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Using POV lights for other purposes..

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  • Using POV lights for other purposes..

    Saw some construction going on here on a nearby highway. Looks like the construction company contracted out a service for traffic control (laying cones, signs, etc) and I saw one of their trucks and instead of the normal all amber lights, it was blue/red, and it was apparently a vollie's POV which doubled as his work car/traffic control vehicle.

    Does anyone know the state laws in TX about using lights and the colors that are allowed/restricted, etc.

    Can anyone use red/blue in place of amber or does being a firefighter give you that right? I've seen off duty police officers doing security do the same thing.

    Thanks.

  • #2
    Well I am a Criminal Justice Student in Texas and according to the Texas Law Handbook 2000 edition in sections 547.702 and 546.001 of the Transportation Code, red lights are only allowed to be used on an authroized emergency vehical while responding to an Emergency. As far as Texas law is concerned red is only for emergencys and Amber is for construction, I think blue can be used also, but only if there is amber. I have seen many Tx D.O.T. trucks with Amber and Blue lights. People won't want to pull over for legit light use if they see red at construction sites.

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    • #3
      Don't know Texas law, but in Ohio the laws only restrict light operation while a vehicle is being operated on a highway. In other words, the vehicle has to be in motion. So, technically, as long as the vehicle is parked, there is no restriction on the color of lights it displays. The same is also true for a vehicle in motion as long as the lights are not turned on.

      Stupid loophole if you ask me. People should be able to see a certain color of light bar and know that it is connected to a cop, a firefighter, or a pot hole filler! Of course, I advocate a nation-wide emergency light standard but I doubt that would ever happen.

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      • #4
        Remember, nothing is illegal if the cops don't stop ya.

        Breaking the law with his blue and CLEAR dashlaser, APG-1

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        • #5
          In Massachusettes, you need a permit to display a RED light facing FORWARD...not sure about blue..I think that's a little stricter because that is the color for police. The Mass Turnpike Authority uses red/amber marker strobes facing rear on their larger trucks. It is frowned apon for a person using red/blue warning lights for other uses than emergencies

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

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          • #6
            I have used my four corner strobes in non emergency situations when I am parked beside the road, but only in heavy traffic situations, such as highways. However, I do not use the red and clear dashlaser on my dash. I do not know the legal aspects of it, but the cops have never said anything about it. the strobes eem to get more attention(but not much) than four way flashers. Just my personal opinion.

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            • #7
              I think that you will find that by "operated" the law means anything other than shut off and unoccuppied. That is the way it is in NJ.

              APG1; Nice attitude. I wonder why we have trouble getting people to obey fire codes?

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              • #8
                " APG1; Nice attitude. I wonder why we have trouble getting people to obey fire codes? "

                Isn't it though? It's called professional courtesy. I didn't invent it, I don't totally agree with it, but hey, it's how the world works. I'd rather have a cop who is a friend, and helpful at fire scenes, then one I have to talk to the Chief to get anything done.

                Welcome to small town life. Anit it grand?

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                • #9
                  Well, by Connecticut state law, that would technically be legal, but not usually done. The law says that any light of any color intended for another purpose may be used at any time to indicate you are a hazzard to be avoided. But, any time there is a road job on a CT highway, there is always a host of DOT Attenuator trucks that just came out of the Whelen Garage, and usually a state trooper with a cruiser that also just left Whelen. Also, many times at MVA's on the turnpike, a DOT Attenuator truck will respond and help block the lanes and protect the Firefighters and EMS.

                  Matt

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by George Wendt, CFI:
                    I think that you will find that by "operated" the law means anything other than shut off and unoccuppied. That is the way it is in NJ.

                    In Ohio, "operation" is when a vehicle is in motion on a highway surface. If it is parked with the motor running or keys in ignition, that is called "physical control." Physical control is only referred to in the DUI laws...

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                    • #11
                      I know here in indiana, the only ones authorized to have visible reds and blues are law enforcement. Volunteers can run blues and they must be visible 360 degrees and according to your local law enforcement, corner strobes are also reserved for law enforcement. Using your blue light for any other purpose other that responding to a fire or EMS call or to the station is not reccommended.

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                      • #12
                        Here in Wisconsin blue is law enforcement only. Red is used by fire, police and ems units. White is reserved for fire and ems as well. Amber is construction, shops, plow trucks, etc. I know in my area around Eau Claire in west central WI, if you have lights in your personal vehicle, you better have a good reason to have them on like responing to a call or working at a call. I've used mine (all red by the way) at a stalled vehicle once in heavy traffic and felt guilty about it. There is no problem with it but I stll felt like I shouldn't have used them. Once a few years ago there was a volunteer from an area FD that used his lights and siren to get through traffic coming out of the park after the fireworks July 4th. Needless to say he is not a firefighter anymore and he did a few days in jail. Wisconsin is not light on abusers of the emergency lighting laws.

                        Stay safe and keep your powder dry!!
                        __________________
                        Lt. Jason Knecht
                        Altoona Fire Dept.
                        Altoona, WI

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                        • #13
                          Here in South Carolina blue lights are strictly for cops, red is for fire and EMS, and amber is for DOT, Forestry, etc etc. The only catch is that all emergency vehicles be it paid or volley, cops or firefighters must have at least 1 amber light showing to the rear. Not sure exactly why but they do seem to cut through the fog a lot better than blue or red

                          ------------------
                          When the defecation hits the oscillation I'll be there.

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                          • #14
                            Being involved in law enforcement, I can understand cops hesitence with the whole light law thing. I do have a few questions though...

                            1. How did Wisconson cops become so... strict? My lord, I've met some in my life and like, yeeow. Wisconson State PD/Patrol is... like, evil. I know their IA will speed down the road, and if the troopers don't pull 'em over, it's cha-ching for the poor trooper. It's insane from what I've heard.

                            2. What the devil is a attenuator? Is that like, a truck with a gazillbion lights?

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                            • #15
                              2. What the devil is a attenuator? Is that like, a truck with a gazillbion lights?[/B]
                              They are normal DOT dump trucks but they have those huge a*ss impact absobing things that fold down on the back. If someone gets in the closed lane, they hit it and it is absorbs the impact. They also have lots of lights.

                              Matt

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