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  • Legality question regarding personal vehicle

    Is it legal to own a vehicle equipt with public safety equiptment?

    For instance; Retired CVPI, or any other type of vehicle for that matter.
    Last edited by mrb63083; 12-28-2006, 03:27 PM.

  • #2
    In Texas, I don't know. In my state, Washington, red lights can only be displayed to the rear of the vehicle, and blue lights and red flashers are restricted to emergency vehicles. Green lights are restricted to volunteer firefighters POV's. It's legal for a personal vehicle to have amber flashers, a spotlight, pushbars, even a prisoner screen, but no "police" identification.

    Why do ask? Want to drive around looking like a wannabe??
    “Computers have enabled people to make more mistakes faster than almost any invention in history, with the possible exception of tequila and hand guns”
    -Mitch Ratcliffe

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by mrb63083
      Is it legal to own a vehicle equipt with public safety equiptment?

      For instance; Retired CVPI, or any other type of vehicle for that matter.
      In California--no.

      Comment


      • #4
        Is there a specific definiton of public safety equipment?

        I see a lot of retired CVPIs on the streets out here without their lightbars, but they still have the angle spots and pushbars.

        Most are taxis, but some even still have the black and white paint scheme of the LAPD (no decals, just b/w body panels) which sometimes causes unholy problems on the road as everyone slams on their brakes.
        Mankind shall not be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest.

        Dithyrambe Sur La Fête Des Rois -- Denis Diderot (1713 - 1784)

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by missmycaprice
          In Texas, I don't know. In my state, Washington, red lights can only be displayed to the rear of the vehicle, and blue lights and red flashers are restricted to emergency vehicles. Green lights are restricted to volunteer firefighters POV's. It's legal for a personal vehicle to have amber flashers, a spotlight, pushbars, even a prisoner screen, but no "police" identification.

          Why do ask? Want to drive around looking like a wannabe??
          It's not that I want to be a wannabe, I just like the look of a unmarked police cruiser. I work for support services here in collin county and I drive one for work now (retired 00' cv) and they drive extremely nice. One came up on auction here locally and I wanted to bid on it. The pictures show it's still equipt with PSE. All it has is amber lights. The red/blue were taken off. It has an LED amber dash light in the top of the front window near the rear view mirror, and a 4 bar led (amber) in the rear (directionals maybe?), and a spot light. It was completely stripped of any markings or decals. All the switches and controls are still there for the existing amber lights. Does this sound ok? I don't want to buy something I can't drive.

          On a side note, are licence peace officers allowed to drive vehicles with red/blue? Even if it's a personal vehicle? Just curious.

          I am actually trying to get on here locally with a police force. Testing starts the end of January, I am supposed to hear something by next week. Wish me luck! Thanks for the input man.

          Comment


          • #6

            It is definitely not illegal to have an "ex cop car" on the road here in VA, so long as no 'police' identification or markings are present. Some agencies auction them off with the stripes still affixed and the shield/star blacked out with primer or spray-painted black. Push bars, antennae and a spotlight are permitted, but you better not shine it to the left of the yellow line while driving!


            You can't have any blue lights at all, but some red or red/clear lights are permitted on personal vehicles if you are a volunteer firefighter and your department authorizes you to do it. Amber lights are allowed in some instances (security, service, utility vehicles, etc.); but they probably should not be used when the car is in motion. I have attached the VA State Code sections pertaining to amber and red flashing lights, and you can read them at the end of my post.


            Having an ex-cruiser is pretty cool, I guess, but don't give the idea that you are an extreme wannabe or you could end up appearing a bit too eager. Showing up in the aforementioned car might make you appear too "squirrely" for them. Just my own humble opinion - others may disagree.




            § 46.2-1019. Spotlights.

            Any motor vehicle or motorcycle may be equipped with one or two spotlights which, when lighted, shall be aimed and used so that no portion of the beam will be directed to the left of the center of the highway at any time or more than 100 feet ahead of the vehicle. Any such lights shall be of a type approved by the Superintendent. No such spotlights shall be used in conjunction with or as a substitute for required head lights, except in case of emergency.

