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Pennsylvania POV Lighting

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  • Pennsylvania POV Lighting

    I am trying to figure out how to follow the law on POV lighting while not doing too much damage to my vehicle.
    I want to get blue lights for my car, but I don't want drill into the vehicle. I was thinking interior lights, but can't find a way to get 360 visibility with only two light sources(as the law states).
    Has anyone found a way to mount a smaller bar 20" to 30" without magnets and drilling? Or will I be okay with a visor light and a rear facing light in the back window?
    I was thinking an LED Equipped Hunter TIR visor light for the front and a combination traffic director/light bar for the rear.

  • #2
    How about no lights all since they offer no legal ability to violate any traffic laws whatsoever?
    "Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by FWDbuff View Post
      How about no lights all since they offer no legal ability to violate any traffic laws whatsoever?
      Figured someone would say that; however, my experience has been the opposite. When riding with other members who have lights, I have found it is quicker than if I had gone without.
      I live 4.5 miles from one station and 7.5 miles from the other, so it would allow me to save time.

      Comment


      • #4
        More than likely will not save much time.


        More than likely with out the lights, it just might save someone's life.

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JZdEH...e_gdata_player

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by NuangolaVFD1646 View Post
          When riding with other members who have lights, I have found it is quicker than if I had gone without.
          How?
          You cannot speed or pass people. You cannot go through controlled intersections or stop signs, you cannot pass school buses, buck lanes into oncoming traffic, etc etc etc. So unless the other members are willingly and knowingly violating the MVC of Pennsylvania (which makes them a huge liability to both themselves and the Department) their blue lights are absolutely, positively W O R T H L E S S.
          "Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."

          Comment


          • #6
            While I am in agreement that lights are for the most part unnecessary, I will actually answer your question.

            If you are going to follow the law, you will need exterior mounted lighting. Without knowing the specifics of your vehicle, it is impossible to tell you how to do that. If you don't want drilling or magnets, there are some other mounts that can be used for certain types of lights but they only work on certain vehicles. What I normally see is either headache racks on trucks or using luggage racks for SUV's / cars. Talk to a couple of your local troopers or local PD and see what they say about the lights. No matter what they say, you still have to follow the law, but they may be able to give you insight those of us on the board cannot. If you are not going to drill, and you are driving anything other than a truck, you will be affecting door seals when you run wires.

            Back to the necessity of the lights. I used to run exterior lights (never more than a single light bar). Like you I live away from the station and would be parked on scene from time to time. In those cases it was nice to have the light running to warn traffic coming to the scene. It is for that same reason I contemplate putting one back on occasionally. It has been 7 years since I had one though and it hasn't really been an issue. For responding, they really are pointless. You can track response times for years on end and I think you will find the actual time saved to be less than 30 seconds on the longer response distance.

            (8 miles at 55mph = 8 minutes 44 seconds........8 miles at 50mph = 9 minutes 36 seconds) So for your response, if there is a person in front of you the entire time that slows you 5mph the entire way, it will be less than a minute saved. That is including no stops, slower speed limits, or other real world things you run into. That also assumes the person will pull over and let you pass at a safe place right when you come upon them- they hardly do that when you have red lights and sirens.

            So in the end, if you want to put one on, the car insurance company is ok with it, the department is ok with it, and you follow the law - go for it. Know that you will now be an ambassador for the department in everything you do in your vehicle because the light says "I am a member of the fire department and this is how we all drive."

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by HuntPA View Post
              Like you I live away from the station and would be parked on scene from time to time. In those cases it was nice to have the light running to warn traffic coming to the scene. It is for that same reason I contemplate putting one back on occasionally. It has been 7 years since I had one though and it hasn't really been an issue.

              So in the end, if you want to put one on, the car insurance company is ok with it, the department is ok with it, and you follow the law - go for it. Know that you will now be an ambassador for the department in everything you do in your vehicle because the light says "I am a member of the fire department and this is how we all drive."
              Thanks for the honesty in your reply.

              I often drive directly to scene because there's no way to catch a rig from that distance(I already know that someone on the forum is probably going to complain over a POV on scene, but that's besides the point.) I end up doing traffic control on quite a few responses so I need the visibility.

              My two departments are fine with it as long as I play by the rules.

