1. #1
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    Thumbs up blue light no more

    anyone else heard about this yet? a argument in front of legislature, they're trying to change all police colors to blue, and all us to red. It's been a small buzz around our firehouse, wondering if anyone else knows anything more about it.

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    hvnt heard a thing will keep an ear open

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    Post Rear facing blue only for Police so far

    This is what I could find on the subject....from the NYS Assembly page

    A00290 Summary:
    BILL NO A00290B

    SAME AS Same as S 3692-B

    SPONSOR Christensen

    Amd S375, V & T L

    Authorizes police vehicles to display blue lights or a combination of blue and
    red lights or combination blue, red and white lights, provided that such blue
    lights or lights project toward the rear of the police vehicle; such lights may
    be displayed when such vehicle is engaged in an emergency operation.


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

    02/07/2006 passed assembly
    02/07/2006 delivered to senate
    02/07/2006 REFERRED TO TRANSPORTATION

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

    BILL NUMBER: A290B

    TITLE OF BILL : An act to amend the vehicle and traffic law, in
    relation to authorizing certain lights to be affixed to police
    vehicles

    PURPOSE :

    To authorize police vehicles to display blue lights.

    SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS :

    Section one adds a new subparagraph b to paragraph 4 of subdivision 41
    of section 375 of the vehicle and traffic law to allow one or more
    blue lights or combination of blue, red and/or white lights may be
    affixed to a police vehicle, and such lights may be displayed on a
    police vehicle when such vehicle is engaged in an emergency operation.

    JUSTIFICATION :

    Currently, police departments are not authorized under the vehicle and
    traffic law to use blue colored lights as part of their emergency
    equipment. Colored lights that police are authorized to use under the
    current statute are red, white and yellow.

    Studies have been conducted which have determined that blue colored
    lights attract the attention of drivers better than any other color.
    The combination of red and white colored lights used by almost all
    police departments in the state, is more than effective for law
    enforcement purposes. Police officers have determined however that for
    safety reasons, blue colored lights in combination with the current
    configurations would further enhance officer safety.

    Presently, the law provides blue lights for use by voluntary fire
    personnel. Police use of blue colored lights would be in addition to
    the continued use of blue colored lights by volunteer fire personnel.

    SUMMARY OF AMENDMENTS : The bill is amended to state that the blue
    lights shall be displayed on a police vehicle for rear projection only
    and that the Commissioner of the Department of Motor Vehicles is
    authorized to promulgate rules and regulations relating to the use,
    placement, power and display of blue lights on a police vehicle.


    The bill is further amended (B-print) to state blue lights may be
    displayed in combination with blue and red lights or in combination
    with blue, red and white lights.

    LEGISLATIVE HISTORY :

    A.9289 of 2004

    FISCAL IMPLICATIONS :

    None.

    EFFECTIVE DATE :
    Immediately.

    AND THIS which is being considered and was a surprise to me

    S01262 Summary:
    BILL NO S01262

    Add S1144-a, amd S1800, V & T L

    Provides right-of-way for vehicles responding to an emergency and displaying
    blue or green emergency lights; requires motorists to yield to such lights.


    S01262 Actions:
    BILL NO S01262

    01/26/2005 REFERRED TO TRANSPORTATION
    01/04/2006 REFERRED TO TRANSPORTATION
    Tom

    Never Forget 9-11-2001

    Stay safe out there!

    IACOJ Member

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    Wait a minute, am I reading that wrong? Does that say that in New York, blue and green lights give the RIGHT OF WAY and that cars have to pull over for them? And knowing all this they still allow volunteers to use them? Wow... I don't quite know how that is going to work out...

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    Quote Originally Posted by BPFire1618
    Wait a minute, am I reading that wrong? Does that say that in New York, blue and green lights give the RIGHT OF WAY and that cars have to pull over for them? And knowing all this they still allow volunteers to use them? Wow... I don't quite know how that is going to work out...
    You read most of it right It is being PROPOSED. It might never make it to a vote if I understand the legislative process here (and I hope I do). Right now the blue and green lights are merely "courtesy lights." I usually can get to the station just as fast without my light on so I really don't care either way.
    Tom

    Never Forget 9-11-2001

    Stay safe out there!

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    Bills like that have been proposed every year for as far back as I can remember, and rarely does anything ever come of them. They usually die in committee. It is a little interesting that one bill has already passed the Assembly, but that has happened before also. In any case, it's only for rear display of blue on PD vehicles, not front.

