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Red/Blue lights for all departments

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  • Red/Blue lights for all departments

    In my state our volunteer fire fighters run blue warning/courtesy lights in their personal vehicles (they have special license plates too). It doesnt give them the right to speed or pull anyone over but to allow the public to yield the right away towards them.

    Just curious to know.. Why do some departments/agencies run only one color of warning lights, blue, and others run both red/blue? To those that just run blue lights do you feel that you have a harder time stopping people because they just might not think you are a police officer?

    Thanks.

  • #2
    Its different in every state. Around here, blue lights are reserved for police only so there's no confusion. Most states detail what color (or combination of colors) are applicable to each type of emergency vehicle.
    Originally posted by kontemplerande
    Without Germany, you would not have won World War 2.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Jaguar57
      Why do some departments/agencies run only one color of warning lights, blue, and others run both red/blue?
      State law probably has something to do with it.....

      Some states allow Red only....some allow blue only....some allow a mix.....

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      • #4
        Has there been any legislation introduced at a federal level to make this choice of lights be consistent across all states? It seems very confusing on why there cant be a uniform agreement on this.

        In my own non law enforcement views it would seem to make it easier for an officer to pull someone over since the color of lights would be consistent between states.

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        • #5
          Well, here's a tip: If you see flashing emergency lights behind you, pull over. If its an ambulance or a fire truck, they'll keep going. If its a cop and he's looking for you, he'll follow you to the side. Either way, the law is consistent across the nation, when you see emergency lights, pull over and yield.
          Originally posted by kontemplerande
          Without Germany, you would not have won World War 2.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Jaguar57
            Has there been any legislation introduced at a federal level to make this choice of lights be consistent across all states?
            Not that I have ever seen/heard.....

            The feds will leave it up to the States to decide.......

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            • #7
              Originally posted by SRT936
              Well, here's a tip: If you see flashing emergency lights behind you, pull over. If its an ambulance or a fire truck, they'll keep going. If its a cop and he's looking for you, he'll follow you to the side. Either way, the law is consistent across the nation, when you see emergency lights, pull over and yield.
              I guess in the end that is the best piece of advice.

              Thanks for your replies...

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              • #8
                yep it'll vary with state laws. in CA , there must always be one steady burning red light pointing to the front...for LEOs...i have no idea why..

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Jaguar57
                  Has there been any legislation introduced at a federal level to make this choice of lights be consistent across all states? It seems very confusing on why there cant be a uniform agreement on this.

                  In my own non law enforcement views it would seem to make it easier for an officer to pull someone over since the color of lights would be consistent between states.
                  I don't think the feds would legally be able to micromanage such an issue (10th amendment notwithstanding) even if they wanted to. I don't see that they could argue that there is an interstate or commerce interest in this issue. What do you guys think.
                  "First of all, then we have to say the American public overwhelmingly voted for socialism when they elected President Obama." - Al Sharpton, March 21, 2010

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by equinox137
                    I don't think the feds would legally be able to micromanage such an issue (10th amendment notwithstanding) even if they wanted to. I don't see that they could argue that there is an interstate or commerce interest in this issue. What do you guys think.
                    They could come up with the whole BS of wanting everyone to be the same color for national emergencies....like when they were trying to get rid of the 10 codes a while back.....

                    Who knows....but I don't thing it will ever happen.... so I think it's a moot point to discuss it..........

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by ask80
                      yep it'll vary with state laws. in CA , there must always be one steady burning red light pointing to the front...for LEOs...i have no idea why..
                      Kind of funny how thats all we really need.....all the other lights/strobes/etc are the attention getters though.

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                      • #12
                        Blue Lights

                        I ran across a situation where an SUV had a full lightbar and was from township in the North. The suspect was stopped and had firefighter credentials that checked out. Only one problem FL is not reciprocal with other areas that allow blue lights on POV's. In this state the blue lights must be covered before entering the state. Also on a personal note, do you really want to display a blue light in your vehicle and risk getting keyed, tires slashed, windows broken, etc. I've seen plenty of unmarked take homes with damage because perps saw a blue light. If anything get the clear leds that activate blue. Also there is a growing community of impersonators in almost every state that obtain blue lights to commit crime. If you have a blue light and your tag comes back personal stand-by for a felony stop and a very embarrassing situation.
                        I never give them hell. I just tell the truth and they think it's hell.

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                        • #13
                          In Michigan blue is for police. PD can have other colors too, but blue is strictly for police. It's a misdemeanor. Some dept.s have all blue some combos, up until recently MSP only had red.
                          "When I held that gun in my hand, I felt a surge of power ... like God must feel when he's holding a gun. " Homer Simpson

                          sigpic

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                          • #14
                            In CA, Blur lights are reserved for LE only.

                            Years ago there was an attempt to align emergency lighting to a uniform standard for lights displayed to the front:

                            Red and Red - Ambulances

                            Red and Amber - Fire

                            Red and Blue - Law enforcement

                            Don't know what ever happened to the movement, but it has obviously died somewhere in the mix of legislation.
                            Be courteous to all, but intimate with few, and let those few be well tried before you give them your confidence!

                            [George Washington (1732 - 1799)]

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Jaguar57
                              Has there been any legislation introduced at a federal level to make this choice of lights be consistent across all states? It seems very confusing on why there cant be a uniform agreement on this.

                              In my own non law enforcement views it would seem to make it easier for an officer to pull someone over since the color of lights would be consistent between states.
                              Great point. Here in Illinois blue by itself is firemen in POV, but go to Mississippi and the cops use blue.

                              Comment

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