1. #1
    APG1
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Talking Update: IL Blue Light Laws

    For all you Illinois volenteers, just an update on House Bill 0161, allowing volenteer fire fighters/ems personel to operate a siren, wig wags, and blue grill lights (even tho like, this was already legal) on their personal vehicle. It passed.
    http://www.legis.state.il.us/legisne...0HB0161LV.html

    Let the mad rush to Galls begin.

    Happy Firefightin'.

    [This message has been edited by APG1 (edited 03-25-2001).]

  2. #2
    Engine69
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Glad to hear Illinois is progressive enough to allow this.. Now what I want to know is where this blue light language came from:

    "2. Police department vehicles in cities having a population of 500,000 or more inhabitants."

    Do people in Illinois cities with 499,999 or less inhabitants not understand what a "blue" light means???


  3. #3
    APG1
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Talking

    My question is, if I'm in Chicago, and I get pulled over by a police car with blue lights, do I have to stop? It's only a courtesty light officer! Honest!

  4. #4
    Dr. Law
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Unhappy

    Are you sure? I checked the state website and it only says that this bill has gone to the Senate for a reading. If that is the case, it is not law yet. Better hold off on calling Galls!

  5. #5
    firefighter8015
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    "2. Police department vehicles in cities having a population of 500,000 or more inhabitants."

    Do people in Illinois cities with 499,999 or less inhabitants not understand what a "blue" light means??? "

    In the state of Illinois police cars must use a combination of red and blue lights, expect in the City of Chicago which uses only blue. The state of Illinois uses the phrase "in cities having a population of 500,000 or more inhabitants" in many of the state laws to exclude or give special permission for the city of Chicago to do certain things. School boards in Illinois are elected by a vote of the people except "in cities having a population of 500,000 or more inhabitants" where the Mayor of Chicago appoints school board members.


  6. #6
    Dr. Law
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Also, as I happened to have dinner tonight with three state representatives and a state senator, and the reps said that the activities were all in the house, and not in the senate right now, I doubt anything is being done with this bill at the moment. However, I saw this post after dinner and not before, when I could have asked them about it (and pushed for it). I will do that tomorrow and post the answer here.

    [This message has been edited by Dr. Law (edited 03-27-2001).]

    [This message has been edited by Dr. Law (edited 03-27-2001).]

  7. #7
    Dr. Law
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Okay boys and girls living in Illinois. If you want HB161 to pass, here is what you need to do.

    Contact your local state senator. The bill is currently in the State Senate on it's first reading (probably today). To become law, the bill has to be passed by both houses. Yes, it passed, but in the House, where it started. It has to survive three readings of the bill before it is voted on in the Senate, so IT IS NOT A LAW YET!!!!!

    That's right, put down those phones, quit clicking on the mouse buttons, cancel those orders for lights and sirens, because as of right now, you cannot have them (legally).

    More later when and if it passes the Senate
    (and then, the Governor has to sign it).

    So, you now have your marching orders. Call your Illinois state senator and ask him or her to pass HB161.


  8. #8
    SWFD94
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Just to let all of you know, and confirm the last post that I read...

    The bill as of today, 04/04/01, has not passed the senate or gone before the governor. It is not law yet, so don't buy your sirens.

    Also..
    The law, as it says now, allows volunteers to use blue lights only in their vehicles. If this new bill is passed, we will now be allowed to use a siren and have white wig-wags in our headlights. (remember, I said blue lights only as of right now).

    As for my opinion on this law...I think it has its ups and downs. As far as the white wig-wags go, I see no problmem with those. But, I can see some problems with the siren. I can't speak for every one, but the volunteers that respond through Decatur (my town) better keep a copy of that law with them because I can definetely see the police pulling someone over. And, my other reservation regarding sirens is that the blue light is only a courtesy light, so what good will that sire do you when you come to a stoplight against traffic?

    If departments put a good policy in place and use common sense when letting their members use the siren, I can see that this law could benefit us all, but most importantly it will benefit the victim the most because of a reduced response time.

    I hope no one takes offense at this because i mean none...

    Have a safe day!

    ------------------

  9. #9
    APG1
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Wink

    Hey SWFD94, hello from Champaign!

  10. #10
    Dr. Law
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Wink

    Small world, SWFD. Having been a prosecutor in Decatur, I can tell you that there once was a problem with volunteers and blue light usage. The problem was that they were not using their lights, and would be caught speeding to calls by the Deputies, who did not know them to be firemen, and who would give them tickets for speeding. Had they had the blue lights, they probably would have gotten a pass (so long as they were not approaching the speed of sound. There is, after all, a limit to professional courtesy). We also had one who claimed to be on a call, when in fact he was not - we checked! His ticket stuck and his association with his department was terminated. After I sent a letter to the various volunteer departments asking them to have the members use blue lights or slow down, we did not have any more problems.
    As for the law here, last I saw, it was referred to the rules committee after the first reading. In the house, it appears to have taken about a month and a half to go through (about a week or so in rules committee there). So there is still hope!
    Bug, er, ah, I mean, call your State Senator now!

  11. #11
    SWFD94
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Angry

    For all of you making that mad rush to Galls....Hold on their partner!!!! The Illinois Senate has taken the liberty of deleting the section that allows a volunteer to use a siren. The link to the proof is here:
    http://www.legis.state.il.us/legisne...0HB0161LV.html

    It may not be a "clickable" link, but just copy and paste and it will get you there.

