Thread: Amber LEDs

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    Default Amber LEDs

    Does anyone know what the law is regarding amber lighting products? I know in New York we are allowd to display only one blue light, but can we have amber warning devices? (I know I'd like to have one on the back of my truck for those late nights on the parkway.) Also, I know that some states have blue lights for their police, do I have to cover up my blue light when I go there (eg. MA and CT)? Any help would be great.

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    I don't know about NY laws, but the CT vol FF color is also blue. Police use blue and red (and amber and white). The law states that you can not illuminate (use) a blue light without a permit, but does not outlaw possession.
    Check your laws as to whether they differentiate between moving and parked vehicles. Maybe it's ok to run amber on the side of the road. Our fire police can run Red when stopped only (with a separate permit).
    Now, all states are different. Take those same blue lights to NC, outside of your trunk in the original manufacturer's packaging, and you could find yourself in handcuffs with misdemeanor charges.

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    for a good reason we hqve had a lot of blue light bandits down here in nc
    so that is why
    i would have to take out my red light if i can up tp whwere you are
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    You'd need to see exactly what your State law and dept reguations say. For example, like he said, in CT the law says Firefighters can use blue. It says nothing about amber in the relation to firegighters. If you want to use an amber flashing light, you technically need an Amber Light Permit from the DMV. Now, most depts don't really care and let their memebers use amber as well as the blue. I think the entire state of CT, there are probably a total of 4 amber light permits out of the 5 million vehicles that actually have amber lights (like all the landscaping trucks, etc).

    Ask you chief what you are allowed to use in his dept. and check the state laws regarding too.

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    Wink Blue light special....

    Since K-Mart filed chapter 11, you might find some
    cheap at one of their stores...

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    Remember the "Golden" saying "Amber-Anytime" you can have amber for absoutly no reason.
    I know in the winter here alot of contractors put them on for no reason and play "hero" by driveing around with amber lights.They must think there melting the snow or something. LOL
    Well thats Mass,Maine and NH ,im not to familiar with those odd states below mine-I try to not go there often, they got some rather odd laws.

    But as far as concealing a blue light.No there not illegal to have as long as there not on. My advice is if it is a dash light, just put it down becuase god forbid you ever be in traffic and someone in front of hates cops and spots that blue light, and starts shooting at you becuase he thinks your a cop. Sounds stupid but has happend!

    Just my thoughts.
    dfdex1

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    Default Not exactly

    Not exactly...

    You do need a reason to have the amber legally here. You have to apply for a permit with the DMV, get it signed by the police chief, and pay $7.00. Now, no one really gives a about it and every landscaper, snow plow, and contractor has an amberl light on the roof without a permit. I don't think I have ever seen any of them get cited for it becasue frankly, it is stupid to need a permit for it anyway. The state just wants the $7.00 Heck, I dought half the police officers even know you need a permit for it. The police chief was speechless when someone I know decided to be legal and go get a permit signed. I don't think he ever actually signed one before.

    As for the blue... It is illegal to display a blue flashing light light without a permit. In this state, "Display" means whether it is on or off. I can not legally put a red light on my dash and just not use it. It is being "displayed" whether it is on or off. Most people don't realize that. That is how CT is, I don't know about other states.

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    New York is the same way: display means weather it is on or off. Many people use the word "illuminate" but that just is not in the law, the term is "display"

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    Here in Maine you do not need a permit for an amber light, but the law is quite clear about who can use them and when. That said, I've seen so many vehicles running around with their ambers on when they don't need them(driving around in the snow), then I see the same people with the lights off when they should be on (when actually plowing and backing out into a roadway). If the police ever tried to enforce the laws during a snow storm we'd be up to our necks before long.

    You need a permit for a red.

    Our law also states that "display" means visible on or off.

    Blue is not allowed to be displayed on any vehicle except police and certain "vintage" cars built prior to 1952.

    Green is currently not allowed at all, although older security vehicles can use them if installed before 1996.

    White is only allowed on police and fire/EMS vehicles, not on POV's, although many VFD dash lights show white it is seldom enforced as long as the members don't go overboard.

