Thread: POV lights in Alabama
08-27-2010, 09:12 AM #1
- Join Date
- Aug 2010
POV lights in Alabama
I have been searching the internet for hours and I have yet to find anywhere in an [U]Official doucument that says a volunteer fire fighter cannot have or run lights pov. Can anyone please point me in the right direction or show me in an official document that says other wise. Also just found out that Alabama is an open carry state. Most cops dont even know this but if anyone want any further info they can go to www.alabamaopencarry.com. 100% legal to carry a pistol in the open.
08-27-2010, 09:42 AM #2
Of course, all you needed to do was ask your Chief.
100% legal to carry a pistol in the open.
Have fun walking around carrying your pistol. I'm sure you can use all the flashing lights you want when you're walking, too.
Last edited by DeputyMarshal; 08-27-2010 at 09:44 AM."Nemo Plus Voluptatis Quam Nos Habant"
The Code is more what you'd call "guidelines" than actual rules.
08-27-2010, 10:20 AM #3
Long time Alabama vollie here.
In short, what DM said. Heck, there was a thread on this forum last week about the very subject.
Correcting Alabama vollie's misconception about POV lights is just about the only reason I'll post here anymore.
You can dig through the Code of Alabama at http://legislature.state.al.us if you don't want to believe me, or simply search for posts using my username here since I've posted all the applicable code sections several times.
Here's the law in a nutshell.
The only vehicles that can legally use emergency lights are authorized emergency vehicles. These include police cars, ambulances, and fire trucks. Police cars use blue, EMS and fire use red.
In order for any other vehicle (ie, POV) to be considered an authorized emergency vehicle, that vehicle must be so designated by the Director of Public Safety (state trooper head) or a municipal police chief. The county sheriff can't make the designation. FYI, the next volunteer FF POV that the public safety director designates as an authorized emergency vehicle will be the first. It is possible that somewhere a local police chief has designated some, but you won't find many because he's assuming liability for the operator's actions.
White strobes aren't prohibited and you could probably get by with a yellow wrecker light, but neither grant you any right to request the right of way. As far as that goes, even if you could run a light, Alabama law also says that in order to request the right of way, you must be using both visual and audible warning devices.
Many, many Alabama vollies openly flaunt the law. Some troopers and police officers just look the other way, others break out the ticket book. It just isn't worth it. Using an illegal light opens you up to traffic tickets and should you be in an accident the plaintiff attorney will crucify you.
Oh, and on the open carry thing. Again, DM is right. If you've got it in a vehicle you must have a concealed carry permit. Furthermore, walking down the street openly carrying a firearm is going to get you constant conversations with law enforcement. Just because you can do something doesn't always mean you should. Get your concealed carry permit. Alabama is pretty much a must issue state. If you don't have a record, for $20 a year or less you can avoid scrutiny and carry at the same time.
Last edited by EFD840; 08-27-2010 at 10:25 AM.
08-27-2010, 10:53 AM #4
08-27-2010, 11:01 AM #5
Hey brother, give me your hand and I will lead you to the thread already in progress.
http://www.firehouse.com/forums/showthread.php?t=116539 (Alabama POV)Stay Safe and Well Out There....
Always remembering 9-11-2001 and 343+ Brothers
08-27-2010, 11:13 AM #6
I just realized you're the same person that started the thread last week, which means you're either trolling or you've really got your heart set on that Whacker 5000 from Gall's.
If you're a troll, well done. You hooked me. Just in case you're not, I'm going to now show you in black and white. All references below come from section 32 of the Code of Alabama.
Let's start with what color lights go with what vehicle. That's found in 32-5A-115.
The color of the lighted lamp exhibited by police vehicles may be red or blue and the color of the lighted lamp exhibited by the fire department and other authorized emergency vehicles, including ambulances, shall be red. No vehicle other than a police vehicle will use a blue light. An amber or yellow light may be installed on any vehicle or class of vehicles designated by the Director of Public Safety, but such light shall serve as a warning or caution light only, and shall not cause other vehicles to yield the right-of-way.
Now that we know what color lights to use, we need to know what we can do with them. You can find those limitations in 32-5A-7. Particularly important is the part that says:
The exemptions herein granted to an authorized emergency vehicle shall apply only when such vehicle is making use of an audible signal meeting the requirements of Section 32-5-213 and visual requirements of any laws of this state requiring visual signals on emergency vehicles. 32-5-213 makes this rule easy to follow because it says Every police and fire department and fire patrol vehicle and every ambulance used for emergency calls shall be equipped with a siren, bell, ululating multi-toned horns or other electronic siren type device approved by the Director of Public Safety.
So now we know what kinds of devices we can use on Authorized Emergency Vehicles, leaving the big question - what is an Authorized Emergency Vehicle?
That question is fully and completely answered in 32-1-1.1. It is a big section, but the part of interest in this discussion tells us that an Authorized Emergency Vehicle is: Such fire department vehicles, police vehicles and ambulances as are publicly owned, and such other publicly or privately owned vehicles as are designated by the Director of Public Safety or the chief of police of an incorporated city.
No matter how many time you ask the question, the answer's still the same. Unless a specific exemption (for the vehicle, not the driver) has been granted, emergency lights on privately owned vehicles are illegal in Alabama.
08-27-2010, 11:57 AM #7
08-27-2010, 12:12 PM #8
- Join Date
- Mar 2003
You guys might not want to p!ss him off --- hes packing.
08-27-2010, 12:42 PM #9
- Join Date
- Jan 2006
The best of both worlds:
<object width="480" height="385"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/bhUmK0QeSoI?fs=1&hl=en_US"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/bhUmK0QeSoI?fs=1&hl=en_US" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="480" height="385"></embed></object>"They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." -- Benjamin Franklin
08-27-2010, 02:52 PM #10
Another one of those:
"I need them because I'm special"
I just realized that I am getting grumpy in my advanced age...HAVE PLAN.............WILL TRAVEL
08-27-2010, 10:17 PM #11
08-29-2010, 10:22 PM #12
- Join Date
- Feb 2010
Alabama Codes are specific when it comes to using Emergency lights in a Privately owned Vehicle. Especially BLUE, Red lights cannot be viewed from the front of a POV, matter of fact, any red lettering in the front of a POV can be cited as illegal.. Yet red lights can be viewd from the rear of a vehicle. What I find ironic is that organized "Rescue Squads" can use reds in their POV's. Welcome to the Heart of Dixie!
STAY SAFE! SEMPER FI
08-30-2010, 11:24 AM #13
I've posted excerpts from and links to the appropriate code sections above.
The law makes absolutely no mention of viewable from the front or rear and places no restriction on any lettering. It also makes no exemption for rescue squads. The only vehicles that can use lights legally are authorized emergency vehicles - the definition of which I've posted above.
If you can prove me wrong, post a link to the code section.
10-06-2010, 10:35 PM #14
- Join Date
- Oct 2010
Alabama lighting / emergency vehicles
2) No person shall drive or move any vehicle or equipment upon any highway with any lamp or device thereon displaying a red light visible from directly in front of the center thereof. This section shall not apply to authorized emergency vehicles.
d) Special restriction on lamps.
(2) No person shall drive or move any vehicle or equipment upon any highway with any lamp or device thereon displaying a red light visible from directly in front of the center thereof. This section shall not apply to authorized emergency vehicles.
09-10-2014, 08:23 PM #15
- Join Date
- Sep 2012
Alabama Law for Volunteer First-Responder
any communities rely on volunteer fire departments
for their fire protection and EMS response.
We as Alabama State Troopers often work alongside v
olunteer firefighters and EMS volunteers, and
we appreciate the efforts of these volunteers.
This brochure is provided to educate volunteer fire
and EMS personnel as to their responsibilities and
legal considerations while responding to calls for
service in an effort to keep them
-- and the community they serve -- safe.
: As a volunteer firefighter, may I use red lights
and a siren in my personal vehicle when responding
No. Alabama State law restricts the use of emerge
ncy lights and siren to designated emergency
Who can designate a vehicle as an “emergency vehic
Alabama State law (code T32-5A-115) states that o
nly the director of the Alabama
Department of Public Safety or police chief of an i
ncorporated city has the authority to designate a
vehicle as such.
Will the director of ADPS designate a personal or
privately owned vehicle as an “emergency
No. Only a “publicly owned” vehicle will be consid
ered for designation as an “emergency vehicle.”
As a volunteer firefighter or volunteer EMS operat
ing a privately owned vehicle, am I able to violate
such traffic laws as speed limit, red lights, stop
signs, etc., when responding to calls for service?
No. While operating a privately owned vehicle, you
are required to obey all laws.
If I am qualified and am driving the department’s f
ire truck or other emergency vehicles to a call wit
lights and siren activated, am I allowed to violate
State law allows emergency vehicle operators, while
responding to emergency calls, to violate traffic
laws ONLY while demonstrating due regard for public
safety. (For example, when responding to an
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