Why register? ...To Enhance Your Experience
+ Reply to Thread
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 38
  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Location
    Pittsburgh
    Posts
    1

    Default Flashing hi-beam headlights

    I am looking for a little input about flashing hi-beam headlights on fire apparatus. Our 93 Dash is equipped with this feature, however some of our officers choose to disable them at night, for fear it may blind oncoming drivers. Others in our dept feel that the lights are part of the emergency lighting package, and should be on at all times. Are we putting ourselves at risk by using them, and blinding other drivers after dark, or are we asking for trouble by shutting them off at night?


  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Location
    Egremont, Massachusettes
    Posts
    129

    Default

    I do not use wig wags at night. I find it annoying when regular highbeams are comming at me, never the less flashing ones. I don't want to cause an MVA because of blinding somebody on the way to a call. I think in most states it's frowned on to run wig wags at night. I do however, if someone isn't pulling over, flip them momentarily.
    HELL YEAH!!!
    The comments made by me are just that. Not of the Fire dept or Ambulance squad I am on.

  3. #3
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    F.L. CO,USA
    Posts
    107

    Default

    Hmm disabled emergency equipment that was supplied by the manufacturer? Thats not too smart. What if that rig is in an accident at night and the driver of the rig claims that he could have been seen better if he had wig wags. Or the driver of the other car gets a lawyer that says that his client would have had more time to react if the lights had been active. The blinding theory isnt any good. A driver has to yield to a firetruck that is running emergency equipment. IF the other driver pulls over to the side of the road and waits for it to go by then sufficient time has passed to overcome the night blindness. Especially if the other driver yields in a reasonable amount of time before the rig is on top of him. In any case if the issue of night blind by wigs wags comes up because they are active, the manufacturer has to come into the lawsuit also. This spreads out the liability and chances of loosing the suit. On the other hand if you have shut them down, You are taking the whole liability issue onto your own department.

  4. #4
    MembersZone Subscriber N2DFire's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2000
    Location
    S.W. Virginia
    Posts
    1,286

    Default

    Here in VA the law states

    § 46.2-1029.1. Flashing of headlights on certain vehicles.

    Emergency vehicles as defined in subsection C of § 46.2-920 may be equipped with the means to flash their headlights when their warning lights are activated if (i) the headlights are wired to allow either the high beam or low beam to flash, but not both, and (ii) the headlight system includes a switch or device which prevents flashing of headlights when head lights are required to be lighted under § 46.2-1030.

    (1989, c. 47; 1994, c. 69.)
    If you'd like to do more research on VA law - check out The Code of Virginia - Searchable Database

    Take Care - Stay Safe - God Bless
    Stephen
    FF/Paramedic
    Take Care - Stay Safe - God Bless
    Stephen
    FF/Paramedic
    Instructor

  5. #5
    MembersZone Subscriber asaffell's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 1999
    Location
    The Great State of TEXAS, USA
    Posts
    127

    Default

    I like the wig-wag during the day a lot. Sometimes this is the only light that gets them to move over.
    I do not turn off any of my emergency lights while reponding at night. Our Opticom turns off once the park brake is set as to not mess up any intersection lights by being left on. I understand about affecting folks in front of you while responding (EFDems841). But..... I also feel that I should respond with all my emergency lights on (eyecue). Again, turning off certain lights once onscene I do support.
    Good topic for discussion.
    Saffell
    1 Corinthians 1:18
    For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

  6. #6
    Senior Member BFD196's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Stamford CT
    Posts
    247

    Default

    My Dad has a hidden system on his Chief`s Vehicle, a 2002 Ford Explorer. We had strobes in the front signals, an LED dashligh, and strobes in the rear. But, once everyone got a look, it was obvious that wasn`t enough. During the day, seeing those strobes, and especially the LED is really hard, so we got wig-wags in the headlights. They`ve worked great, and act as the backbone of all the lights. During the day, that`s what people see in their mirror before any of the others. We can turn them off if we`d like, but I wouldn`t, even at night.

  7. #7
    MembersZone Subscriber
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Location
    West Jordan, Utah, USA
    Posts
    51

    Default

    I can see pros and cons each way. I personally don't have wig wags on my rig so don't have to worry about it. It would be nice for the idiots that won't pull over though. I am suprised people are so stupid that an engine with reds, yellows, strobes, rotating lights, and stinger lights, an air horn, mechanical siren, and electrical sirens, isn't noticed. I have driven the rigs with the wig wags at night though and they actually bother me, due to constantly changing shadows. The best emergency light on our rig for getting through traffic is the opticom though (wired to the doors to shut off once a door is opened). That does wonders and usually changes 2 lights ahead at the same time, very slick.
    Firefighter/Paramedic Ron Sanders
    Midvale Fire Department
    Medic Ambulance 22 - A Platoon

    Firefighters, Walking where the Devil Danced!

