1. #1
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    Question Blue Light Laws in Illinois

    I am on a small town POP/POC department. Just about every member has a blue light in their car . Does anyone know where I can get a copy of the laws for blue lights in illinois? I tried to google it haven't had much luck finding anything for illinois.

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    Hmmmm.....I may be going out on a limb here, but have you tried one of your local political representatives?
    "Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."

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    Default Blue Light laws

    Just call your local law enforcement agency or Dept motor vehicles.

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    It's in the Illinois motor vehicle code. You can get it online. Pretty much to sum it up you can use blue or clear & wig wags in the headlights. Also in IL you must carry a card or letter authorizing you to use a blue light by you jurisdiction. This is only a few years old...just FYI
    The success of a fire department depends on the willingness of its members to put aside their differences and work for the benefit of the dept/community.

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    http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs...ehicle+Code%2E

    Go down to Sec. 12-215 and read paragraph (c).

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    Please also note that your department has the right to make a more stringent blue light policy, above and beyond state laws.

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    Just something to think about with pov's... did you contact you insurance company? Some of them can get wierd about a light. Didn't meant to change the train of thought, but it's related.

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    Default Kentucky

    In Kentucky, we run red/white lights, and we are emergency vehicles when responding. (KRS 189.910 - 189.950). The local PD seems to act weird when people from IL come over and have blue lights since here blue is strictly for LE only. My insurance company knows about my lights, and doesn't seem to say anything. We had someone get in a wreck POV a while back, and it wasn't their fault, the insurance claim and all went through without a hitch. Everyone here seems to pull over and slow down when we are responding. I guess drivers here are more alert and educated than other places
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    Quote Originally Posted by ModernGeek View Post
    In Kentucky, we run red/white lights, and we are emergency vehicles when responding. (KRS 189.910 - 189.950). The local PD seems to act weird when people from IL come over and have blue lights since here blue is strictly for LE only. My insurance company knows about my lights, and doesn't seem to say anything. We had someone get in a wreck POV a while back, and it wasn't their fault, the insurance claim and all went through without a hitch. Everyone here seems to pull over and slow down when we are responding. I guess drivers here are more alert and educated than other places
    As the question was answered a couple of posts ago (with a link) I'll go slightly off thread too. More alert and more educated? Can you send them over here please? I was back seat in the pumper yesterday, lights and sirens, a woman just kept coming, she finally (almost) stopped to allow us into the lane. I mouthed the word and she just smiled at me! Ignorant! I often wonder just what people like that would say when they found out it was their house we were trying to get to.

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    People here are the same way as well. I am a full time basic and we take many transfers to st. louis from here. The other day I followed someone for 5 blocks who had their window down and was talking on a cell phone. I followed him running code and he didnt even notice me. So if kentucky drivers are good and move always, maybe you should come drive round here for a while.

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    The use of blue oscillating, rotating or flashing lights, whether lighted or unlighted, is prohibited except on:

    1. Rescue squad vehicles not owned by a fire department and vehicles owned or operated by a:
    voluntary firefighter;
    paid firefighter;
    part‑paid firefighter;
    call firefighter;
    member of the board of trustees of a fire protection district;
    paid or unpaid member of a rescue squad;
    paid or unpaid member of a voluntary ambulance unit;
    or paid or unpaid members of a local or county emergency management services agency as defined in the Illinois Emergency Management Agency Act, designated or authorized by local authorities, in writing, and carrying that designation or authorization in the vehicle.

    However, such lights are not to be lighted except when responding to a bona fide emergency.

    Any person using these lights in accordance with this subdivision (c)1 must carry on his or her person an identification card or letter identifying the bona fide member of a fire department, fire protection district, rescue squad, ambulance unit, or emergency management services agency that owns or operates that vehicle.

    The card or letter must include:

    (A) the name of the fire department, fire protection district, rescue squad, ambulance unit, or emergency management services agency;
    (B) the member's position within the fire department, fire protection district, rescue squad, ambulance unit, or emergency management services agency;
    (C) the member's term of service; and
    (D) the name of a person within the fire department, fire protection district, rescue squad, ambulance unit, or emergency management services agency to contact to verify the information provided.
    Last edited by Ha11igan; 01-09-2008 at 09:45 PM.

