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Thread: Rear warning?

  1. #1
    APG1
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Question Rear warning?

    Hi all. I'm currently looking for something to install on my Caravan for rear warning. The reason I'm looking into this is, as of late, I spend more time parked on the side of the road with my vehicle (Behind our command bus which has no lights). I have plenty o forward warning, but my rear warning is.. well, my tail lights. :> Any suggestions? I'm looking for something I can run a ciggarette lighter plug for, since I'm not certain how long my van'll be around. Suggestions?


  2. #2
    Neptune 33
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Question

    What are you using as your front warning? What colors may you have? (ie are you an officer that can have red?)

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    CRN

  3. #3
    Engine58
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Cool

    Go to HTTP:\www.Galls.com They have a few back warning lights for vehicles...but sinces its a can it might not work but its worth a try...also Try Http:\WWW.Edarley.com they also have a few rear warning lights etc...orr which one of my friends have are little strobe lights that are placed in your Brake light section of the lights. They are pretty reliable BUT there is some installation required which isnt to bad if you know what you are doing OR if you bring it to a local car radio or electronics place.

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    Andrew
    South Amboy, New Jersey
    EMS Cadet in NJ
    "EMTS DON'T DIE THEY JUST STABILIZE"

  4. #4
    MetalMedic
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Thumbs up

    We have a gadget on our police cars that makes an alternating flash pattern utilizing the tail lights, back-up lights and the 3rd brake light. I do believe GALL'S stock these as well. I think for your purpose they would be ideal. They use lights that are already on the vehicle and the unusual flashing of lights from the rear of the vehicle definately grab attention.

    As for cigarette lighter options, any deck lighting unit would do the job and I think the new LED type lights show some promise as well.

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    Richard Nester
    Orrville (OH) Fire Dept.

  5. #5
    Da Sharkie
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Thumbs up

    I have a few guys on my call dept. that have a small strobe light on the driver's side rear corner of a window. It works well to let people know where you are and has a pretty good range for visibility. There's one other option. You can go to 911ep.com and they have this littl light bar about 10 inches long that has a strip of L.E.D. lights that flashes in patterns. It costs about $150 or so which isn't too much more than a strobe, especially if you have to buy a power source, and this thing is BRIGHT so it would work very well for you. Anyway, these are just a few suggestions for you. Stay safe.

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    I didn't do it, nobody saw me do it. You can't prove anything.

  6. #6
    bob1350
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    We cannot have anything on the rear, except our regular flashers. We have strict SOP's about parking on the road anyway. All POV's park in front of the apparatus. Let it get nailed by some lookie-lew idiot, and not your car. Is your caravan a POV or a dept vehicle?

  7. #7
    391HD
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    If you absolutely need warning equipment on a POV, in your case additional warning to the rear, I would suggest the 911EP LS15 LED warning light as previously mentioned, or some sort of self-contained strobe module. The LED is most energy efficient, not taxing the vehicles electrical system.
    Avoid using things that use existing bulbs, such as brake light flashers. Many problems have been reported, such as brake system failures. Also, according to Federal law, it is illegal to "flash" the third brake light.
    I can see the need for warning lights on a POV for scene safety, especially if you're one of the first on scene. I used to feel it necessary to have warning equipment on my vehicle, but removed everything last year, and it hasn't made any difference in response time. Guess it's all pyscological.
    And don't forget to notify your Auto Insurance carrier that you POV is an emergency vehicle.

  8. #8
    RyanT
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    I use clear strobes installed in in the Amber turn signal assemblies.

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    -
    Ryan Tourge
    1st Lieutenant
    Chestertown Vol. Fire Company
    Chestertown, NY

  9. #9
    MetalMedic
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Question

    391HD states: "Also, according to Federal law, it is illegal to "flash" the third brake light."

    Well.. being a cop for 17 years now, this is the first I was aware of ANY federal traffic "laws".... Wonder how the FBI finds time to enforce these??? Bet they are hiding behind bill boards looking for that pesky flashing third brake light!!