              I was thinking about using the factory luggage racks on my Chevy Traverse, but was having trouble finding adapters for the oblong shape, so I just wanted to see if anyone else had any ideas that would be easier to do.

              Comment


              • #8
                2x4's and duct tape

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by NuangolaVFD1646 View Post
                  I am trying to figure out how to follow the law on POV lighting while not doing too much damage to my vehicle.
                  I want to get blue lights for my car, but I don't want drill into the vehicle. I was thinking interior lights, but can't find a way to get 360 visibility with only two light sources(as the law states).
                  Has anyone found a way to mount a smaller bar 20" to 30" without magnets and drilling? Or will I be okay with a visor light and a rear facing light in the back window?
                  I was thinking an LED Equipped Hunter TIR visor light for the front and a combination traffic director/light bar for the rear.
                  I think Pa. needs to worry more about setting minimum training requirements before anyone worries about putting blue lights on their cars. I guess guys there want to get to their deaths faster....

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Where else can you be voted by majority to be a chief while only ever taking HazMat Awareness? It is the land of opportunity here.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by HuntPA View Post
                      Where else can you be voted by majority to be a chief while only ever taking HazMat Awareness? It is the land of opportunity here.
                      We at least require whatever the basic firefighting course is (it's changed over the years) and some sort of officer course, plus five years in the department... NY is home rule, though, so the state can't set such requirements - that's up to the authority having jurisdiction - town, village, fire district, and some leave the firefighting entirely to the department. That could come back to bite them, but they don't seem to realize that.

                      As for the roof rack - tubing clamps (stainless, and available everywhere) will fit nicely around the odd shape.
                      Opinions my own. Standard disclaimers apply.

                      Everyone goes home. Safety begins with you.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        That is what I was getting at. Pennsylvania itself does not have any requirements for firefighters other than HazMat Awareness. And they don't really even have a way of checking that as the state refuses to keep records of training. There is nothing other than that. So in PA the chief could theoretically be the least trained person in the department.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by HuntPA View Post
                          That is what I was getting at. Pennsylvania itself does not have any requirements for firefighters other than HazMat Awareness. And they don't really even have a way of checking that as the state refuses to keep records of training. There is nothing other than that. So in PA the chief could theoretically be the least trained person in the department.
                          And that's damn near criminal...

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            There was a big crackdown out near Pittsburgh a few years ago, where PSP was writing volunteers for interior lights.

                            You could look at Honolulu PD, they allow officers to use their own cars on duty. They have a strap rig that holds the light to the roof, then easily removed.





                            Now, I'll preach. When you join a department, you only volunteer twice: once when you join, once when you quit. In between, you have responsibilities. How come no one sits at the station between calls? Put 3 guys on a rotating schedule, so the first truck can roll out when the tones hit. Every one else responds to the house then rolls the next rig. Have a couple stations on mutual aid, and you get 3 or 4 trucks on scene to work. Need more, tone them out. No need to "respond" to the house. Just drive normally and be there to help clean up afterwards Did this 40 years in Virginia.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by PhillyRube View Post
                              There was a big crackdown out near Pittsburgh a few years ago, where PSP was writing volunteers for interior lights.

                              You could look at Honolulu PD, they allow officers to use their own cars on duty. They have a strap rig that holds the light to the roof, then easily removed.





                              Now, I'll preach. When you join a department, you only volunteer twice: once when you join, once when you quit. In between, you have responsibilities. How come no one sits at the station between calls? Put 3 guys on a rotating schedule, so the first truck can roll out when the tones hit. Every one else responds to the house then rolls the next rig. Have a couple stations on mutual aid, and you get 3 or 4 trucks on scene to work. Need more, tone them out. No need to "respond" to the house. Just drive normally and be there to help clean up afterwards Did this 40 years in Virginia.
                              Thats unrealistic here. Our trucks hold two people. And unless you pay me, Im not sitting at the station for a "shift" regularly. We do that only when we are in "storm mode". Yet, we still manage to get 3-4 trucks en route in three minutes. Everyone but the ones grabbing trucks go to scene.

                              And that is the exact reason we run lights. In NC, you are allowed to go over the limit and pass as long as you use "due regard". In other words, dont be an idiot. They are also very strict on not being an idiot. If you get caught being stupid at the very least you lose the ability to run lights, and could be booted.

                              Comment

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