    The other bill is flawed from the get go. Changing the law to state that blue and green lights are emergency lights that motorists are required to yield to, without also classifying them as "authorized emergency vehicles" and providing for the legal use of audible warning devices, is just asking for trouble. It's dangerous enough responding with red lights/sirens/air horns on actual emergency vehicles where no one pays much attention or they startle/confuse drivers. Now the public is going to be legally required to yield the right of way to someone in a Honda Civic with a blue dash light who has no siren or airhorn to alert the public and request the right of way? That flies in the face of the current NYS V&T law, which in part states very clearly "Except for an authorized emergency vehicle operated as a police vehicle, the exemptions herein granted to an authorized emergency vehicle shall apply only when audible signals are sounded from any said vehicle while in motion by bell, horn siren, electronic device or exhaust whistle as may be reasonably necessary..." There is very good reason for that requirement, and it certainly impacts safe operation. It has to be clear to the public the intention of the vehicle is to request the right of way, and the combination of visual and audible devices does just that. Lights alone are not enough.

    I'm not suggesting it's necessarily a good or bad thing to make POVs "authorized emergency vehicles", but I do believe you have to either be completely one way or the other. There is no room for ambiguity in this case.

    Bottom line: The entire idea of blue and green being a "courtesy" light was wrong from the start. Either people are legally required to yield to them, or you just don't allow them at all. The in-between that NYS has had for decades is dangerous and confusing. This proposed bill only further muddies the water.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chauffer6
    Bills like that have been proposed every year for as far back as I can remember, and rarely does anything ever come of them. They usually die in committee. It is a little interesting that one bill has already passed the Assembly, but that has happened before also. In any case, it's only for rear display of blue on PD vehicles, not front.

    The other bill is flawed from the get go. Changing the law to state that blue and green lights are emergency lights that motorists are required to yield to, without also classifying them as "authorized emergency vehicles" and providing for the legal use of audible warning devices, is just asking for trouble. It's dangerous enough responding with red lights/sirens/air horns on actual emergency vehicles where no one pays much attention or they startle/confuse drivers. Now the public is going to be legally required to yield the right of way to someone in a Honda Civic with a blue dash light who has no siren or airhorn to alert the public and request the right of way? That flies in the face of the current NYS V&T law, which in part states very clearly "Except for an authorized emergency vehicle operated as a police vehicle, the exemptions herein granted to an authorized emergency vehicle shall apply only when audible signals are sounded from any said vehicle while in motion by bell, horn siren, electronic device or exhaust whistle as may be reasonably necessary..." There is very good reason for that requirement, and it certainly impacts safe operation. It has to be clear to the public the intention of the vehicle is to request the right of way, and the combination of visual and audible devices does just that. Lights alone are not enough.

    I'm not suggesting it's necessarily a good or bad thing to make POVs "authorized emergency vehicles", but I do believe you have to either be completely one way or the other. There is no room for ambiguity in this case.

    Bottom line: The entire idea of blue and green being a "courtesy" light was wrong from the start. Either people are legally required to yield to them, or you just don't allow them at all. The in-between that NYS has had for decades is dangerous and confusing. This proposed bill only further muddies the water.
    Yeah....what HE said

    Also, consider the condition of many volunteer firefighters "response" vehicles (I had a few beauties before I got my current job). The first person to get into an accident in their 1970's Ford Pinto responding to a call would open up a huge can of worms.
    Tom

    Never Forget 9-11-2001

    Stay safe out there!

    IACOJ Member

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    Thumbs up

    that's exactly the info I was looking for- I've been hearing so many different things about it from everyone. I personally, think the 'courtesy light' issue should become a dead one. Having people yield to all emergency lights is of course a loaded issue as well las doing away with lights on POV's all together. I'm personally for bringing NY to be similar to NJ, everyone stops for all lights. Realistically, we all need to be there. I know in our department, we respond straight to the scene, not the station first. NYS does need to pick, one or the other or some combination of lights, to show we're volunteers in POV's (ie EMT's with blue/green or red/green depending how this situation ends up) Thanks again.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Frenchie477
    that's exactly the info I was looking for- I've been hearing so many different things about it from everyone. I personally, think the 'courtesy light' issue should become a dead one. Having people yield to all emergency lights is of course a loaded issue as well las doing away with lights on POV's all together. I'm personally for bringing NY to be similar to NJ, everyone stops for all lights. Realistically, we all need to be there. I know in our department, we respond straight to the scene, not the station first. NYS does need to pick, one or the other or some combination of lights, to show we're volunteers in POV's (ie EMT's with blue/green or red/green depending how this situation ends up) Thanks again.