            (Code 1950, § 46-272; 1954, c. 58; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-266; 1989, c. 727.)

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


            § 46.2-1025. Flashing amber, purple, or green warning lights.

            A. The following vehicles may be equipped with flashing, blinking, or alternating amber warning lights of types approved by the Superintendent:

            1. Vehicles used for the principal purpose of towing or servicing disabled vehicles;

            2. Vehicles used in constructing, maintaining, and repairing highways or utilities on or along public highways;

            3. Vehicles used for the principal purpose of removing hazardous or polluting substances from state waters and drainage areas on or along public highways;

            4. Vehicles used for servicing automatic teller machines, provided the amber lights are not lit while the vehicle is in motion;

            5. Vehicles used in refuse collection, provided the amber lights are lit only when the vehicles are engaged in refuse collection operations;

            6. Vehicles used by individuals for emergency snow-removal purposes;

            7. Hi-rail vehicles, provided the amber lights are lit only when the vehicles are operated on railroad rails;

            8. Fire apparatus, ambulances, and rescue and life-saving vehicles, provided the amber lights are used in addition to lights permitted under § 46.2-1023 and are so mounted or installed as to be visible from behind the vehicle;

            9. Vehicles owned and used by businesses providing security services, provided the amber lights are not lit while the vehicle is being operated on a public highway;

            10. Vehicles used to collect and deliver the United States mail, provided the amber lights are lit only when the vehicle is actually engaged in such collection or delivery;

            11. Vehicles used to transport petroleum products, provided the amber light is mounted on the rear of the vehicle and is lit only when the vehicle's back-up lights are lit and its device producing an audible signal when the vehicle is operated in reverse gear, as provided for in § 46.2-1175.1, is in operation;

            12. Vehicles used by law-enforcement agency personnel in the enforcement of laws governing motor vehicle parking;

            13. Government-owned law-enforcement vehicles, provided the lights are used for the purpose of giving directional warning to vehicular traffic to move one direction or another and are not lit while the vehicle is in motion;

            14. Chase vehicles when used to unload a hot air balloon or used to load a hot air balloon after landing, provided the amber lights are not lit while the vehicle is in motion;

            15. Vehicles used for farm, agricultural, or horticultural purposes, or any farm tractor;

            16. Vehicles owned and used by construction companies operating under Virginia contractors licenses;

            17. Vehicles used to lead or provide escorts for bicycle races authorized by the Department of Transportation or the locality in which the race is being conducted;

            18. Vehicles used by radio or television stations for remote broadcasts, provided that the amber lights are not lit while the vehicle is in motion;

            19. Vehicles used by municipal safety officers in the performance of their official duties. For the purpose of this subdivision, "municipal safety officers" means municipal employees responsible for managing municipal safety programs and ensuring municipal compliance with safety and environmental regulatory mandates;

            20. Vehicles used as pace cars, security vehicles, or fire-fighting vehicles by any speedway or motor vehicle race track, provided that the amber lights are not lit while the vehicle is being operated on a public highway; and

            21. Vehicles used in patrol work by members of neighborhood watch groups approved by the chief law-enforcement officer of the locality in their assigned neighborhood watch program area, provided that the vehicles are clearly identified as neighborhood watch vehicles, and the amber lights are not lit while the vehicle is in motion.

            B. Except as otherwise provided in this section, such amber lights shall be lit only when performing the functions which qualify them to be equipped with such lights.

            C. Vehicles used to lead or provide escorts for funeral processions may use either amber warning lights or purple warning lights, but amber warning lights and purple warning lights shall not simultaneously be used on the same vehicle. The Superintendent of State Police shall develop standards and specifications for purple lights authorized in this subsection.

            D. Vehicles used by police, fire-fighting, or rescue personnel as command centers at the scene of incidents may be equipped with and use green warning lights of a type approved by the Superintendent. Such lights shall not be activated while the vehicle is operating upon the highway.

