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Lights on POV's; how far is too far?

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  • #46
    Originally posted by George Wendt, CFI:
    This is astounding. There are 42 posts on this board about lights and not one of you addressed the legality of the lights
    Ah, just about every topic on these forums having to do with lights has mentioned legality. Many people talk about the wierd NJ law, and I repeatedly mention that whatever you choose to do, extravagant or not, make it legal.

    I think Tri-Town put it absolutely perfect and it is what I have been trying to think of a way to say for a while: It's not the lights and sirens that cause problems, it's the person using them!

    I just wish some people on these forums would stop acting like babies when these topics come up. They immidiately jump down their throat saying that they shouldn't have all those lights, it is illegal, or no one needs those. Some people want to have lights, some people don't. Everyone has their own opinon on what is sufficiant and what is no needed. I not once have seen a person here ask "Please ostrcize me because of what I have for lights". Usually it is "What do you have for lights" or "Is this a good lighting set-up". If you aren't going to answer the person's question, then keep you mouth shut here. "You are a whacker, no none needs lights" is your opinion and may hold true where you live, but that isn't what the person is asking. You know who you are because it is always the same people doing it. Even the people who say "sorry, won't so it again" still do it.

    Matt

    Matt

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    • #47
      In my experience, when the part-time department i am on allowed us to use one dash light did not notice any difference in the way traffic responded. Most people do not pull over when they have a big red truck, engine or ambulance behind them with all the beels and whistles going. I think its the mentality of the public that we have to look out for them.We do have to but I feel more education needs to be directed toward the public to be more cautious when the see the lights and hear the siren.There have been some recient injuries and two deaths that I know of in Il. and thats a shame. I myself have almost been hit a few times on scenes with all the safety lights and being as careful as I can.What I am trying to say, If you have so many lights you drain your battery every time you hit your switch, or if you do ot use lights except on your emergency vehicles. be careful and stay safe.

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      • #48
        Originally posted by George Wendt, CFI:
        This is astounding. There are 42 posts on this board about lights and not one of you addressed the legality of the lights. I am only familiar with NJ law. The law states (I think the site is 39:4-51) that there will be one light, placed either in the center of the roof or in the space trafitionally held by a spotlight, controlled by a switch inside the vehivle and not more than 51 candlepower. Light bars, dash lights, strobe lights, whatever, are ILLEGAL in NJ! If you don't like the law, lobby to change it, but until that time, as public officials, you are obligated to obey the law.

        George,

        Although you are correct about the NJ Light Law Come On How Many People actually Follow it and Worse Yet Actually Enforce It ? It is an Old Law on the Books that obviously no one cares anything about. Me Personally I use a Federal Mini-Bar that has a 150 Candle Power Bulb in Each Motor -- Total of 300 Candle Power Light --- Illegal by the Law ? Absolutley but Just Last Week I drove through DMV Inspection produced my Permit and had them Test The Light {Which is a requirement now -- if it's displayed it has to function} which Works...And my car was passed. So even DMV Officials don't really know whats legal and whats not. And like nomad1085 Said It's not the Lights that make us bad it's the people using them. Many of Us {My-Self Included} Practice The Vehicle Regulations as set by the state --- Yes there are quite a few "Yahoos" out there that think the flashing light is like wearing the famous Red "S" on thier Chest -- Those are dangerous people....They are also the ones that fiqure the more lights you have the more people should move --- I have one and again, Not Legal by state standards it does the job

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        • #49
          Brian and Matt;

          Ok, first of all, I am far from being a baby. I have been a volunteer FF for 26 years and a law enforcement officer for 16. So can the baby stuff.

          Secondly, I did not whine about yahoos, whackers or whatever else others may have called them. Although I have seen my share of complete and total idiocy in the driving habits of vol. FF, I agree with the statement that the nut loose behind the wheel is the problem.

          My point was that we, as public officials, are OBLIGATED to obey the laws of the State of NJ. The present law is not that old...early eighties I believe...but I would agree with you that it is not based on the present lighting technology out there. HOWEVER, that is completely irrelevant. If the law said run pink lights with lime green stripes, that is what we have to do.

          This law is not enforced enough. I have written for it and wouldn't hesistate to do it again if the need arose. Frankly, I am surpirsed that it is not written more. As far as the DMV inspector..are you kidding me?

          If you do not like the law, change it. Research the laws in other states, draft a law that is reasonable and won't run counter of any other Title 39 regs and find a sponsor to introduce it. Once it is introduced, lobby it and get it voted on. That is the way we do business in the US, not by saying "it's BS, so I'm not going to obey it".

          And we wonder why we have so many problems getting people to obey fire prevention regs.?

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          • #50
            I live in a town that borders NY and is very close to CT. My biggest problem is running mutual aid to different states. Massachusttes general law states fire dept(POV or Official) is red, EMS is red also, police are blue. we have had a few "incidences" if you will, with
            the color differences...in NY POV ff's run blue lights, officers can run red. MA into NY isn't really a problem but NY in to MA has been somewhat of a problem. Especially with the stereotypical rookie cop..mostly seems to be staties. In Mass we have to have a permit in possession whenever a redlight is displayed forward or it's a $300 fine. I think the gov't should do something about making it a country wide "law" to have fire depts be all 1 color, police to be another, EMS to be another, so we don't have all these problems with different lights for different states.
            As for POV emergency lights, I have a dashmiser, wig wags, and for being on scene, I put in traffic backers that flash brake lights and reverse lights. not much..but does the trick and my Jeep Cherokee is relitivly inconspicuous when the lights arent on...besides the mobile radio antenna on the hood...

