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Impersonating a Emergency Vehicle!?!?

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by ceaman, Jan 4, 2003.

  1. ceaman

    ceaman Senior Member
    Messages: 372

    I run clear hideaways in 4 corners of the truck...

    One town I work in insists that for safety's sake, all plow trucks should run flashing strobes or rotating beacons, all of the time.

    One officer (out of 70) has threatend me once last year and again yesterday that he will ticket me for "impersonating a emergency vehicle". I asked if it was the color of light? If I changed it to another color would I be ok? He said no flashing lights, other drivers might get spooked and cause a wreck or pull over and get out of my way. Told me that I cant just go arround showing off all of the toys on my "SHOW TRUCK".

    Where do I look to find out the true law??? I searched the net but the only rules i find regarding lights is the firemans "blue light laws"
  2. 99SDPSD

    99SDPSD Senior Member
    Messages: 118

    Try your state DMV website or call the main dmv office and talk to an offical.

    WHITE=GREEN Senior Member
    Messages: 161

    did this happen in the " town that insists all plow trucks run flashings strobes or beacons"? if so have him call whomever told you this, assuming it was a town official and discuss this with them. also you could turn your strobes off when going from job to job to prevent from being "noticed".
  4. mdb landscaping

    mdb landscaping Senior Member
    Messages: 823

    if they are amber, i wouldnt see the problem. Now clear ones i can sort of understand. I saw a guy today with clear strobes in his tail lights, and when i looked up quickly i thought it was an emergency vehicle. I guess it all depends on your local town.
  5. ceaman

    ceaman Senior Member
    Messages: 372

    I was in the private lot when he "spoke" with me!

    Yes, same town.

    I told him who said they should be on. He told me that I still can't run them and he will ticket all plowers with lights.
  6. jbutch83

    jbutch83 Senior Member
    Messages: 227


    From a law enforcement point of view in Indiana, you can not be ticketed for having strobes or flashing lots on when you are in a private lot. Once you are on a street, then you can be ticketed, but not on private property, I don't care what the officer tells you. I would not ticket anyone for using strobes when plowing, but I do work with some guys that might. I would suggest going to that officers department, and ask to speak with a supervisor, or chief, and explain the situation to them, and see what they say. This guy just has a hard on for you, not sure why, but he does. Again, as long as you are on private property, no ticket can be issued, but once you are on a street, you can get a ticket for the strobes.


    WHITE=GREEN Senior Member
    Messages: 161

    let me take a guess, sounds like this cop might be about 5'2" and weighs about 110 lbs soaking wet out of the shower with a big chip on his shoulder. in PA where i live an officer cannot cite anyone on private property for a traffic violation without the consent of the property owner. if you turn your strobes off before you leave the property i cant see how he could enforce it.

    "He said no flashing lights, other drivers might get spooked and cause a wreck or pull over and get out of my way."

    if your plowing a lot/business isnt that the purpose of strobes to get the "blue hairs" out of your way:D .
  8. cbr954plower

    cbr954plower Junior Member
    Messages: 16

    Actually, what I know is that in Indiana... as the state, you may only have rotating (yellow) lights while on public road..... and I would not even do that, (got pulled over for that) argued then he better pull over every tow truck that goes by....

    No strobes at all on public..... on private lots there is nothing they can do.... you in theory tell him to blow it out his whooo haaa!!!!
  9. BOSS 444

    BOSS 444 Member
    from In.
    Messages: 32

    Hey ceaman,

    I am looking into hideaways & would like to know the answers to your questions also....

    I would also still like to come down & look @ those U-edges sometime. I cought a manhole cover & broke one of my steel ones. The current weld is holding, but I might replace w/ urethane. (sp?)

    Thanks again,

    .....looks like more snow for tonight!!
  10. jbutch83

    jbutch83 Senior Member
    Messages: 227

    Hey, for all of you in Indiana, I just got off of work, and before I left, I looked up what is required for snow plow vehicles in the state. It basically states that you can have on your vehicle what ever the state vehicles have when they are plowing, when you are on local, county and state roads. I left in a hurry, as we are getting snow and I need to get to plowing, but I will double check the law again when I get back into work.


