Within the world of first responders, there’s a bit of debate when it comes to personally owned vehicles and their emergency vehicle lights. Some officers, whether they’re police, firefighters, tow truck drivers or others, are against their peers having any kind of police lights or other emergency lights in their personal vehicles at any time, while others think this should be considered acceptable.
At LedEquipped, we’re just here to provide the equipment when needed. With that said, here are some basics on both sides of this debate, plus how first responders who do keep these lights in their personal vehicles can do so safely.
Just like for a marked emergency vehicle, lights on a POV serve to get the attention of other vehicles on the road and allow them to move. From there, it allows responders to gain the right of way and get to an emergency faster.
These lights can also be used for stationary vehicles at the scene of an accident or another emergency area. They can warn drivers and pedestrians to steer clear or to show that they’re working on something.
So why is there controversy over this use on personal vehicles? Well, a lot of this comes back to a negative term some in the industry use: “Whacker.” A whacker is a first responder who keeps lights in their POV but regularly uses them irresponsibly – when there’s no true emergency, or for personal use.
A whacker may also be someone who tricks out their emergency vehicle with all sorts of unnecessary lights and equipment. These people give other first responders a bad name, and ruin the reputation of those who want to be diligent and keep lights in their POV in case of an emergency while they’re off duty.
These lights are meant to convey a message from vital first responders, not create any confusion – and when they’re used properly, even in POVs, this is what will be accomplished. Look for a good balance in your POV light setup, with basic lights that get the message across without being overbearing or intrusive. Never, ever use POV emergency lights for anything but a true emergency, and never for any kind of personal use.
For more on emergency vehicle LED lights in personal vehicles, or to learn about our police lights or any of our other options, speak to the pros at LedEquipped today.