    NYS is a lil weird... i heard that in NYS, if an emergency vehicle responding to an emergency is in an accident and they had their lights sirens on, even while breaking law (going through a red light), the other party can be found guilty for NOT giving the right of way... in NJ, if you go through a red light in a cop car, ambulance, fire truck and yor in an accident, your GUILTY, hands down. Only people who wouldnt be guilty are USPS workers. I came from NJ, vollly EMT's and FF were blue, and you could get ticketed for not yielding to us. In NY they do blue for fire, green for EMT, so right there your throwing another light into the picture, and from what I heard, people dont hafta yield to us? Or do they still hafta yield the right of way to us... im not quite sure. 99% of the time the people in my town are very nice and pull over if they see me coming, but i was behind one guy who would not move. We did I think 5-10mph the entire time, pizza delivery guy looking for a house, and i was behind him honking my horn, had my light on, i eventually had to ask him over my PA "sir can you please pull to the right" and he finally did, about a block from the fire house (groan), yeah i missed the ambulance, so i missed the call.
    Adam, EMT-B

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    Quote Originally Posted by Adam07003
    NYS is a lil weird... i heard that in NYS, if an emergency vehicle responding to an emergency is in an accident and they had their lights sirens on, even while breaking law (going through a red light), the other party can be found guilty for NOT giving the right of way... in NJ, if you go through a red light in a cop car, ambulance, fire truck and yor in an accident, your GUILTY, hands down.
    It's not breaking the law, since the V&T law itself states that authorized emergency vehicles are not subject to the laws that govern normal traffic while they are responding to or operating at an emergency. The public, by law, must yield the right of way. Of course, due care is still required on the part of the emergency vehicle operator.

    Only people who wouldnt be guilty are USPS workers.
    That's one of the biggest myths/urban legends going. It is simply untrue. Postal vehicles are subject to all V&T laws just like every other vehicle on the road.

    I came from NJ, vollly EMT's and FF were blue, and you could get ticketed for not yielding to us. In NY they do blue for fire, green for EMT, so right there your throwing another light into the picture, and from what I heard, people dont hafta yield to us? Or do they still hafta yield the right of way to us... im not quite sure.
    In NYS, blue and green are "courtesy" lights. The public is not required to yield, nor are you authorized to take the right of way. If the public wishes, they may yield to you, but you may not break any laws in the process of overtaking them.

    99% of the time the people in my town are very nice and pull over if they see me coming, but i was behind one guy who would not move. We did I think 5-10mph the entire time, pizza delivery guy looking for a house, and i was behind him honking my horn, had my light on, i eventually had to ask him over my PA "sir can you please pull to the right" and he finally did, about a block from the fire house (groan), yeah i missed the ambulance, so i missed the call.
    Be careful doing that in NYS. If you honk your horn or use a PA (questionable legallity with having that to begin with) and you startle other drivers and cause an accident, you can be held liable. Remember, you don't have the right to request the right of way, it must be given to you.

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    Default Here

    THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION IS FORWARDED BY THE NEW YORK STATE ASSOCIATION OF FIRE CHIEFS PUBLIC RELATIONS COMMITTEE FOR YOUR INFORMATION.
    June 19, 2006
    0606-27
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~
    The Blue Light Bill Has Been Signed Into Law For Police

    The blue light bill has been signed into law and is effective immediately. Police departments in NY may now lawfully place a rear facing blue light on the light bar to be displayed in combination with red or red and white lights.

    A copy of Chapter 45 is attached.


    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    For more information, or to become a member, visit us at: NYSAFC - Providing Service To Those Who Serve
    Or: http://www.nysfirechiefs.com/

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    Default NY Blue Light and

    I am not disagreeing with the lawmakers’ decision to allow the police use of the blue lights, on the contrary. I simply think that all emergency vehicles should be made as safe as possible including police, fire & EMS. Unlike the Police we don’t have our union standing up for us. Hasty law making brings conflict. There needs to be more changes. Motor vehicle accidents are the second leading cause of firefighter deaths, and in rural areas (like mine) it is very dangerous. We all have to face the same stuff, but in the state of NY (I’m sure it is not much different elsewhere) volunteers seem to get dumped on when it comes to budgets and legislation.