    Like I said before, check with the dept. that this guy is from, something is wrong here.

  11. BOSS 444

    BOSS 444 Member
    from In.
    Messages: 32


    Thanks for the up-date...& full report tomorrow.

    This is important to me as well....as I don't want to spend the time & $$ if it will just cause greef from the boys in blue....
    (yourself not w/standing of couse!)

    Thanks again,
  12. Temco

    Temco Member
    Messages: 66

    In Mass. you need a permit for any flashing, rotating or oscillating lights unless your name is on the sides of the vehicle. This doesn't apply to blue or red which you always need a permit for.
  13. kawdude

    kawdude Senior Member
    Messages: 105

    anyone know the NY laws concerning lighting?
  14. cat320

    cat320 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,222

    I have never had a problem with them I have a Whelen 8 strobe bar on top all amber except for one lens clear then hidaways in front and rear clear front red rear.And believe me no one pulls over.I think it's better to be safer and be seen than not .Especially when it really comming down .
  15. John DiMartino

    John DiMartino PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 2,154

    I stopped using my strobes on the road, i had them on by accident,a few cars pulled over for me,must have thought i was going to a fire or ambulance.All my strobes are clear,there is no way to make them amber without changing all the bulbs,my rears are in the reverse lights because of the design it will be next to impossible to put them i nthe running lights,and both the headlights,and side markers are clear on my Ram.The lights almost look a slight blue to them,which is fire colors here..I only run them in parking lots now.
  16. Temco

    Temco Member
    Messages: 66

    I'm actually really surprised about the concerns of people pulling over when they see lights flashing on your truck. I'm in law enforcement and noone pulls over for the blue ones on the roof of my cruiser :confused:
  17. NNJSnow

    NNJSnow Senior Member
    Messages: 228

    Well you cannot be ticketed for the strobes you say you have on your vehical as long as you do not use them traveling from job to job or to get ahead of traffic. Also you saying that they are clear and red and blue are for emergency vehicals so again there is no problem there. I'm sure if you check there are other plowers with hide-a-ways. This cop might just be bored or something but i know around here they are happy to see you. I have corner strobes as well and a full lightbar.....maybe its because my father is a police officer or maybe they just don't care round here:)
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2003
  18. Pelican

    Pelican 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,075

    I tried to warn some guys who were speaking of hide-a-ways on another thread of the possible consequences and was flamed for it!:mad:

    Kawdude, in NY you can have amber flashers in any quantity, including hide-a-ways in your parking lights. Your headlights cannot legally be part of your warning system regardless of color, this is reserved for emergency vehicles. I believe you may have red or amber flashing to the rear, but amber is the only color that may flash to the front.
  19. digger242j

    digger242j Senior Member
    Messages: 672

    That's because you've been hoarding all the snow--it's just displaced anger......
  20. jbutch83

    jbutch83 Senior Member
    Messages: 227

    For the Indiana guys, I will try to state this as clearly as I can, because I can't even decipher the way it reads in the book.

    Indiana Dept. of Transportation shall adopt standards and specifications that apply to head lamps, clearance markers, id. lamps, and other lamps on snow removal vehicles on Indiana Highways instead of the lamps otherwise required.

    The way the law is written, what I take it means is that you can have flashing lights or what not, but it does not state anything about strobe lights.

    I know that in my Dept. we would not issue tickets to guys that are plowing with strobes on. Now if you are driving on the city streets, and not plowing, you are fair game, and I know of several people that have gotten tickets for this, (none were in the winter, or on snow plow vehicles though).

    I would check with your local city, county, or state dept. and see what they say, but remember that you can not get a ticket for having the strobes on when you are on private property. I know that this does on clarify everything for everyone, because I am somewhat confused on what the law states. This is what happens when you get a bunch of politicians writing laws, and they do not always make them clear.