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Author Topic: Any kind of safety lighting on vehicle?  (Read 5087 times)
ISSAQUAHWA1979
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« on: April 01, 2009, 01:52:53 PM »

Hi everyone I was wondering if anyone uses any kind of emergency style lighting on their vehicles when assisting in a emergency situation?  I used to sell emergency LED lighting and my truck is pretty well outfitted but I was just curious if anyone uses things such as traffic directors or strobes when parking off the side of the road during an emergency such as CERT or S&R.  If so what do you use and how has it worked out?  Thanks
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K0BG
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« Reply #1 on: April 01, 2009, 02:31:22 PM »

In some states, using strobes and other type lighting without a license is against the law. About the only thing you can use is four-way flashers. Why would you need anything else? We are, after all, not first responders.

Alan, KØBG
www.k0bg.com
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ISSAQUAHWA1979
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« Reply #2 on: April 01, 2009, 05:34:32 PM »

In the 2 states that I use my lighting it is legal to use amber and white just not blue...  As for using them I have been in plenty of situations that I have almost been killed because someone did not see me (although not sure how you miss a 4 wheel 1-ton Dodge Cummins truck) The reason I suggested the lighting in emergency situations is in poor conditions having such lighting can mean the difference between being alive or being a sandwich because 4 way flashers can easily dissipate into the night.  
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N3IDG
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« Reply #3 on: April 02, 2009, 04:43:17 PM »

i have a small magnet mount strobe in amber for these uses, really helpful during skywarn in the weather that comes with its need.
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KE4DRN
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« Reply #4 on: April 02, 2009, 05:22:07 PM »

hi,

In North Carolina strobes are permitted only
if you are driving a service vehicle,
Duke Power, Progress Energy, AT&T, etc.

73 james
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KI4OXD
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« Reply #5 on: April 03, 2009, 12:30:08 PM »

If I'm parked close enough to the road that I run the risk of being hit, I've screwed up.

If the county thinks I need something with strobes on it, they'll darn well issue the vehicle.
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W0FM
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« Reply #6 on: April 06, 2009, 11:30:14 AM »

Most law enforcement officers who are killed roadside in the line of duty are standing next to a patrol car with a miriad of flashing lights, wig wags and strobes.  They HAVE to be there.  You don't.

Sometimes, I think that the lights distract drivers to the point of causing an accident.

73 de Terry, WØFM
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K8QV
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« Reply #7 on: April 10, 2009, 07:04:22 AM »


Hams and their tricked out vehicles are neither needed nor wanted at emergency scenes. Unless you are officially providing medical assistance or towing disabled vehicles, let the properly trained and equipped pros do their jobs without interference. Intrusion by radio hobbyists who want to be part of the action makes for very bad PR and is an embarrassment for the rest of us.
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KI4ZSZ
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« Reply #8 on: April 10, 2009, 11:41:50 AM »

I don't have any emergency lighting on my vehicle. If I am stopped at the roadside, I pull way off of it. I also don't want to look like I'm trying to be "important" or showing off with emergency lighting. Plus I've seen way too many videos of police officers getting hit or their cruisers getting hit while parked on the side of the road, lit up with more lights than I have in my house.

I do, however, keep some emergency triangles, flares, strobes, etc. and a hi-viz vest in the truck. This stuff of course comes in handy for changing tires or whatnot.

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N4CQR
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« Reply #9 on: April 11, 2009, 06:25:10 AM »

I agree with, K8QV
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K0BG
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« Reply #10 on: April 11, 2009, 07:23:52 AM »

Mike, it took me awhile to find it on line, but I looked up the Washington state law regarding flashing lights as you propose. The law clearly states that flashing amber lights are allowed. Typically I suspect, those are the built in ones (four way flashers).

Blue, white, and red flashing lights, other than turn signals, are prohibited except for properly licensed emergency service vehicles, county and state vehicles, and federal vehicles.

Alan, KØBG
www.k0bg.com
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KB1LKR
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« Reply #11 on: April 11, 2009, 10:13:32 AM »

How about red (rear) four way emergency flashers on vehicles sold w/o amber rear turn signals? I suppose the answer to the question might change though if strobes were put in the read read turn signal flasher reflectors, vs into amber rear turn signals, it gets into semantics of federally required vehicle lighting law.

Here in MA it is common to see amber strobes rotary beacons or flashers (and, occasionally, strobes in clear backup light reflectors) on pickup and heavier trucks doing driveway & parking lot (also road/highway plowing, and other utility/construction/contracting type uses, e.g. landscaping) and blue is EXPRESSLY prohibited, except for law enforcement (and, w/ reds, on fire trucks and ambulances). Not sure if red rearward emergency beacons etc. are expressly prohibited for general use though.

Flares (or LED lit flare substitutes), and triangles are a good thing, as are reflective vests -- though I find lime green hard to see (vs. orange) in the spring when the trees are just leafing out, though perhaps the opposite would be true in NE fall leaf season, though I can't recall ever noticing this case.

I wouldn't do anything beyond strobes in REAR turn signals, were I ever to do anything at all.
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ISSAQUAHWA1979
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« Reply #12 on: April 11, 2009, 10:19:25 AM »

Some very interesting points of view on this topic which is why I started it in the first place.  For some maybe I should have been more clear on the fact I am talking about in a emergency situation and being someone who is indeed a part of a assistance team such as CERT, ARES, RACES etc.  

I used to sell the lighting so I am very aware of the statistics and things as far as accidents being caused by lighting, in most of those cases the lighting is either old fashioned strobes or wig wags that have a very steady sequence to them and in fact mesmerize your brain especially bad for the drunk drivers.  This is why you see more and more random patterns on light bars.  

Just to be clear about myself there is a difference between wanting to look cool and actually using a tool for proper use.  As for the question of legality that is highly dependent on where you live.  I have had no issues here with using what I have and in fact have been thanked for traffic direction by a state patrol officer at a accident scene that I was behind and assisted with since I could not go anywhere anyhow.  If you abuse such a thing of course trouble is in your future.

There have been hundreds of situations that I was unable to pull safely off of the roadside either in order to assist a motorist (yes some good Samaritans still exist) or to pull something un-passable from the road (a couch was the largest one yet) and 4 way flashers would have done me no good as vehicles 4 or 5 cars back cannot see them where in those situations the higher mounted traffic director worked very well.

I am not proposing anyhow go out and buy strobes etc, I was simply curious if anyone who legally can use amber or white did and did not mean to spark a controversy over it.
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W3LK
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« Reply #13 on: April 13, 2009, 10:14:16 AM »

<< I am talking about in a emergency situation and being someone who is indeed a part of a assistance team such as CERT, ARES, RACES etc.>>

Having been involved in disaster/emergency response for about the last 40 years, I can think of less than a half dozen times any of my response vehicles needed ANY kind of "emergency" lighting.

Lighting other than the normal four-way flashers is simply not necessary for members of any of the organizations you listed. NONE of them are first responders and first responders are the only ones, 99.9 percent of the time. who need any such lighting.

The quickest way to get ignored by legitimate first responders is to show up at a scene with a bunch of flashing lights. It's also a good way to get told to take your toys and get the @#$% out of the area.

73,

Lon - W3LK
Naugatuck, Connecticut
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WW5AA
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« Reply #14 on: April 13, 2009, 02:08:58 PM »

....Don't ever leave the flashing lights on if you are off the roadway...they become drunk magnets!

73 de Lindy
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