Where i live we are allowed to run lights in our pov but no siren.I was driving down a busy interstate by my house the other night and saw a vechicle on the side of the road with it's flashers on.So i pulled over to see if i could be of assistance and an edlery lady had a flat so naturally i offered to change it for her.I went back to my pov and fliped on my lights(rear strobes) to make ourselves more visible because it was a very narrow shoulder.A cop pulls up(my ex girlfriends dad)he dose'nt like me since we broke up.And tells me using my strobes the way i was using them is illegal.And if i don't turn them off he's going to take me to jail.I tried to explain to him what i was doing but he didn't want to hear it.So i guess my question is what do you guys think about using your lights in this manner?And have you guys done the same thing before?And also was the cop out of line?I think he said that because i broke up with his daughter.One more thing i also explained this to my chief he was fine with it.He said better to be visible than dead.
I can only say for New York State because I haven't looked at V&T laws elsewhere.
As I presently understand it, volunteer "blue lights" are only to be used when you are en route to an emergency call and/or at the scene of an emergency call (or directing traffic ahead of such a scene.)
If you pull over to help another motorist, standard flashers would apply.
However, we have a lot of volunteers in our department who have amber light bars and such, usually rear facing, for just those kinds of situations and to augment blue lights when on traffic detail.
Your chief has ultimate say, he/she should know the laws as they apply to your district.
Personally, I think the cop was trying to push his weight around and give you a hard time.
In the heat of the moment, I always do what the copper says 'cause they have guns and I don't. However, if I think I'm right and they're wrong, I take it up with next in command later, politely.
I've used my blue light once in heavy (couldn't see much past the hood of the car) fog and that was because I was making a three-point-turn on a busy road to head back to the office (I'm a newspaper photographer in my "spare time") because the fog was too thick to make driving safe.
---- If you came upon a wreck in another departments jurisdiction, whether they have been dispatched or not ---
absolutely , the key here is are you making the scene safer and protecting either teh accident victims or the oncoming traffic. In this case sounds like you are making it safer .
Sometimes warning lights do not make things safer, interstates likely fit in this category unless you are blocking a lane or very close to the lane. It is bad enough enough when we get into this with cops but we sure teh heck should not be having these problems with other firefighters.
4 ways are OK if OFF on the side of the road but don't provide near enough warning if blocking the right a way.