This can be a huge insurance risk. Experiment with this. Time your drive to the station or scene during regular business hours at normal traffic speeds. Do the same at 23:00 hours at normal speeds. You might be surprised that the difference is very small. It's not always the speed of the 'drive' but the stop signs and lights that increase the response time. POV courtesy lights do not allow 'right of way' especially on controlled intersections. I'd rethink lights on POV's.
I can see both sides of this. It can help to have them so the other people that pay attention on the road know your coming. Problem is most people don't pay attention even to the fire trucks. As a rookie it does cost a lot of money to put lights on your pov (as I am learning).
Our district does not allow lights, sirens, or even hazard lights. If you get a ticket it is your problem. I don't want to pay a big speeding ticket for someone elses problem. The cops here are more then happy to give us a ticket to teach us a lesson, But I hate getting stuck behind a slowpoke It drives me nuts.
I run with two different fire companies as a volunteer (plus the county's dive unit). It is in our SOP's that we do not use blue lights in the borough whatsoever but we are allowed to respond directly. When i'm home during the day, it is impossible for me to make our engine due to traffic and having a paid driver. With my other company, we are allowed to run blue lights but only Chief officers and Fire Police officers are allowed to respond direct. all officers are authorized to run red lights but all others must run blue lights and have them registered through the township and fire company. the blue light does help, since it takes me about 4 minutes to get to our company's sub station and we are really good about getting trucks on the road to a call. most people do yield to the courtesy light
It is a toss up in my county we are not allowed to use red or blue lights, except for are fire police and then they are not allowed to use them untill they are on scene, I keep a amber light on my dash just to mark my veh if I happen to come up on a incident while out.
WOW! this obviously is a hot topic...
Here in ohio, in order to run lights and sirens in your POV. 1)you must have the sticker with the maltese cross on it and the number underneath that registers your vehicle as an emrgency vehicle with the state fire marshal. 2) your vehicle must be inspected in order to obtain this sticker. 3) if you do not have this sticker on your vehicle, u are using lights and siren in a way that can get your dept into serious trouble with the state fire marshal..
For those of you in ohio check with the state fire marshal for yourself if u do not believe me... u can lose the privelage of having lights and siren if your caught driving without do reguard for traffic... Im quite sure there are Officers from other depts here in ohio who will also add any additional information i have not mentioned or need too expand additional information on with having the sticker for lights and sirens...
Ohio also now requires your vehicle to be inspected by a garage and certified as safe. We allow the use of lights and sirens but it is a privlidge and can be taken if abused. We also have what we call emergency response and non emergency response for the use of emergency lighting. We have drivers training and also have the Ohio Highway Patrol in once a year to cover the laws of Ohio and to answer our concerns. They are a great group to assist you with questions and concerns.
I can be both i am 25 years old and when tone's go off there is a certain amount of excitment . I do have light's in my car front and rear i think more than anything i you's them normally when i am on scene to help block traffic or enroute to the station but i still try and follow the traffic laws . I ride with the sheriff's alot around here that is what i want to eventually want to become and i have seen enough wreck's from people being wreckless and i think about that when i want to just take off for calls. As far as the law enforcement offical's they are the one's who tould me once i am given the ok to get light's i should . For one main reason for saftey were i live it's a island very few street light's no stop light's and the average speed is 55mph. so with the light's i can be scene from a way's away to help slow them down . So in my opion if the person is responcable enough they are a benefit to have with do regard to the law's.
Lights and sirens on POVs are nothing more than a "penis extension", and a "look at me, i'm a fireman!". Would the people that have them still have them if they also had to have a BIG sign down the side of their vehicle saying VOLUNTEER, i doubt it.
They give the driver a false sense of security which causes them t drive a bit more reckless than they would normally which put the public at risk.