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    Question sirens

    I have a question...I'm not a FF,and this is an honest question....let me first say that I have lived in South Florida for over 20 years(Palm Beach County),there you see fire trucks,ambulances,police cars,etc,everyday.....if thier lane of traffic down there is clear(on a 2 lane road,no intersections near) they don't use thier sirens most of the time,if it's in the middle of the night/early morning when most people are in bed,they don't use thier sirens,with that said....I moved to a small town in East Central IL with a VFD,lots of flat farm land,you can see for miles if the crops aren't in and grown,you can see for miles around that thier isn't a vehicle or person nearby and they have thier lights(which is not a prob) and the sirens(which can be a prob) blaring,prime example,at 6:30am today,the FD goes by the house sirens screaming,not a car within miles in any direction,what is the point,are they just siren happy,or is it a law,just doesn't make any sense to me,to me the only thing that is accomplished at that point is that it wakes the town up so that they call all follow you to the scene,can anyone help me out here?

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    Quote Originally Posted by lostinlox View Post
    I have a question...I'm not a FF,and this is an honest question....let me first say that I have lived in South Florida for over 20 years(Palm Beach County),there you see fire trucks,ambulances,police cars,etc,everyday.....if thier lane of traffic down there is clear(on a 2 lane road,no intersections near) they don't use thier sirens most of the time,if it's in the middle of the night/early morning when most people are in bed,they don't use thier sirens,with that said....I moved to a small town in East Central IL with a VFD,lots of flat farm land,you can see for miles if the crops aren't in and grown,you can see for miles around that thier isn't a vehicle or person nearby and they have thier lights(which is not a prob) and the sirens(which can be a prob) blaring,prime example,at 6:30am today,the FD goes by the house sirens screaming,not a car within miles in any direction,what is the point,are they just siren happy,or is it a law,just doesn't make any sense to me,to me the only thing that is accomplished at that point is that it wakes the town up so that they call all follow you to the scene,can anyone help me out here?

    I live in East Central IL also and we had a call this morning at 6:30, where about do you live?
    It is law in IL that a fire truck or ambulance is not a authorized emergency vehichle unless it is using both lights and siren. But we do cut the siren most of the time in the early morning hours until we get to the main road. At 6:30 however a lot of people are heading to work so using the siren right away is called for.

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    Thumbs up sirens needed?

    Quote Originally Posted by the24fireman View Post
    I live in East Central IL also and we had a call this morning at 6:30, where about do you live?
    It is law in IL that a fire truck or ambulance is not a authorized emergency vehichle unless it is using both lights and siren. But we do cut the siren most of the time in the early morning hours until we get to the main road. At 6:30 however a lot of people are heading to work so using the siren right away is called for.
    Wow...just that simple...my question is answered.....thank you!

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    I work in all suburban areas, almost all residential or industrial. Whether I am responding in the ambo or the engine, I always have my siren and lights on. I keep the siren on even going down residential streets. I do this because the siren can reach around corners my lights cannot. This is especially important to me during the summer when there are kids running around. Even when driving with due regard, there is always a chance some child might not see your lights, chase after a ball in the street, and get hit. I like to use the siren as a warning to pedestrians to let them know I am coming.

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    Thumbs up sirens needed?

    Quote Originally Posted by bfdpipeman View Post
    I work in all suburban areas, almost all residential or industrial. Whether I am responding in the ambo or the engine, I always have my siren and lights on. I keep the siren on even going down residential streets. I do this because the siren can reach around corners my lights cannot. This is especially important to me during the summer when there are kids running around. Even when driving with due regard, there is always a chance some child might not see your lights, chase after a ball in the street, and get hit. I like to use the siren as a warning to pedestrians to let them know I am coming.

    Hey Bfd...I fully understand if your in a city and can't see around a corner,but i'm mainly talking about an area,that you probably just cant picture,my town that I live less then a mile from has maybe 400 ppl in it,the12firemen,he's from one of the bigger towns around,a whopping 3000 ppl......it is so open(when the crops aren't up),that you can literally see for miles and miles out in the rural areas that i'm speaking of,I can littlerally see the tree tops and grain elevator 4 miles away where "the12firmemens'" from,he answered my question,but hope this paint a little better picture as to where we are from,I know alot of people just can't fathom this,and will say it just doesn't matter...lights on,siren on.

