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NY Police Light Questions

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  • NY Police Light Questions

    I was up in the Buffalo area with my girlfriend awhile back and drove back to VA via Erie and Pittsburgh, PA. On I-90, we saw several NY State Police troopers who had pulled over cars along the highway. I noticed that they had red, blue and even amber lights to the rear - but only red lights on the front of the patrol vehicle. We noticed an unmarked car - not sure of the agency - that had red & blue LEDs in the back window AND flashing out the front windshield. Yet another marked police car (white in color; don't remember the county or city) had nothing but red lights all around. (When I lived in NY as a kid, all police cars used red or red & white lights - no blue. Volunteer firemen used blue, I think.) PA changed their laws about 25 years ago so that police had to start using both red AND blue lights - but not sure about NY.

    Are marked cars supposed to use just red in the front, but unmarked cars can use red AND blue up there now? That seems kind of weird......but I guess each state still makes its own rules. The dark blue paint on the NYSP cruisers is almost as pretty as the color scheme used here in VA by our state troopers. Probably harder to keep clean, though, especially during the winter months.

    Any of y'all ever have issues with out-of-state drivers who are reluctant to pull over for red lights because they're used to cops having blue lights? I can imagine someone thinking a volunteer fireman is trying to stop them. LOL!

    Be safe out there!!





    The comments above reflect my personal opinion as a private citizen, ordinary motorist and all-around good guy.

    The aforementioned advice should not be construed to represent any type of professional opinion, legal counsel or other type of instruction with regard to traffic laws, judicial proceedings or official agency policy.

    ------------------------------------------------

    "Ignorance on fire is hotter than knowledge on ice."

  • #2
    The law was changed a few years back allowing blue rear-facing lights on emergency vehicles. They are only supposed to be rear facing but some agencies apparently don't pay attention to small details like that.

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    • #3
      I think that the blue & red together increases visibility and lets someone KNOW that it must be a cop car behind them. I don't live in NY, but it does seem kind of bizarre to have blue lights visible from the rear but not the front.

      Anyway, thank you for the reply.
      :-)
      Last edited by VA Dutch; 10-10-2019, 07:21 PM.

      The comments above reflect my personal opinion as a private citizen, ordinary motorist and all-around good guy.

      The aforementioned advice should not be construed to represent any type of professional opinion, legal counsel or other type of instruction with regard to traffic laws, judicial proceedings or official agency policy.

      ------------------------------------------------

      "Ignorance on fire is hotter than knowledge on ice."

      Comment


      • #4
        Well, to me it makes it much easier to tell from a great distance what side of the road the car is on. The blue stands out at a long distance - if I see the blue I know they're on my side of the road and I slow down and move over. I find it very valuable.

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        • #5

          I could see how that makes sense. Blue seems to really carry at night, while red (to my old eyes) seems to be easier to see during daylight.

          Throw in some clear strobe/LED flashers and they will see it from space.
          Last edited by VA Dutch; 10-10-2019, 07:21 PM.

          The comments above reflect my personal opinion as a private citizen, ordinary motorist and all-around good guy.

          The aforementioned advice should not be construed to represent any type of professional opinion, legal counsel or other type of instruction with regard to traffic laws, judicial proceedings or official agency policy.

          ------------------------------------------------

          "Ignorance on fire is hotter than knowledge on ice."

          Comment


          • #6
            In NY volunteer firefighters use blue lights when responding. I don’t know if that is why police generally don’t have blue lights in the front.

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            • #7
              Volleys are only legally supposed to have one blue light (rotating I believe) but none of them seem to abide by that. I saw an unmarked van today on Flatbush with forward-facing red/blue while I was working. Looked like State OSI warrant squad. My agency has a couple unmarked RMPs that I know of with forward-facing visor red/blues for some reason. Guess someone didn't get the memo.

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              • #8
                Can't think of any department that gives much thought into light colors. So long as they work.

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