    If you're interested...
    http://janus.state.me.us/legis/statu...-asec2054.html

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    Default Re: Not exactly

    Originally posted by nomad1085

    As for the blue... It is illegal to display a blue flashing light light without a permit. In this state, "Display" means whether it is on or off. I can not legally put a red light on my dash and just not use it. It is being "displayed" whether it is on or off. Most people don't realize that. That is how CT is, I don't know about other states.
    You were correct. 33 years ago.
    CGS Sec 14-96p (b) A blue light may not be illuminated upon a motor vehicle, except that a vehicle being operated by an active member of a volunteer fire department or company or an active member of an organized civil preparedness auxiliary fire company who has been authorized in writing by the chief executive officer of such department or company may use such a light, including a flashing blue light, while on the way to the scene of a fire or other emergency requiring his services. Such authorization may be revoked by such officer or his successor. The chief executive officer of each volunteer fire department or company or organized civil preparedness auxiliary fire company shall certify annually during the month of January, on forms provided by the commissioner, the names and addresses of members whom he has authorized to use a blue light as provided in this subsection. Such listing shall also designate the registration number on the number plate or plates of the vehicle on which the authorized blue light is to be used.

    History: 1969 act replaced "displayed" with "illuminated" and "display" with "use" for clarity;

    http://www.cga.state.ct.us/2001/pub/...#sec14-96p.htm
    Last edited by blkhelmet; 08-15-2002 at 09:46 AM.

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    Dang. I have read 14-96p and 14-96q and I never picked up on that.

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    I dont know if you can have red...but red led's are brighter than amber. I know it sounds crazy since amber haloden and strobes are brighter than red, but not in led's.

    We have been running LED's for about three years now. First weldon, now whelen and federal. I had noticed before, but thought it was just me. Finally we were at a preconstuction meeting at Luverne and they had a whelen AND federal rep there. So I just asked 'em. And they confirmed it. Red LED's are brighter than amber. blue and red is close, white brighter.

    On our rescues, the tunnel light is a whelen model 97 LED...talk about bright.

    Anyway...just some useless info...

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    Being from NY I know most of the laws. So lets put them in a nutshell. You may have one blue light displayed with the proper ID card. You may have as many yellow lights as you want. You may also have red only if it is rear facing as a Vollie. Get it ?
    Everything that I post is my opinion only, none of this should be taken as fact.

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    Originally posted by sfdlt5
    Being from NY I know most of the laws. So lets put them in a nutshell. You may have one blue light displayed with the proper ID card. You may have as many yellow lights as you want. You may also have red only if it is rear facing as a Vollie. Get it ?
    Actually, you are incorrect sir. In New York the law clearly states: "One or more red or combination red and white lights, which must be a revolving, rotating, flashing, oscillating or constantly moving light, may be affixed to an authorized emergency vehicle only." POV's are NOT allowed to have red revolving, rotating, flashing, oscillating or constantly moving lights ANYWHERE on their vehicle. Get it?

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    I would hate to tell you this but all CHiefs in our area run red lights on there POVs. Also I personally asked a state trooper about rear facing red lights and as long as no light is emitted forward then it is totaly legal. You dont have to be an A**.
    Everything that I post is my opinion only, none of this should be taken as fact.

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    Frankly, it really dosent matter what a law enforcment officer says. The law is what it is, weather he knows it or not. If you are interested, the link to the law is: http://www.nysgtsc.state.ny.us/emer-vt.htm#top
    Also, I don't belive that I used any language that you yourself did not use.

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    Originally posted by dfdex1
    But as far as concealing a blue light.No there not illegal to have as long as there not on.
    It might not be illegal, but if you don't want to be harrassed by the PD then cover them or remove them.

    Being 10 minutes from MA, we have many people who go up there and many people who go through there.

    Guys with lightbars have been pulled over by the PD in MA. They were let off with a warning to next time cover their lights.
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    Talking Lets Change Direction...