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    Quote Originally Posted by volfirie View Post
    As the question was answered a couple of posts ago (with a link) I'll go slightly off thread too. More alert and more educated? Can you send them over here please? I was back seat in the pumper yesterday, lights and sirens, a woman just kept coming, she finally (almost) stopped to allow us into the lane. I mouthed the word and she just smiled at me! Ignorant! I often wonder just what people like that would say when they found out it was their house we were trying to get to.
    I know you live in a different country than we are talking about here (I know the laws in IL and will post that too in another response) but I would watch it with mouthing words or shouting at people in traffic. I know you just mouthed STOP but as sure as God made little green apples someday someone is going to get the name of your department off the side of your truck and maybe smart enough to get the truck number. Couple that with the time off day and the fact that she was maybe upset anyway, and you have a public relations problem on your hands. Remember, we are in control of this several ton machine. They arent and as much as we love it, a lot of people freak when they hear lights and sirens. As my father would say, "They dont know whether to s*** or go blind." I mean in genuinely scares them. She may not have moved or gotten out of your way because she was just sort of frozen not knowing what to do. We had a paramedic not to long ago get a rip for flipping someone the bird when they took two long to curb when he came up behind them running hot. It happens. Its part of the job. And honestly, that was what, 5 seconds? In the grand scheme whether its medical, MVA or fire, it really doesnt matter because that 5 seconds is not going to change your outcome.

    Imagine now yourself mouthing STOP and she gets peeved and calls your duty officer and says your said something else and then of course she will remember out of the blue that you made some obscene gesture whether you did or not. I know that frustration. I have been driving when my medic was running a code in the box and gone into oncoming traffic (when lanes were empty) to get around a traffic jam. Having taken a EVOC course, to me, that risk seemed worth it for a code. But for the fire service...you gotta figure it takes us 10 seconds to climb down out of the rig.

    Fair dinkum?

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    Quote Originally Posted by ModernGeek View Post
    In Kentucky, we run red/white lights, and we are emergency vehicles when responding. (KRS 189.910 - 189.950). The local PD seems to act weird when people from IL come over and have blue lights since here blue is strictly for LE only. My insurance company knows about my lights, and doesn't seem to say anything. We had someone get in a wreck POV a while back, and it wasn't their fault, the insurance claim and all went through without a hitch. Everyone here seems to pull over and slow down when we are responding. I guess drivers here are more alert and educated than other places
    If you ever want to get rid of that POV, we will take it as a brush truck! Sweeet!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by wcfpd2601 View Post
    It's in the Illinois motor vehicle code. You can get it online. Pretty much to sum it up you can use blue or clear & wig wags in the headlights. Also in IL you must carry a card or letter authorizing you to use a blue light by you jurisdiction. This is only a few years old...just FYI
    Ummmm. You're right about one thing. That is a few years old. I just talked to a Master Sgt with the IL State Police about a week ago and here is what he gave me, with the warning that he stops anything else:

    1. Blue lights only. No white and definitely no red.
    2. Inside the car only. Nothing on the roof or attached to a bumper.
    3. Strobes and wig-wags are out. Do not use them.
    4. Also, use of your hazards as "secondaries," which I see a lot is completely
    out of the question.
    5. And you are restricted to one (1) light whether its a globe or an LED bar with suction cups, just one.