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            • #51
              As for the actual use of lights/sirens in Mass, lights on POV's are strictly a courisy thing. You cannot exceed the speed limit, force people off the road, blow stop signs, or drive through red lights...even if you have been waved on by oncomming traffic. As for sirens, last I knew it was up to the chief if you could have one or now. that may have changed to no sirens in any POV's. there is an electronic airhorn you can buy from galls that is a little better than your OEM horn.


              [This message has been edited by EFDems841 (edited 04-19-2001).]

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              • #52
                http://www.code3responder.com/reader...ails.asp?id=52

                When your vehicle looks like a rolling christmas tree, You went way overboard, I say a small light on the front dash or a small red and yellow in the back are fine, But anything like in this picture is way to much

                [This message has been edited by Engine 101 (edited 04-19-2001).]

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                • #53
                  If you have to ask if it is too much, it is.
                  Is it just me, or do the people with the most money to spend on lights never have the gear they really should have? For the sake of one dash light you could buy your own Survivor, or a pocket of hand tools, or at least a 40' of bail rope and a few beaners.

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                  • #54
                    Now the only reason someone should have that many lights on their vehicle is if that is a dept. chief's vehicle. (referring to pic above). Now, i was talking to a friend of mine who used an MX7000, and i questioned him about why. He said that the only reason that he had such a large lightbar was b/c he was one of only a handful of paramedics in the county and had to drive POV on a number of instances. Not only was it used for traffic, but to identify him as a paramedic when he arrives on scene and so apparatus could ID his vehicle as well.

                    As for general use, a small light bar on the roof, and maybe a dash light should do it. I am gonna add headlight flashers, since they prob. work best at getting people's attention in the rear view mirror.

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                    • #55
                      Out of idle courosity...

                      Not to question the fire service, but why does a Chief's vehicle need that many lights? I agree completely that vehicle is way overboard. But why should a Chief have that many? (Are they too old and need more lights to be seen? ) *runs*

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                      • #56
                        My first light was a measly old blue teardrop. Then I moved on to a Dashlaser. Now, all I've got is my hazard lights on my car. And it has occurred to me, those hazard lights work just as well as any of those other gadgets....

                        ------------------
                        JMK271
                        ***Stay safe out there***
                        ***These opinion(s) are my own, and not that of the department in which I serve***

                        Comment


                        • #57
                          George Wendt,

                          First of All No one makes you out to be a baby and no one directed the comment directly at you --- it was a general statement that even I can't agree 100% with. Thats the problem with some police officers they take too much, too personaly, way too quickly and think everybody is wrong when it comes to the law.

                          With that said lets move foward {I mean no dis-respect towards you or your profession } No I'm not Kidding about DMV --In New Jersey as long as you can produce a valid light permit and the light works it is considered a PASS at least at the Deptford, NJ Facility where I had mine done. I'll even send you a copy of the paperwork they gave me.

                          Secondly, I Don't think anybody is complaining about the NJ Laws regarding lights on POV's {As I said before It's a law on the books that isn't enforced and nobody cares about anyway } I Know Police Officers who are Vollie Firefighters/EMS Members that throw the light on top of the car when the whistle blows and drive worse than my partially blind grand-mother. Why do they do it ? Because they can and they know nobody will ticket them.

                          The Laws on lights had to be created because At one time I understand guys were out of control --- Well before my time in the Fire Service --- You seem to be the only one I have noticed that thinks the laws need to be changed --- I personally think it is just fine. I have the required permit and although the light exceeds the candlepower requirement by 249cp it is mounted in the center of the roof and controlled by a switch from inside the vehicle --- two out of three aint' bad ---- Now as far as these Fire Code Laws.........

                          With all due respect
                          Peace and Stay safe on the streets !!


                          ------------------
                          STRATFORD FIRE CO. # 1 NEW JERSEY FIREMEN'S CONVENTION OVER-ALL CHAMPIONS 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 2000

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                          • #58
                            In my department we go to the scene directly since we have career drivers for our rigs. Our response area is all city and usually we'll end up having to park in a lane of traffic or along side of one. All that I use is a single Firebeam (Blue) with a magnetic mount that I use on the roof. Personally, I think the type of POV lighting you have should be determined by wether or not your vehicle may be causing a hazard at or near the scene. Also it lets the police know to let you through to get into the scene.

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                            • #59
                              How many of you that use lights on your POV's have a light system worth more than you car? Someone mentioned bad PR earlier. Nothing looks worse than a '82 Lincoln Towncar that has rusted side panels and mismatched wheels with a $2500 strobe bar!
                              Come on guys think a little before you invest!

                              Comment


                              • #60
                                In Michigan FF's are givin the privalage to use lights and sirens. The law does state that the vehicle must have atleast 1 360 degree red light that is visible for 500' and an audible device(siren or air horn) that can be heard for 500' other wise you can not use any type of warning device. FF's vehicles are registered emergency vehicles through the state police. Our red lights are asking for the right of way through traffic. It is recommened not to exceed the speed limit by 10mph, recommened to stop for stop signs and red lights. Yes we are asking for the right of way BUT it is the law that motorist have to yeild the right of way to emergency vehicles. We are also given the right to disobey trafic laws if the need be in an emergency situation. But any emergency vehicle, ff, ambulance, that is involved in an accident running lights and siren, even if they are at fault or NOT will be at fault.

                                The people that complain about ff's having lights are also the people that won't pull over and will also complain if you have a slow response time if they need your help. Lights and siren do help when you are in traffic, I responded for 4 years without lights and now that I do I have noticed the difference.

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