I have Lights on my POV and its more of a hobby putting them on then it is functional but i still enjoy it, Isn't why we do this for the enjoyment?
Not the word fun, but you did say it...
Lights on a POV are not for enjoyment, hobby, or art form, they are a warning to other drivers that you are a volunteer trying to respond to a call for help. Too many lights and other accessories cause accidents, whether you want to believe it or not. Please use common sense and be careful out there with your "hobby", I do not want to read about you or anyone else in the LODD notifications.
I only run a Signal Min-Max dual head LED in each of my vehicles, but I do run it on every response. I will confess that I do drive a *little* harder on my way to the station than I normally would, but I don't get stupid about it - lift off the gas and at least cover the brake, if not apply the brake approaching EVERY intersection, even if I don't have a stop sign, until I know there is no cross traffic. I have considered a set of hide-away strobes in the headlights/taillights of my car, simply because that vehicle is harder for people to see in normal circumstances, but I prefer a 'cleaner' look to my vehicles.
All that being said, I have a legitimate question: If having lights on POV's is so dangerously confusing to the average Joe driver.. why do we put them on our big red trucks? And how is it a volly with lights on his POV is dangerous driving to the station, but once he dons his magic bunker gear, he's fine to hop in a (much larger, much heavier) engine and drive to the scene? I understand that there are some that go overboard - both with the lights and the driving (I think we just had one apply to our department...), but that's a pretty broad brush to paint all volunteers with.
We are told to drive with due regard, whether it's our POV or a truck, and that we can be ticketed for any traffic violations in our POV, but that as long as we don't get stupid, the local police aren't going to bother us. A neighboring department tells its members "10 mph over the limit is fast enough - POV or department vehicle" (Hey, I drive 5-7 over on a normal day anyway, as does 95% of Iowa's rural drivers...)
Hey "moose", how do you press your badge?
I was in my brothers pickup on our way to a call once, (back when I thought the same thing, that local police wouldnt bother volunteers) and we passed a state trooper going th opposite direction; he slammed on the brakes, did a u-turn and followed us the whole way to the station right on my brothers bumper. When we got there he told me to walk away and my brother to stay in the vehicle. He ended up lecturing my brother for 20 minutes and scared him to death about not using that light for anything other than identification that you are a volunteer. Mind you, my brother was only going about 5 mph over the limit and not driving erratically, the trooper merely wanted to pick random volunteers and make sure we werent breaking the law...He even told us that all of the gawdy looking vehicles with way more lights than are actually needed are his prime targets, like small cars with old bar lights that stick out 2 feet on either side, or cars that have so many strobes you cant even tell what make and model the vehicle is through the flashes.
I have one dash light, halogen rotator with a mirror on either side of it (Dashmaster) and I hardly ever turn it on...
Oh, I've been told the state patrol WILL pull us over for "above normal" speeding (keep in mind my 5-7 over comment earlier - I have been directly told by more than one trooper that they don't even bother with 7 over, it's not worth their time for the paperwork.) 65 in a 55, even with a blue strobe, you've got a chance of a roadside chat with a trooper. But our town police are an entirely different scenario. THEY are the ones that give hefty leeway. (County Sheriff's deputies are about the same way) The police chief lives next door to our rescue captain, and at least 6 of us drive directly past his house responding to a call; he's never said a word - just waves if he's outside as we go by.
And I would have severe issues with an officer holding up a responder for an extended time just to make sure he's not breaking the law. Running to a call, as far as I'm concerned, it better be dang important to stop a responder. If you want to have a chat, find out when the next meeting is and stop in, talk to ALL of the FF's at once.
"And I would have severe issues with an officer holding up a responder for an extended time just to make sure he's not breaking the law. Running to a call, as far as I'm concerned, it better be dang important to stop a responder."
I would have a severe issue with any vollie who has a severe issue with an LEO who, in the performance of THEIR duty stops a vollie for a legitimate reason. What supreme arrogance to presume that because you are 'responding' that no cop has the right to stop you. It's just this attitude that not only gives vollies a bad name but causes them to flip tankers and run POVs off of the road. Great attitude.
Maybe I didn't word that the best. Anyone who has spent time in conversation with a LEO knows they have a fair amount of discretion in whether or not they initiate a traffic stop. And yes, there are certain violations that should be pulled over 100% of the time, but others the officer does have discretion. A responder blowing through a red stoplight? Yeah, pull him over, he's putting people at risk. Driving 43 in a 35 zone? Daily traffic is probably doing 40 anyway, is it REALLY necessary to stop him? A phone call to the chief or stopping in during the meeting would do just as much, if not more, good - plus you have the benefit of talking to ALL the FF's in one shot. Say "Hey, guys.. we've noticed a few of you pushing things a little too far when you're heading down to the station. Could you please slow it down?" I guarantee that's how *minor* stuff would be handled in my area.
And my "severe issue" comment is explicitly in regard to what I stated - holding someone up just to "make sure they weren't breaking the law." It really has nothing to do with WHO is getting pulled over, be it a volly FF or Jim-Bob from down the street. Officers like that are the same ones that chew out a man for speeding while his wife is giving birth (or dying of a heart attack) in the passenger seat. Every time I've ever been pulled over, one of the first questions is "What's the hurry?" As far as I'm concerned, if they give a decent answer (medical emergency, responding to a fire, really gotta pee (coworker used that once and the officer thanked him for not whizzing on the side of the road and let him go)), write the ticket if you're going to, tell them to slow down, and let them go. Don't sit there and lecture them because you can. And THAT'S what I take issue with.
Read Moose's post above mine, about his brother getting pulled over. THAT'S what I'm talking about. Around here, if you're going 5 over the limit you're going to get passed by the cops. To pick out a FF- responding to a call, and driving for all intents and purposes completely legally - hold him up outside of the station, and lecture him about "only using the strobe as identification", when it sounds by Moose's account that that's EXACTLY WHAT HE WAS DOING ... can you say power trip?
Police badge and red light
tee shirt and blue light
power trip's a power trip
The sad part is many vollies put lights all over their vehicles, and/or decals, are doing it to draw attention to them. Not to clear traffic but to show how cool they are. Showing off for the honeys!