    Remember, we cant use these here in IL to get people to move or violate any traffic or speed laws. Its only a way of letting them know we are there and it would be very nice if they moved. Thats it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wcfpd2601 View Post
    It's in the Illinois motor vehicle code. You can get it online. Pretty much to sum it up you can use blue or clear & wig wags in the headlights. Also in IL you must carry a card or letter authorizing you to use a blue light by you jurisdiction. This is only a few years old...just FYI
    As of two months ago, so sayeth the Illinois State Police, also known as they who must be obeyed:

    "Thou shalt only use blue lights and whenst thou do, the number of blue lights shall be only 1, nay not two or three. You shall not use white lights nor shall you use your hazards as secondaries. If you must so use this blue light, it must be within your vehicle and removable when not in use, thus it must be attached by suction cup or clip upon the dashboard. But most of all, thou shall not be a whacker and drill holes in the roof of an otherwise good vehicle for the affixation of a light bar, lest ye be mocked by your peers and also ticketed. You may not proceed through traffic lights which wouldst cause others to stop, nor may you exceedeth the posted speed limit which is clearly writ upon a sign of white or yellow."

    For Pete's sake, just get a LED bar which is about the size of a small CB radio and sticks to the dash with suction cups. Then when you arent driving, you can stick it in the glove box. Also as far as that letter goes, the FF license plate should suffice.

    "Verily I repeat unto you, thou shall not be a whacker"

    not that you would or anything. Im just saying.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ILDisasterEMT View Post
    Ummmm. You're right about one thing. That is a few years old. I just talked to a Master Sgt with the IL State Police about a week ago and here is what he gave me, with the warning that he stops anything else:

    1. Blue lights only. No white and definitely no red.
    2. Inside the car only. Nothing on the roof or attached to a bumper.
    3. Strobes and wig-wags are out. Do not use them.
    4. Also, use of your hazards as "secondaries," which I see a lot is completely
    out of the question.
    5. And you are restricted to one (1) light whether its a globe or an LED bar with suction cups, just one.


    Remember, we cant use these here in IL to get people to move or violate any traffic or speed laws. Its only a way of letting them know we are there and it would be very nice if they moved. Thats it.
    the now states otherwise. You can use blue LED/strobe and wigwags. you can have more than one blue on your vehicle. For instance, in the grill/fog and on the dash/window. I was being corrected my an officers wife the other day and I faxed her the Law wich gives us permission to do just what is posted above. Perhaps tat trooper is not so up to date on his laws regarding vol. POV blue lights in IL?

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    Smile Illinois' dumb laws

    I gotta tell you I spent numerous years in Illinois just outside of Chicago using blue lights. It was not easy to get people to move for just a light. Sometimes they don't even pay you any attention at all. I moved to Missouri about a year ago where pretty much anything goes. All vollies or any member needing to get to either a station or scene can use blues and full sirens. We have the right away as long as we use care just as we would in a fire truck. Most departments allow you to run Red/Blue when you become an officer. It is a huge difference than Illinois, I can get there much faster! Surprisingly we don't have as many problems as you would think with memebers using their lights wrongfully or doing stupid things with sirens. I think we had more problems in Illinois with people being dumb. I think Illinois should allow the same but restrict it to the City's or County's to mandate who and when they can be used.

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    Default Out of State Blue Lights?

    Slightly off topic. I'm needing to head to Chicago next week in my truck. The one that I will be driving still has a couple of blue lens strobes on the front (everything else is LED). My question is this: do you guys think I'll get hassled too much with visible blue lenses & Indiana plates? I seem to recall a friend back in the late '80's that had to cover his dash light every time he went outside his area (Kankakee) and just thought mine might draw unwanted attention.

    Any advice/comments would be appreciated!

    Stay Safe,
    Mike
    "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." -- Edmund Burke

    Keeping it together with prayer and the "Handyman's secret weapon" - duct tape!

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    Talking Chicago and Blue lights

    The CPD does not take kindly to people having blue lights in their POVs so I have been told. Although, I have made a few trips to the loop just recently and have had no problems other than the confused stare from some traffic officers. That's with a full bar and grille lights so obviously I stuck out like a sore thumb. Other than that they have been pretty good. I would say that if you do plan on going, just make sure you have documentation that you are in fact a firefighter. A friend of mine did get pulled over a few years ago for having a blue light but they just asked for ID and let him go. So, as long as you can prove who you are and don't do anything stupid with them you should have no problem. Remember, state law says volunteer firefighters can display blue lights, even the city of Chicago can't overrule what the state says.

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    Smile

    us Indiana fire fighters have one heck of a problem with the Il loe's because we can use red to the rear and such.

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