    I am only one voice, but that is what I am saying.
    Give our thoughts and prayers for our brothers. May we honor them by learning how to keep others safe while we remember their dedication, sacrifices and heroic efforts...
    ______________
    Mitchell Donovan
    Battalion Chief
    Onesquethaw VFC

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    Default Topic of Blue Lights

    The rank and file active guys in my department all have blue lights, which can be mounted either inside the vehicle or on the roof by means of magnets. A few have blue light bars. Only the Chief, assistant Chiefs have white lights AND sirens in their POVs. It seems to me that the blue and green lights should be treated as MORE THAN JUST COURTESY LIGHTS. In most cases the users ARE responding to either fire or ambulance calls. What gets me is that Albany has not treated these as the EMERGENCY LIGHTS they really are. While my departments active guys often respond directly to the scene, there are many occasions where they are directed to go to the station, first and go with the apparatus responding to the call, rather than take POVs to the scene, where on narrow roads, dangerous congestion can result. What's more, my chief has gotten complaints about the misuse of blue lights by some guys who have run red lights to get to the station sooner or some other moving violation and none of these vehicles has a siren in it. When is Albany going to wake up? When a volunteer department loses an entire engine crew on the way to a call?

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    Quote Originally Posted by rangerjim93
    When is Albany going to wake up?
    Never, I am sure...
    keep this stuff in mind...
    1. It is illegal to have a scanner in your car period. The law says that permits can be granted but I am unaware of any place in the state that gives them out.
    2. It is illegal to have a blue light on fire apparatus (includes green lights and EMS). Still even with the change made for the police cars.
    3. There are no laws to protect volunteers who miss work because of a call form loosing their jobs.
    4. Even though many Volunteer Fire Companies are under staffed it remains illegal to have “active membership” in more than one company. Although there is a law that allows a firefighter to report to the incident commander and offer his or her assistance, if there is an emergency.

    If you go to the NYS Assembly website you can search the bills that would change all this.
    Give our thoughts and prayers for our brothers. May we honor them by learning how to keep others safe while we remember their dedication, sacrifices and heroic efforts...
    ______________
    Mitchell Donovan
    Battalion Chief
    Onesquethaw VFC

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    Quote Originally Posted by mdonovan74
    .
    3. There are no laws to protect volunteers who miss work because of a call form loosing their jobs.
    i believe there is a law that will protects us from loosing our jobs. i remember having a group discussion about it last year. forgot the name of it but it gives you sometime of meeting with your management team or its brought in to the court not sure which one it is but i remember it being discussed anyone else knows please provide information.

    jay

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    Default labor law

    I've searched the NYS assembly site, which does not include any case law. Undoubtedly there is somewhere out there a case that has set president in one way ore another. But NVFC.org which is usually up to date does not mention it for NY. According to them California has legislation that volunteers cannot be terminated from their regular employment because of tardiness or absences caused by the volunteer responding to a fire prior to the time he or she was supposed to report to work. In Connecticut, volunteer firefighters can respond to fire calls during regular hours of employment without loss of pay, vacation time, sick leave, or earned income accumulation. Also Kentucky, Mass., Ohio, Penn, Wash., and West VA., all have noted legal protection for volunteers.
    Give our thoughts and prayers for our brothers. May we honor them by learning how to keep others safe while we remember their dedication, sacrifices and heroic efforts...
    ______________
    Mitchell Donovan
    Battalion Chief
    Onesquethaw VFC

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    Quote Originally Posted by mdonovan74
    I've searched the NYS assembly site, which does not include any case law. Undoubtedly there is somewhere out there a case that has set president in one way ore another. But NVFC.org which is usually up to date does not mention it for NY. According to them California has legislation that volunteers cannot be terminated from their regular employment because of tardiness or absences caused by the volunteer responding to a fire prior to the time he or she was supposed to report to work. In Connecticut, volunteer firefighters can respond to fire calls during regular hours of employment without loss of pay, vacation time, sick leave, or earned income accumulation. Also Kentucky, Mass., Ohio, Penn, Wash., and West VA., all have noted legal protection for volunteers.
    Well, I'm moving to CT then and getting a job there.

    I find it pretty ridiculous that they won't let us respond from work if it something worthwhile, considering how noone seems to respond at all during the day.

    It's so bad sometimes I've heard mutual aid calls for a pump out because not one person responded to a department because everyone was at work.

    Imagine if that was a signal 30 blaze.

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    quick question if you have your jr. liscence can you respond to calls after 9 pm its an ongoing debate in my dept for sum members

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    I would say if they can't drive legally after 9pm then they should not be driving to calls. Some departments actually tell the under 18 members that they are not allowed in the firehouse after a certain time at night during school.

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