            (Code 1950, § 46-273; 1954, c. 310; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-267; 1960, cc. 156, 391; 1962, c. 512; 1966, cc. 655, 664; 1968, c. 89; 1972, c. 7; 1974, c. 537; 1976, c. 6; 1977, c. 72; 1978, cc. 311, 357; 1980, c. 337; 1981, c. 338; 1984, cc. 440, 539; 1985, cc. 248, 269, 287, 462; 1986, cc. 124, 127, 229; 1987, cc. 347, 370; 1988, cc. 339, 351; 1989, c. 727; 1991, c. 465; 1992, cc. 93, 410, 805; 1995, c. 727; 1997, c. 149; 1998, cc. 134, 417; 1999, cc. 18, 72, 232; 2000, cc. 84, 121, 278; 2003, c. 93; 2005, c. 574.)

            ------------------------------------------------------------
            Last edited by VA Dutch; 12-28-2006, 08:28 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


            • #7
              mrb...Since you want this type of vehicle. Make sure it is approved by your employer first. Even though you may like the look of a Police car, there are several other cars in which handle just as good and can be used for everyday purposes! And since you are trying to get into LE, it's better just to wait.
              "An excuse is worse and more terrible than a lie, for an excuse is a lie guarded."

              Comment


              • #8
                No type of flashing lights are permitted (including just being installed) in Tennesee unless it is an authorized vehicle (Police/Fire/EMS/Tow/Construction).
                I'm 10-8 like a shark in a sea of crime..

                Comment


                • #9
                  In Colorado

                  you are not even allowed to purchase/possess lights or siren unless your POV is an authorized emergency vehicle - we've had too many impersonators here.
                  Stop Animal Testing!! (Because they really skew the grading curve...)

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by xraodcop
                    In California--no.
                    It is a definite no-no in California.
                    Retired

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      My current work vehicle is used as a courier type service. I actually drop off and pick up US mail and interoffice mail. It's kinda scary when you have to stop on the side of a road at a county business and take in mail and nearly get hit...

                      I'll take yall's advise and just stay clear of buying a used cvpi. I have other alternatives as well. I just thought I'd check and see what others in the law enforcement field would have to say. Thanks again.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Every retired CVPI I have seen on the road here in Texas has had the lightbars, strobes, radios, and all identifying markings (including the little PI sticker on the back left side of the trunk) removed before sale to the public. Texas law requires the removal of most of those (don't ask me where it says in the books).

                        Personally, I like Crown Vics. I just hate the under-powered engines, brake-fade, boat-like handling, and potential to blow up. For looks though, a new, dark colored CV with 20% window tint and flat black steel wheels is awesome looking. At the same time though, if you are looking to pick one up at a police auction, you can't expect to get the highest quality car on the road. I know that 60,000 miles may not sound like much, but considering the amount of crap that gets beat out of those things, it's a lot.

                        Comment


                        • #13

                          60,000 miles? Heck; that is hardly broken in! We kept our cars for 110 to 120k, but they still ran quite well. Of course, it makes a huge difference when a department has "assigned" cars to individual officers instead of having them used 24/7 by three or four different people each day.

                          But I agree with you about how sharp a dark-colored CVPI with black steelies can be.



                          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


                          • #14
                            I have a POV question. I'm stationed in Oklahoma but my plates are for WA. In Oklahoma, you are not required to have plates on the front bumper, only in the rear. In WA, as far as I know, both are required. The tags on the back are updated, the ones on the front are not. Is this an issue?
                            And shepards we shall be for Thee my Lord for Thee
                            Power hath decended forth from Thy hand that our feet may swiftly carry out Thy command.
                            So we shall flow a river forth to Thee and teeming with souls shall it ever be.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              If you feel you MUST have a used CVPI, buy a used one from the fire or medic department. At both cities I have worked in, chiefs used those vehicles and they were ALOT better taken care of than the police ones. Still had all the upgrades without being run into the ground.

                              Of course IMHO only thugs and wannabes seem to roll in used CVPIs.

                              Comment

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