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Red lights in security vehicle

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  • Red lights in security vehicle

    One of the other companies in my area has red lights, LEDs, on the deck. The local police department, when asked, said its perfectly legal for them to have red and red on the deck and lightbars, so long as they're only run on private property.

    The PIO stated that LEOs may request the company vehicle drivers to active their red and reds on public roads during accidents they respond to, to give addiitonal warning power.

    What do people think, professionally, about reds facing the front on an unmarked security vehicle? I can see the company and local police's idea that they're useful for accident scenes, but I can also see the the possibility of motorists yielding on private property to a vehicle displaying nothing but red lights, then becoming immediately confrontational when they find out the badge isn't the local police.

    This is southwestern Wisconsin, for those in the state who know WSS.
    N. A. Corbier
    Moderator, SecurityInfoWatch Forums
    Visiting Commando Leader

    If you work in private security, feel free to register on Officer.com's sister site for security, forums.securityinfowatch.com

  • #2
    Someone should get that in writing

    Even on private property, there could still be the potential for a suit if there is an incident; and "the cops said it was OK" won't cut it. A memorandum from the local chief would be much better. Up here, only LE or FD may have ANY red; red only for FD and blue/red for LE vehicles. The only other permission for private vehicles is a BLUE light only; this is so on-call volunteer firemen may responf quickly to fires without undue paperwork. I used to work for a private security company (armed and hi-speed) who used red/blue bars on their vehicles on private property. Someone raised the issue, and fortunately we had an excellent working relationship with the local PD and got the letter; otherwise we would have had to remove the red portion and replace it with a second blue wigwag.
    "It's not how far the shot was; it's how close you were able to get."

    --Jeff Cooper

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    • #3
      Here in GA you can't have any flashing lights unless you're a designated vehicle (police, fire, road crews/wreckers).

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      • #4
        Originally posted by nacorbier
        One of the other companies in my area has red lights, LEDs, on the deck. The local police department, when asked, said its perfectly legal for them to have red and red on the deck and lightbars, so long as they're only run on private property.
        I would be very cautious about running red even on private property. If I were driving through that property and had a vehicle flashing red behind me, I would yield. Once I noticed it was only a security vehicle, I would be pretty ****ed. The company would be much better off just using amber lights, that way they stay legal and still have warning power. I believe that amber is much more visible then red anyways, especially in fog/rain.

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        • #5
          I would suggest using green or yellow lights.

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          • #6
            That would not fly around here. The statutes regarding emergency lights (in my state), do not differentiate between private and public property.

            Sooner or later, a security guard will light up someone on traffic stop and get pinched for impersonation. One might argue that such a practice places a hughe liability on the secruity company.
            Last edited by Tennsix; 10-11-2005, 04:50 PM.

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            • #7
              I work part-time in the summer at a Six Flags amusement park (flame me all you want but I love that job ) A few years before I started working there they had full red/blue flashing light bars. It didn't even last a year before they started having problems. Now, they are yellow, white, and green.
              It's 106 miles to Chicago, we've got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it's dark, and we're wearing sunglasses....Hit it!

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              • #8
                State of Texas, Transportation Code (excerpt):
                The nine most terrifying words in the English language are, "I'm from the government and I'm here to help."
                Ronald Reagan

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                • #9
                  Check your state stats. It is legal for your vehicles to have any color light EXCEPT BLUE. Blue is reserved for LE vehicles only. I believe the same is true in Michigan, I always warn our Canadian visitors who plow snow(they have blue for snowplows) not to activate their lights once in the US. I am not sure as I don't enforce MI Law.
                  "A Nation without Borders is not a Nation."
                  - Ronald Reagan

                  "Every immigrant that comes here should be required, within five years, to learn English or leave the country." -Theodore Roosevelt

                  "Liberalism is a mental disease." - Mike Savage

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                  • #10
                    Thank you, everyone. We're debating asking the local municipalities for a memorandum of understanding on activation of red lights facing forward when assisting EMS/LE with accident scenes, mainly because we want to see what they say, bringing up the other company in our request.

                    The company's website also states that they drive vehicles that look like unmarked police vehicles, so as the enhance the deterrence factor of their patrol. I have a feeling they threw red and red in the vehicles to make a citizen believe they are a law enforcement agency, and that they'd flee upon seeing their arrival if they were committing a criminal act, or about to commit one.

                    It is a liability insurance issue not to have "emergency" warning lights of some type on a security vehicle, due to the nature of a security vehicle stopping randomly in the middle of private roads, or even public roads. While most say "You have hazards," I have seen companies get popped in civil suit for not having and/or activating their amber/white/whatever "emergency warning lights," as an "emergency" or "unusual" condition existed in which the vehicle represents a threat to other motorists, due to its slow or stopping speed.

                    The lights we will probally be buying will have amber, white, and 2 sticks of red in the rear, to function as auxiliary flashers. Partially because of the "cover your ***" concept, and the other is that clients EXPECT cruisers with lightbars on them, or else they don't think your a "real" security company.

                    Personally, I like them (whatever color) because if something does go down, EMS/LE has something to home in on when they're near - they don't have to slow down to do the street by street ... where is the address dispatch said... Oh, look, lights.
                    N. A. Corbier
                    Moderator, SecurityInfoWatch Forums
                    Visiting Commando Leader

                    If you work in private security, feel free to register on Officer.com's sister site for security, forums.securityinfowatch.com

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                    • #11
                      The Buckeye State

                      Ticket & Impound Here

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                      • #12
                        Unless it's a security vehicle at a nuclear power plant, etc., yellow is all you need to deter criminal activity by making your presence known or to provide a warning to others regarding a safety issue.

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                        • #13
                          Check your local laws at the library, or simply call your friendly local state trooper.
                          "That's right man, we've got mills here that'll blow that heap of your's right off the road."

                          "Beautiful Daughter of the Stars."(it's my home now)

                          >>>>> A Time for Choosing <<<<<

                          Retired @ 31yr 2mo as of 0000 hrs. 01-01-10. Yeah, all in all, it was good.

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                          • #14
                            Please note: This is another company, not my own. I have already recieved a memo from the local police department advising the legality of the other company's actions. My question was, which some people answered, "What do you think about a security company using red facing the front?"
                            N. A. Corbier
                            Moderator, SecurityInfoWatch Forums
                            Visiting Commando Leader

                            If you work in private security, feel free to register on Officer.com's sister site for security, forums.securityinfowatch.com

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by nacorbier
                              The PIO stated that LEOs may request the company vehicle drivers to active their red and reds on public roads during accidents they respond to, to give addiitonal warning power.
                              The last thing you'd want for "additional warning power" is red lights.

                              Drunken, elderly and confused drivers have been proven to drive TOWARDS red lights (no studies on blue AFAIK), while they drive AWAY from amber lights. Keep that in mind the next time you're parked on the road, highway, etc. and decide to to flip on every light you've got for "visibility," you might be doing yourself more harm than good. Have an arrow-stick or just simply rear flashers? Use that and TURN THE DAMN LIGHTBAR OFF. You might just save yourself from getting rear-ended and you'll definately help other motorists figure out what's going on up ahead instead of just seeing a million red flashes per second.

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