    Some of us (I claim to be a ringleader) have engaged in a little bashing of the National Volunteer Fire Council, over a period of time, here in the Forums. Is it possible that such an August body as the NVFC could get off their butts and pursue NATIONAL legislation which would require all 50 states to meet a standard for warning devices for POV's?? As things stand now, every state has a different regulation covering lights for POVs. Red, Blue, Green, Amber, White, are all mentioned in state codes, along with varied audible warning devices. In Maryland, I am unable to use an exhaust whistle on my POV. Now what in the heck is an exhaust whistle??? (you get the idea) I know the old tale about "an elephant is really a mouse that was designed by a government committee", but we can do better than what we have now. Stay Safe....
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    There's no need for the NVFC to pursue that. How many times are you going to be flying through multiple states with a light on anyway?

    Also, think of the cost to everyone's wallets if they have to switch the color of their lights.
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    Post Eliminate confusion??

    My idea was to try to see if there is interest in ending the confusion that results from different laws in different states. Western Maryland is a case in point, Mutual Aid (in most cases automatic aid) companies cross state lines into and even across other states. I have been told by a reliable source that there are run cards in place that would bring a West Virginia company THRU Maryland to get to a 2nd alarm in Pennsylvania. Before you ask, yes, the Maryland company ran the 1st alarm. Only 5 of Marylands 23 counties do not get (and give) out-of-state aid on a routine basis, 5 counties get aid from 2 or more other states, one, Frederick County, Gets Companies from Va.or West Va.or Pa.on a routine 1 alarm fire, depending on the location. Until Maryland laws were adjusted to allow for mutual aid situations, out of state volunteers crossing the state line had to turn off any warning devices upon entering Maryland. They now can continue to the scene uninterrupted. A second point concerns all those people who head off on vacation with a permenantly mounted lightbar on top of their vehicle, heading thru states who prohibit such devices. If the playing field was level, the game would be easier for all the players. Stay Safe....
    Last edited by hwoods; 09-18-2002 at 04:08 PM.
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    Many towns along hte CT/MA border have mutual aid agreements with each other. When you call for MA, you respond in a APPARATUS. These towns don't have problems with the lights on their cars because they don't respond to other towns in their POV.
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    Back to the original question, be careful about rear facing amber flashers. When I was in Law Enforcement in California, the CHP said the flashing amber light required on their vehicles drew in drunk drivers like moths. The largest cause of injury at that time was officers hit in their cars from behind by drunks who drove into the amber light. I would not put one on my vehicles!

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    SGR1600, check the definition of "emergency vehicle" in New York. You might find that it includes the POVs operated by fire chiefs. These vehicles are considered emergency vehicles in PA, and I know that fire chiefs are in NY as well.

    This is the legal definition of "emergency vehicle" in PA:


    "Emergency vehicle." A fire department vehicle, police vehicle, sheriff vehicle,ambulance, blood delivery vehicle, human organ delivery vehicle hazardous material response vehicle, armed forces emergency vehicle, one vehicle operated by a coroner or
    chief county medical examiner and one vehicle operated by a chief deputy coroner or deputy chief county medical examiner used for answering emergency calls, or any other vehicle designated by the State Police under section 6106 (relating to designation of
    emergency vehicles by Pennsylvania State Police), or a privately owned vehicle used in answering an emergency call when used by any of the following:

    (1) A police chief and assistant chief.

    (2) A fire chief, assistant chief and, when a fire company has three or more fire vehicles, a second or third assistant chief.

    (3) A fire police captain and fire police lieutenant.

    (4) An ambulance corps commander and assistant commander.

    (5) A river rescue commander and assistant commander.

    (6) A county emergency management coordinator.

    (7) A fire marshal.

    (8) A rescue service chief and assistant chief.


    Whether all of these are considered "emergency vehicles" in NY as well is one thing, but I know that fire chief's POVs are. That's why they are required to have an audible warning device (read: siren) in conjunction with their red light(s).

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    You are allowed to have both blue and amber lights on your car, however you may not operate both of them at the same time.

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    Originally posted by FirstInLastOut
    You are allowed to have both blue and amber lights on your car, however you may not operate both of them at the same time.
    And what state is this? Sure isn't CT.

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