I am writing a preposed bill to bring to the us senate for a nation wide law that would make all 50 state and us territory emergency lighting laws the same and the permit proses the same as well as requirements to purchase them so the bill falls under homeland security. Now I would like your opinion on what I have thought of so far. All police vehicles to run blue or blue/white, all fire and EMS to run red or red/white all volunteers fire and EMS are to be visible 360 degrees and have an audible siren of no less then 100 watts and lights of red or red/white of color. Federal agency are the only ones to run a combination of red/blue. Green will be to signify command or the command center only and most be used on any incident with more then two agency in operations. Purple lights are to be used for funeral and are to be on the first and last car and every five cars in between. Amber maybe rear facing on any emergency vehicles and most be the color of arrow sticks. Amber is the only color to be used by any utility, construction, towing, pilot car/ guide car, plow truck, county or municipal road dept. or state dot agency.all lights holders must have a state issued permit for their specific light and all light dealers must have a federal issued permit and verify that the purchaser has a valid permit.

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1)  I just find your idea completely unmanageable and completely unnecessary. 

2)  Who will pay for the changes and who will enforce this law?

3)  On another note, I hope you find someone to spell check your proposal because the paragraph above is full of misspelled words...

The volunteers not needing sirens or 360 lighting varies from state to state.  Here in michigan we can have a siren but if we dont no big deal.  If we have lights they have to be visible from 360 and we cant have any slick top POV.  Must have some form of light on top.  Only police can run red/blue comb  fire and ems are red and white only.

The issue with the light requirements is who is going to pay for all the police to change over?  Also it is a good idea fr the 360 and siren for fire and ems.  Also for the purple for funerals good idea for first and last but every 5 cars is going to cost big and not everyone wants to stick a light on their car

So the only changes i would make would be fire and ems run 360 lighting and siren and maybe the permit at state level only and its included with the emergency driving class.

I agree with the EV permit but do you really think it will cut down on the posers?   Thats just like any other law if someone wants it they will get it illegal or not.  Good thought bad example

See thats where things get tricky  sure in NJ police cant run red and blue.  But here in Michigan all run red and blue.  Up until recently the state police only ran a red bubble top.   For police like you are saying helping in other states that makes sense but the cost for every dept to comply would be crazy.

In New York the Chief is to give you permission to run a blue light on your POV. When he does this he is also to issue you a card that states your Name and you are a member in good standing of ______________ fire department and you are authorized to display one blue light as a volunteer fire fighter. Under the New York State Motor vehicle and traffic law. The Chief also has the power to have you remove your blue light also if you are found to be abusing the privilege of having a light. If pulled over by law enforcement and they ask for your card and you don't have one they can also have you remove your light. Permits or not people will buy, steal and cheat the system and are we going to put light police in every state?
John, I understand what you are thinking here. I was down there for a week after Sandy. You are correct things did get confusing with all the different states working together with all different color lights. Bottom line is people are going to try to go where they want too in this type of situation no matter what color lights or who is trying to stop them. NYC had the same problem on 9-11. Do you think people cared about what color lights were flashing or who was trying to get them to go wherever? Nice idea but we should be working on Funding and national training requirement's and etc..

If I remember what US DOT tried to do in the 70s was to say that ambulances would be white with a orange strip, police cars white with blue strips and fire engines would be lime yellow with white strips. Now lights for police cars would be all blue and ambulances have white and blue lights and fire engines white and red.

As to what you have today I say nothing went that way because the states want things their way or everyone in emergency service backed away from it or just wanted to stay with what they had.

The state of Maryland allowed blue lights for volunteers POVs up to the 70s and then that changed. No lights on a vol POV unless you are a officer in the dept and then they said red and white only. The police depending on what county you are in blue or red and blue.

Green on the books was for taxi cabs for cab robberies or emergency help, but the emergency service set them up for command post locations.

Funeral home then started using purple lights after using amber for sometime.

Now have heard of states that make emergency providers or responders get stickers and license to have emergency lights or sirens on their vehicles. I had a uncle in Ohio that had to do that after he joined.

I think its best to leave to the states and the counties to decide what to do about lights and what. 

Well, first off, way to spur a conversation here, although it does consist of another lighting topic....but credit for taking it a different direction.


Now, why the reason for this proposal? Why are you wanting to make this a national issue?


IMHO, there is no reason for a national light law, the states have things set up their way. If the reason is because of experiences you may have seen during Sandy, and interstate agencies working together, I ask what does it matter? If your dept is asked to cross the border, then you go in your rigs.

When it comes to lights on a POV, I disagree with the concept as it is, but that is another discussion. So when it comes to lights on a POV, why should this be a national regulation?

In my view, there is no reason to be running lights on a POV outside of one's state anyway. If your dept is close enough to a state border where you routinely cross for mutual aid, etc, you should be crossing in the dept vehicles. If you don't make it to the station to make it out on a rig, then drive without your lights. There are enough studies out there that show lights and sirens don't make a significant impact on response times. Besides, if the rig left without you, that means you aren't that important that you need to run lights on your POV into another state.

I encourage you to spend time researching case law regarding each state. I can speak specifically for Missouri; Missouri says volunteers run blue on povs, every other emergency vehicle runs red. So simply by statute that's how it reads. Attorney General has clarified several times over case law, any combination is good for any vehicle that falls under the statutes (which includes tow).

Ok let me clarify that a bit.  In Michigan police are the only one allowed to run a blue light.  Every other emergency vehicle (fire, ems, volly fire POV) can only run red/white.   If you are caught with a working blue light you are considered to be impersonating a police officer and thats not a nice charge.  And I think its Indiana where volly fire POV can have blue.   So it varies from state to state and as said before would be too costly to mandate every dept. in the country to change.

brothers, comrades I ask for forgiveness. For sure I have not tried to put those late comrades in disrespect.  Every firefighter are brave and we all know that fire fighting is not a job it is a calling. The reason why I asked that question is that there is  a rumour that those buildings was for ever. By for ever I mean nothing could bring it down not even a earth quick. As for the timing of the question I thought the strongest way to get response was at that time. Once again I ask forgive me. greetings to all of you.

National Emergency Light Law. Great Idea. This should be. That way light color would be the same everywhere. Good Bill to bring up.

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