    I guess it is probably a good thing because, the blue light is only a courtesy light and does not allow us the legal right to run a traffic signal/sign, so the only thing it would do is irritate the police and confuse motorists.

    I still would like to have the white wig-wags on my headlights, so I hope that passes.

    Also, Hello to the guy from Champaign!

  12. #12
    SWFD94
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    OOOPPPPSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!! I think I made a mistake, and posted an incorrect link...Here is the correct link.
    http://www.legis.state.il.us/scripts...LIBSINCWHB0161

    Hello APG1

  13. #13
    ttjjss
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Talking

    just a friendly warning to all of you that have blue lights in your vehicles. if you ever drive through Arkansas, you better have the blue lights hid, out of sight, only police vehicles can have ANY blue lights on them. came from the blue light rapist deal a few years ago. A guy had a dash mounted blue light he would use to pull over women and then he kidnapped them and raped em. i have heard of many states where blue or blue with other colors can be ran by firefighters but not here, its blue for the law and red for firefighters.
    TYLER

  14. #14
    Dr. Law
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Talking

    Bill status: We lost the sirens, (which might be a blessing in disguise) because of an amendment in the senate. The bill was supposed to have it's 3rd and final reading in the Senate today, the 8th of May. If approved, next stop, Governor's desk. That is, if I recall my basic government workings correctly.

    Also ttjjss, we had the same thing here in Illinois a few years back, only with a red light. Kidnap, rape, murder, etc... It is a felony up here now to misuse lights in certain instances. So, I know that you Arkansas Volunteers who use red lights will doff them when visiting Illinois, just as we would not have our blue lights showing on our vehicles when visiting Arkansas.
    By the way, I understand that it is a much nicer place to visit now that Bill and Hill'ry live in New Yawk.

  15. #15
    Dr. Law
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Talking

    3-11-01. Passed the Illinois Senate. Now back to the Illinois House. Remembering this basic government stuff from lo' those many years ago in high school is tough! I forget if it is going back to see if they can live with the one amendment before shipping it to the Governor. Anybody more knowledgable about legislation out there can give me a little help with this one and where it goes from here?
    (sorry, I do criminal defense, bankruptcy and family law here, not lobbying)

  16. #16
    jmk271
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Wink

    I'm glad the siren part didn't pass. There are too many yo-yo's out there with enough junk on their vehicles as it is. Sirens belong on fire trucks, police cars, and ambulances. Not on personal vehicles. Just my $0.02 worth........

    ------------------
    JMK271
    ***Stay safe out there***
    ***These opinion(s) are my own, and not that of the department in which I serve***

  17. #17
    SWFD94
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Not only that, but can you imagine on a call, all the volunteers arriving at the station with their siren on, then the trucks coming out of the station with their sirens on? Not only would this confuse a motorist, but I don't think it would look good to the public.

  18. #18
    jmk271
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Just thinking about the kind of fools that would abuse such a law, had it passed, makes me cringe. There would have been a HUGE shopping spree going on. I'd have to say that I agree with you totally SWFD94. There would have been a few nuts here in Dewitt county who would have bought a siren just to have it, and I can think of a few guys in your county SWFD that would have done the same.

    ------------------
    JMK271
    ***Stay safe out there***
    ***These opinion(s) are my own, and not that of the department in which I serve***

  19. #19
    Dr. Law
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Talking

    The bill is still bouncing around in the house now but it looks close to passing.

    Hey SW and JMK, I know some nuts (mostly cops and retired cops) from both of your counties! Small world. By the way SW, did you get to play at the fitness center on Sunday? Just caught that on the news section of this website! Story reads like it was a big one, was it?

  20. #20
    APG1
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Cool

    *singing* It's a smaaaaaaaalll world, after all, it's small small world... after all!*

    That was a cool fire over there at the fitness club. :>

  21. #21
    jmk271
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Hey Dr. Law....which cops/ex-cops do you know from Dewitt County? You can email me if you don't wanna broadcast that in these forums.

    ------------------
    JMK271
    ***Stay safe out there***
    ***These opinion(s) are my own, and not that of the department in which I serve***

  22. #22
    SWFD94
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Nope, I didn't get to play at the DAC fire. I did get to watch though, since I live less than 1/4 mile away. I won't comment on the actions of Decatur Fire since I don't like others to criticize our fires, but I will say that they should have set up and used the tower sooner than they did.

    It was pretty cool though, through the roof a few minutes after they arrived!

  23. #23
    APG1
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Passed both houses. Off to the Governor's desk it goes... Of course, we all know who our governor is.. maybe we have to bribe him?

  24. #24
    Dr. Law
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Talking

    Bribe?????
    That's illegal. Shame on your for suggesting it.
    Just a HUGE Fee increase will do the trick!

    Dr. Law

    From Illinois, where our Governor did not raise taxes, he just raised every dang fee we have in the state 100% or more!!!!!

  25. #25
    Dr. Law
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Talking

    By the way, for a real hillarious post, go to the Firefighters Forum, and look for "Q In My Car" and "Scanner, Course I have One" by ifearwhatyoufight. They are back around pages 2 to 4 by now, but worth the time it takes to find these! Yeah, I know it has nothing to do with lights in Illinois, but for some of the crazies out there, it could!

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