    I think you may be referring to Federal traffic "standards" that might prohibit flashing the 3rd brake light. The same standards that prohibit a red light flashing to the front or a clear light from shining to the back of a vehicle. If you look a little further, you will find that there are exemptions for "public safety vehicles"...

    At any rate, we have been using the fancy flashers on our patrol cars now for 3 years with NO failures.

    I would also check around little bit before I would go give my insurance agent an excuse to force me to buy some kind of rider. It is very likely that when you are using your vehicle in the performance of duty for a governmental entity, they assume the liability for its operation.




    [This message has been edited by MetalMedic (edited August 30, 2000).]

  10. #10
    Member
    Join Date
    Feb 1999
    Location
    Roswell, GA, USA
    Posts
    58

    Post

    I'll second MetalMedic on his remarks about the 3rd brake light. BUT, it's a feature on newer vehicles now. I've seen some new cars and truck with a flashing 3rd brake light, and one model (forget which one) even stops flashing when the vehicle come to a stop. I'm not a fan of it because it's annoying. Like a good emergency lighting package. Annoying enough to be really noticed.

    I use a FlashBack on my S-10 Blazer with a Federal PAR-36 strobe hanging by the back window. It's very noticable when on, and invisible when off. I was offered concealed strobes at a low price, but they would work against the FlashBack, so I turned it down.

    Like others have noted in this topic, I too respond directly to scenes if I'm not at the station. What also works great is reflective tape. My Blazer is white, but the windows are a very dark tint. I bought some 2" black reflective tape at Gall's. It's fantastic!! Almost totally invisible in the daytime. It's on my back window, side rear windows, and front bumper. And, it doesn't break any laws or put a strain on the alternator.


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    Rick Reed
    (Contact me about a musical version of "The Fireman's Prayer".)
    The views expressed are mine. I typed it.

  11. #11
    Dr. Law
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Cool

    Try a Federal Magna-Beam. Also, depending on the age or type of your Caravan, you probably will have a rear-seat area plug in for cigarette plug wired devices. The Magna Beam is the oscillating Fire Beam, and will cover 70 degrees of area. I have also found that the dwell time of the flash on slow speed intensifies the flash effect. Though I use mine to the front, it should work just as well to the rear. Your only problem will be figuring out how to mount the thing. Depending also on how strict the District 10 Troopers are there in Champaign, you might be able to get away with one of those Flash-back lighting systems that flash the brakelights against the back-up lights. Of course, it is strictly illegal for you to do this in Illinois, which is why I suggest you check to see how strict they will be. If legality is a problem, stick with an inside mount rotating light on the dash. They will see it to the rear.

  12. #12
    Member
    Join Date
    Feb 1999
    Location
    Roswell, GA, USA
    Posts
    58

    Post

    Dr. Law brings up something I've noticed in my travels: State laws are state laws, but what the local and area police will tolerate is usually what will be used by the volunteers.

    Two examples: in a town in south Texas where I lived for a year, we were only allowed a blue dash light (VFD and EMS) even though Texas state law allows red lights and sirens for volunteers. Example 2: in an area near Houston, the volunteers ran with half red/half blue lightbars, like what one usually sees on police cars.

    Two areas with different policies than the state law. And the local police as well as county and state police stationed in the area did nothing because it was the custom of the area.

    As an additional aside, when I visited my fiancee in the first town, I had a full light bar with red on the outboards and (probably) blue on the inboards, a pattern commonly used where I lived near Houston. A state trooper, who was a friend of mine, advised me not to have that bar on if I came back to visit my fiancee. I showed him the vehicle code. He had, of course, learned it, but being in that town most of his career, had forgotten that particular code (as it wasn't used there).

    So, when in Rome.......


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    Rick Reed
    (Contact me about a musical version of "The Fireman's Prayer".)
    The views expressed are mine. I typed it.

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