    This is simply my opinion and does not represent the opinion or view of my employer(s) or any department/agency to which I belong.

    Personal Website: http://RonSanders.Biz Check it Out!

  8. #8
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2000
    Location
    Greensboro,NC
    Posts
    10

    Default

    My departments GOG's state that all emergency lights shall be utilized while responding to an emergency.
    If I were to be involved in an accident and did not have all warning equipment in operation I have effectivly assumed liability for the accident.
    That said, if drivers can't see or here a fire truck with multiple lights flashing and sirens screaming what good will wig wags do. We have wig wags, Mars lights, electroinc sirens, and Q2B's on the majority of our trucks and still people fail to yeild the right of way.
    Cover your butt, run all the warning systems you have.

  9. #9
    Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    93

    Default

    We choose not to run our wig wags at night for the reasons stated earlier.

    If the world were a perfect place, everyone would yield as they are required to, by law. But, more often times than not, they could care less, and are going to do what they want anyway.

    As far as a lawsuit if you are in an accident, I must disagree. If there was a law that stated you had to run all of the emergency lighting equiped, maybe. But if someone could sue, how come all trucks aren't equiped with wig-wags? We only have one rig equiped, and we do not run them at night. In my opinion, as long as you have what NFPA recommends, you are okay, and NFPA is a just a guideline, so even at that you are probably okay.

    With so many options on emergency lighting, it would be hard to lose a lawsuit because you had your wig wags turned off.

    To me, it is a matter of opinion...if you decide to run them, run them, if not, turn them off.

    My two pennies and nothing more, two pennies!!
    Begin with the end in mind.

    Be safe out there!!

  10. #10
    Senior Member firecat1524's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    SC
    Posts
    191

    Default

    The only time I turn off the wig wags, or the piercer lights on our apparatus is when it caused flash back problems on rain/snow/fog/etc. At times the wig wags and/or piercers are the first lights that gain the attention of other drivers.

  11. #11
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Location
    Kentucky
    Posts
    19

    Default

    Flashing headlights should only be for daytime use, have You ever met an apparatus at night with these on Yes it grabs Your attention but it also makes it impossible to see the roadway.
    As for the liability issue lets see eyecue's theory stand up in court. If You notice all new rigs that have NFPA lighting packages then headlight flashers are not a part of that package and only offered as an option, wonder why?
    Just My thaughts.

  12. #12
    MembersZone Subscriber
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Location
    Clermont County, Ohio
    Posts
    569

    Default

    My department has wig-wags on a number of vehicles and I also have them on my personal vehicle. They work well to alert vehicles that you're approaching from behind. They're visible from a greater distance than the light bar, both day and night. I do recommend that you turn the wig-wags off when parked at a scene. They can be very disorienting to oncoming traffic.
    Proud to be honored with IACOJ membership. Blessed by TWO meals cooked by Cheffie - a true culinary goddess. Expressing my own views, not my organization's.

  13. #13
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Location
    Egremont, Massachusettes
    Posts
    129

    Default

    eyecue,
    most wig-wag units have a wire that connect to your parking lights, when the parking lights are turned on,the wig-wags will not operate. I didn't hook up this feature on my POV because I have my wig wags on a seperate switch. Ihave seen people critized for running them at night. One of the EMT's on the squad with me is also a police officer and has numerous times brought up in meetings about people running wig-wags at night. As stated above, if it were a perfect world, people WOULD pull over..but also in a perfect world, we'd be out of a job...
    It's only disabling the equipment if you tamper with it. Most vehicles have seperate swtiches for shutting the wig-wags off, that's not diabling in my book..that's choosing to use (or not)use that piece of warning device.
    HELL YEAH!!!
    The comments made by me are just that. Not of the Fire dept or Ambulance squad I am on.

