us. We don't have anything like that here in Southern California, so it's always nice to learn about how things work in other parts of the country. Sorry I can't help regarding your state's laws on emergency lighting.

  21. #21
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    I am fom IL let me see if I can help!
    Brewster
    "The world is a dangerous place. Not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing!" - Albert Einstein

  22. #22
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    All PO's up here are very skeptical of any1 other than PO's and FD's having emergency equipment in ur vehicle..........I understand u respond out during storms and probably festivals to assist with traffic, but PO's only like to see other PO's and FD's with emergency equipment in their vehicle.......No techniquely ur not in violation of the IVC, but I wouldn't drive that thing into Chicago....Ever....Especically unarmed...First of all u don't want to be mistaken for a cop in Chicago....Second, Chicago coppers r pretty fanatical about being coppers!!!! They r a great bunch of guys and gals and they do their very tough job very well, but if ur not blue.....look out!!!
    Brewster
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  23. #23
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    Public Act 93-0513

    HB0136 Enrolled LRB093 03357 DRH 03375 b

    AN ACT in relation to vehicles.

    Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois,
    represented in the General Assembly:

    Section 5. The Illinois Vehicle Code is amended by
    changing Section 12-609 as follows:

    (625 ILCS 5/12-609) (from Ch. 95 1/2, par. 12-609)
    Sec. 12-609. (a) No official or employee of the State,
    or any political subdivision thereof, any county,
    municipality, or local authority, and no owner or employee of
    any new vehicle dealer, used vehicle dealer, or vehicle
    auctioneer shall sell, trade or otherwise dispose of any
    motor vehicle bearing equipment, markings, or other indicia
    of police authority unless, prior to delivery of the vehicle,
    the equipment and markings have been sufficiently altered or
    obliterated to remove the appearance of such authority.
    (b) A person may not operate on the highways of this
    State a vehicle bearing the equipment, markings, or other
    indicia of police authority, unless the vehicle is an
    authorized emergency vehicle as defined in Section 1-105 of
    this Code.
    (c) This Section does not apply to vehicles bearing
    indicia of police authority that are antique vehicles, as
    defined in Section 1-102.1, and are registered as antique
    vehicles, as provided in Section 3-804.
    (d) Any police officer is authorized to seize any
    vehicle that is in violation of this Section and to impound
    that vehicle, at the owner's expense, until any equipment,
    markings, or other indicia of police authority have been
    sufficiently removed, altered, or obliterated to remove the
    appearance of police authority.
    (e) A person convicted of violating this Section is
    guilty of a petty offense and subject to a fine of not less
    than $500 and not more than $1,000.
    (Source: P.A. 79-544; 79-1454.)



    Effective Date: 01/01/04

    Illinois Vehicle Code Section 1-105 (Authorized Emergency Vehicle)

    Authorized emergency vehicle. Emergency vehicles of municipal departments or public service corporations as are designated or authorized by proper local authorities; police vehicles; vehicles of the fire department; vehicles of a HazMat or technical rescue team authorized by a county board under Section 5-1127 of the Counties Code; ambulances; vehicles of the Illinois Emergency Management Agency; and vehicles of the Illinois Department of Public Health.

    (Source: P.A. 93-829, eff. 7-28-04; 94-334, eff. 1-1-06.)
    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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  24. #24
    Oh no, it's da Po-Po
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    It really never ceases to amaze me how many non-LEO's feel the need to festoon their vehicles with lights and radios.

    I am a LEO and I would never think of putting that crap in my POV.

    Stick with the strobes and an Abmer bar. Anything else will mark you as a poseur if you are not authorized to run code.
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  25. #25
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    Thanks for all the replies, especially from SGTCHP I do not bear any marking unless you consider my antenna's for my 2 way radio's which I have a lettr of authotizaion for or it would fall under the amatuer radio act. I also only have a visible amber arrow stick in the back window. No other colors are visible.

    again thank you

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