Basics on Civilian Emergency Light Use

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For police and other first responders, LED emergency lights are a vital part of safely reaching a destination at a rapid pace. At LedEquipped, we’re proud to provide a wide range of emergency lights for all ranges of emergency vehicles.

We get a fairly common question from civilians in our shop: Is it legal for me to have police-style lights in my car? Let’s go over all the information you need to know here, as the answer might be more complex than you’d think.

Basic Emergency Light Laws

In a general sense, it is not legal for a civilian car to appear as if it’s a police car, ambulance, fire truck or any other emergency vehicle. The purpose of these lights is to warn other drivers that an emergency vehicle is on the road, and as such, they’d be misused if they were displayed on non-emergency cars.

This will likely extend to strobe lights and anything similar, even if they’re not actually police lights themselves. In particular, though, items like dome lights or light bars on a non-emergency vehicle will be illegal.

Possible Exceptions

Now, there are a few basic exceptions here. These vary by state, so it’s important to check your local regulations, but a few situations that generally offer alternatives include:

  • Private off-road vehicle: If you own a vehicle that’s used for private purposes and primarily off-road, emergency LED lights may be legal for you. A good example here is a farmer or woodlot employee, who may have a tractor or truck with legal LED emergency lights installed. A personal truck for snow-plowing may also be allowed to use a dome light, depending on the state.
  • Civilian organizations: In some cases, private security companies or other civilian organizations can use Led emergency lights for visibility and safety. Most of these agencies, however, will use orange lights so as not to be confused with the red and blue flashers used on actual police vehicles.

For more on civilian uses of emergency lights, or to find out about any of our LED emergency lights, speak to the pros at LedEquipped today.

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