  14. #14
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Northeastern Pennsylvania
    Posts
    10

    Default

    Captain, Since you are from Pennsylvania you should consult Pa.C.S.67, Section 173.3 (6)(ii) which states: "Flashing headlamp systems are to be used under 75 Pa.C.S. Section 4306 (relating to use of multiple-beam road lighting equipment. Pa.C.S.75 4306 (a)(b) state when vehicles are approaching you within 500 feet- the driver shall use the low beam of light; when you approach another vehicle from the rear within 300 feet the driver shall use the low beam of light. So, regardless of NFPA, mfg supplied equipment- the letter of the law states you can't use them in these situations. If these provisions were enforced rigidly there would be many unhappy emergency vehicle operators in PA. Since the L-word was thrown around- how would an EVO make out if the wig wags caused a crash? Not too good in PA I suspect..
    Just my dime or actually $39.95 for the PA Criminal Justice Handbook!

    Browse the PA Code Online: http://www.pacode.com/

    [ 11-15-2001: Message edited by: resq27capt ]

    [ 11-15-2001: Message edited by: resq27capt ]

    [ 11-15-2001: Message edited by: resq27capt ]

  15. #15
    Forum Member Rescue101's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Location
    Bridgton,Me USA
    Posts
    8,162

    Default

    Medic 1085 you stole my thunder.I don't know of one Mfg. that uses headlight wig wags as part of the NFPA approved lighting package.Therefore your piece is in substantial compliance BEFORE you hook up/use your headlight flashers.Most systems have a night defeat as part of the system.But I agree they work great even though I did my truck in Headlight Strobes.T.C.

  16. #16
    Forum Member DrInferno's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2000
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    77

    Default

    I would say if it takes having the head light flashers to meet the requirements of the Highway Traffic Act in your municipality then it's legal if it doesn't mention them specifically then they don't have to be there and or used. Here to be considered an Emergency Vehicle you must have intermittant flashes of red light visible from 360 degrees and have a constantly sounding siren. Any use of white lights is acceptable but not necessary and with the new units that are delivered up here all flashing white lights stop when the park brake is applied opticom, rotating lights, headlight flashers etc.

  17. #17
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Posts
    3

    Default

    Since most State Troopers use wig-wags at day and night, I'd find it hard to believe that FD apparatus would have a problem. I can't remember of ever hearing about an accident caused by wig-wags. Lets not forget that powerful strobes are used every day without incident and they're even more blinding. I've worked in the Twin Cities Metro as a professional paramedic and firefighter for the past seven years and can't name a device that is less costly or more effective at moving traffic day or night.

    My two cents.

  18. #18
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Location
    Bladen County North Carolina
    Posts
    5

    Default

    we practice turning off the wig-wags at night, because of the disorienting effect for oncoming drivers, not to mention they can cause difficulty for the apparatus driver too. When it comes to liability the use or non-use of wig-wags is considerably less when you are facing a lawsuit from someone that ran off the road because the constantly flashing high beams messed with their vision. Yes, I agree they are wonderful for alerting other drivers, but think about when someone flashes their high beams at you and when they just stay on, which hurts your eyes and confuses your vision worse, at least for me its the flashing. Just imagine what a constant flash does. Also remember, us in emergency services have a bad habit....brighter and louder the better.
    Brian Hehl
    Firefighter/NREMT-Paramedic

    Remember, any person you make mad, may be your help at the next call....

  19. #19
    Member
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Location
    Midwest
    Posts
    57

    Default

    I see a different approach to thisthinking. It reall doesn't matter what bells, whistles, sirens, or lights you use. If you crash, you're gonna have some serious liability t deal with. As the operator of the apparatus it is your rsponisiblity to have control of the apparats, and to proceed with due regard for other safety.

    You can do it with on rotating beacon on top, or with 400 amps of lighting flashing and spinning. The Fire Service has failed when it preaches that more is better. I think we are better off driving with minimal fashing lights, and no siren, s at least the drivers take some time to get through interesctions, etc. making sure they are seen before they move on..

    I don't know if I made any sense, but I think we have made scenes ore dangerous by leaving lots of flashing lights on. They blind drivers, and make it very dangerous to operate around the apparatus.

    Just my opinion.

  20. #20
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2000
    Location
    Stratford, N.J.
    Posts
    159

    Default

    I use Wig-Wags on my POV both Night and Day. Have used them for some time now and have never had a problem. Infact they are an attention getter more so than my Warning Light on the Roof. We have Wig-Wags on our Ladder Truck {Mfg. Installed not specified} they came as part of the lighting package -- We use them night and day also and again no problems here
    ***The Opinions expressed here are strictly my own and do not reflect those of the Department to which I am a Member ! ***

    Stratford Fire Co. # 1.."Any Job ~ Any Place ~ Any Time"

    Check us Out www.stratfordfire.com

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts