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    Exclamation Flashing Yellow Lights

    The State of Virginia allows emergency vehicles to have flashing yellow flashing lights, to include traffic directional arrow. However, the law states that the yellow lights shall only be use in conjuction with other emergency lights or while stopped on the highway to direct traffic. Several departments are using the traffic directional lights while the vehicle is in motion during non-emergency activity. The department states that it is for safety of the personnel and to prevent accidents. Regardless of this, it is still a violation of Virginia State Law and the driver, not the fire company officer, is subject to a traffic summons.
    I have been asked by my department to present a law change to the General Assembly to would allow the use of the flashing yellow lights during non-emergency activity. Does anyone have any statics or documentation that would support the use of the yellow lights as a definate safety of personnel while the vehicle is in motion during non-emergency response?
    Personal feelings and ideas have to be set aside. I need positive proof that the use of these lights during non-emergnecy activity will save lives and property damage.
    Thank you.

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    Why does a vehicle traveling anywhere non-emergency need lights of any type except normal running lights? There are departments here that do it for safety too, I'm kinda wonderin if its that safe why doesn't my sons school bus get one?

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    I agree... too many lights equals desensitization. There are already too many things blinking that don't need to be.
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    I agree with the above post, i can't stand them. No need for them unless everything else is lit up, people see them out riding around, and then the next time they see it they ignore it. IMO, it's more dangerous in the long run.

    Prime example is Daytime Running Lights - DRLs came out and were supposed to be safer because you get seen in the daytime. Now whats happened? everything has them so now they get ignored for the most part.
    Service is the rent you pay for having space on earth.

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    As a fellow Virginian, I'm sorry to say that I don't support a change to the current code, and agree with the above posters. Leaving the Arrowsticks and amber warning lights on while performing non-emergency activity simply desentasizes the public to flashing lights.

    In fact, in both my VFD and at work, the Arrowsticks have been wired to only work when the emergency master is on...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Halligan84 View Post
    I'm kinda wonderin if its that safe why doesn't my sons school bus get one?
    I missed this before. Move to Minnesota, where I just relocated from, new school buses often are now equipped with white (clear) strobe lights. I'm all for keeping kids safe (I have five of my own), but this is getting to be a bit much.

    Parking enforcement buggies run mini amber lightbars all the time. Every private contractor snowplow truck runs their lights when plowing (as required by law), even in empty private parking lots at 3AM. Every municipal snowplow out on snow removal duty runs ambers and blues even when not actively plowing or sanding. Every street sweeper and garbage truck is running ambers.

    End the madness. Lights for REAL emergencies and REAL hazards only. If you need a garbage truck to run ambers in broad daylight with no precipitation so you don't run into it, you shouldn't have a driver's license anyway.

    The solution is NOT more lights.
    You only have to be stupid once to be dead permanently
    IACOJ Power Company Liason
    When trouble arises and things look bad, there is always one individual who perceives a solution
    and is willing to take command. Very often, that individual is crazy. - Dave Barry.

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    We are going to put yellow/amger becons on our 6x6 (see apparatuse thread about 6x6 tanker)

    We plan on setting these up to run whenever the truck is in motion.
    Eve though it is big and red, it will be considered a slow mover and will not run code even on calls.

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    The only exception I see for flashing an amber on a rig would be for a mid mount tower with the bucket overhanging the rear, especially for use at night.

    Around this part of Illinois, the strobes on school buses seem only to be lit during low visibility weather (fog, rain, snow). At least they have set some limits, whether it be the school district policy or state law, I don't know.
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    Virginia code does allow for amber to be operated on the REAR of the apparatus while it is on a call. Usually these light are incorporated with a red rotating or strobe type light. The Virginia code, unless it was recently changed, says that the arrow sticks are not to be use as the apparatus in motion. Members were instructed at one time from the Fire Chief that operating the arrow sticks while the apparatus is in motion is a Virginia Motor Vehicle Code violation and will not be operated as such.

    A lot of fire departments do use an amber strobe on the rear of mid mount aerials with platforms and some use the amber strobes that are low on the rear portion of the body near where the rear step would be.

    Amber used as turn signals front and rear as well on the side are permitted as these come under the Federal laws govern motor vehicles.

    Make sure what ever you do conforms to the State Codes as well as the local ones too.
    Stay Safe and Well Out There....

    Always remembering 9-11-2001 and 343+ Brothers

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    Captain,

    I think that some of your department members might be under the common impression that the amber can not be lit while responding. Actually, the "not lit while responding" section applies to law enforcement vehicles only. Fire apparatus are permitted to have amber lights flashing at any time that the other warning lights are being used.

    From the Virginia Code, section 46.2-1025:

    A. The following vehicles may be equipped with flashing, blinking, or alternating amber warning lights of types approved by the Superintendent:

    8. Fire apparatus, ambulances, and rescue and life-saving vehicles, provided the amber lights are used in addition to lights permitted under 46.2-1023 and are so mounted or installed as to be visible from behind the vehicle;

    13. Government-owned law-enforcement vehicles, provided the lights are used for the purpose of giving directional warning to vehicular traffic to move one direction or another and are not lit while the vehicle is in motion;

    B. Except as otherwise provided in this section, such amber lights shall be lit only when performing the functions which qualify them to be equipped with such lights.

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    Default Flashing yellow lights

    What wrong with flashing red and green lights ? where's the tradition ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Halligan84 View Post
    Why does a vehicle traveling anywhere non-emergency need lights of any type except normal running lights? There are departments here that do it for safety too, I'm kinda wonderin if its that safe why doesn't my sons school bus get one?
    School buses here do have them...... all have white strobes on top, and new ones have alternating yellow LEDs in back.
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    Quote Originally Posted by nyckftbl View Post
    LOL....dont you people have anything else to do besides b*tch about our b*tching?

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    Quote Originally Posted by HFRH28 View Post
    I agree with the above post, i can't stand them. No need for them unless everything else is lit up, people see them out riding around, and then the next time they see it they ignore it. IMO, it's more dangerous in the long run.

    Prime example is Daytime Running Lights - DRLs came out and were supposed to be safer because you get seen in the daytime. Now whats happened? everything has them so now they get ignored for the most part.
    I have to disagree here. DRL's help a ton for the hour after sunrise and before sunset when the sun is extremly low, on undivided roads, as most folks do not turn on their headlights at such time.

    Now keeping flashing lights of any color and type during non-emergencys is a problem, not so uch as a "desensatizing" issue, but as the issue that no one now knows if they are on for an emergency or not, they are still noticed, just no longer stand for what they once did.
    Be for Peace, but don't be for the Enemy!
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    Quote Originally Posted by nyckftbl View Post
    LOL....dont you people have anything else to do besides b*tch about our b*tching?

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    Quote Originally Posted by ElectricHoser View Post
    I missed this before. Move to Minnesota, where I just relocated from, new school buses often are now equipped with white (clear) strobe lights. I'm all for keeping kids safe (I have five of my own), but this is getting to be a bit much.

    Parking enforcement buggies run mini amber lightbars all the time. Every private contractor snowplow truck runs their lights when plowing (as required by law), even in empty private parking lots at 3AM. Every municipal snowplow out on snow removal duty runs ambers and blues even when not actively plowing or sanding. Every street sweeper and garbage truck is running ambers.

    End the madness. Lights for REAL emergencies and REAL hazards only. If you need a garbage truck to run ambers in broad daylight with no precipitation so you don't run into it, you shouldn't have a driver's license anyway.

    The solution is NOT more lights.
    The lights on the garbage trucks are to protect the garbage men hanging on the back picking up the cans, not the other drivers.
    Be for Peace, but don't be for the Enemy!
    -Big Russ

    Learn from the mistakes of others; you won't live long enough to make them all yourself.

    Quote Originally Posted by nyckftbl View Post
    LOL....dont you people have anything else to do besides b*tch about our b*tching?

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    ______________
    Last edited by 5alarmcooker; 03-17-2008 at 08:43 PM.

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    Default Amber lights [not yellow]:

    In my humble opinion...I think the "amber" color has something to do with the way one's eye(s) pick up the signal. Next time your are on the highway approaching a "construction zone," notice how effective the AMBER lights are...even in bright daylight. We all know that AMBER is not "traditional" in the fire service, but then wide, interstate [type] highways aren't either, and working incident...even on the shoulder, can be and is serious business for responders. Every few days, you hear of some moron smashing into a police car or fire rig at the scene of an accident...do to the [obvious] moron not paying attention to driving their vehicle...usually messing with their CD's or on the cell-tele. The REAR AMBER light is more visable...check it sometime.

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    Unhappy Amber REAR lights:

    Exactly my point...here's another [daylight] accident last Saturday.

    http://cms.firehouse.com/content/art...9&sectionId=46

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    Quote Originally Posted by DennisTheMenace View Post
    The lights on the garbage trucks are to protect the garbage men hanging on the back picking up the cans, not the other drivers.
    I am sure the practice is still in place in some areas, but I personally have not seen any crew members hanging on the back of a truck since Hector was a pup. Everything here is mechanical arms operated by the driver, who rarely gets out. Still has those ambers running. We also now have fleet mail carriers (not the rural contractors) running flashing amber strobes and LEDs to the rear. The trend is moving in only one direction, with no end in sight.
    You only have to be stupid once to be dead permanently
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    and is willing to take command. Very often, that individual is crazy. - Dave Barry.

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    I believe the flashing ambers on the back of mail and garbage trucks here in MN is to alert drivers that the vehicle makes frequent stops, maybe when you wouldn't suspect them to.

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    Default To the Minnesotian:

    The white strobes on the busses are Opticoms. To change the traffic lights.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dbono90 View Post
    The white strobes on the busses are Opticoms. To change the traffic lights.
    Not here in NY. Our buses have just a plain white strobe mounted on the roof near the rear of the bus. I personally like the idea as we have allot of hills. At night you can see the strobe as you crest the hill.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dbono90 View Post
    The white strobes on the busses are Opticoms. To change the traffic lights.
    not around here... They are just for extra visibility... has nothing to do with opticons...

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    Quote Originally Posted by dbono90 View Post
    The white strobes on the busses are Opticoms. To change the traffic lights.
    The school-bus application of the Opticom is very very limited. The ones everyone is referring to here are the small circular strobes towards the rear of the bus roof used for 360-degree visibility.

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    Quote Originally Posted by NonConformist View Post
    What wrong with flashing red and green lights ? where's the tradition ?
    Because they are not as visable to the eyes in bright sunlight...compair them sometime. I think we are talking about SAFETY here...not "tradition."
    "we learn from history...that we do not learn from history"

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    Quote Originally Posted by dbono90 View Post
    The white strobes on the busses are Opticoms. To change the traffic lights.
    You know nothing about what you are saying.

    They are on the buses to give attention 360 degrees around the bus. Just like traffic signals that have RED strobe flashing light, it helps to see the bus or traffic light in bad weather, as in fog, snow, rain, what ever else is falling and when the sun is behind the signal or bus.

    All newer buses now have pre stop, amber flasher front and rear as per the fed DOT on school buses, before the RED stop lights come on.
    Stay Safe and Well Out There....

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