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ANSWERED on Sun 2 Sep 2007 - 11:50 pm UTC by davidsarokin

Question: Virginia Personal Vehicle Emergency Lights

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Sun 2 Sep 2007 - 10:35 pm UTC

Question

pcbene
Customer

Hello,
I am an EMT and an amateur radio emergency responder in the state of Virginia (County of Albemarle). I know several people from my rescue squad who operate emergency lights on their personal vehicle when responding to emergency calls. I would like to know if this is legal, and if so, the color/type and wattage restrictions on the light(s). Please provide links to DMV website if possible.
Thanks, pcbene

 
 

Sun 2 Sep 2007 - 11:50 pm UTC

Uclue Researcher Answer

David Sarokin
Researcher

pcbene,

Emergency lights ARE permitted in Virginia for personal vehicles when used by emergency responders, in response to an emergency. 

Virginia's Motor Vehicles law is title 46.2. 

Section 46.2-1020 of the law is titled "Other permissible lights", and basically forbids emergency style lights in most vehicles:

http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?000+cod+46.2-1020
...Nothing in this section shall permit any vehicle, not otherwise authorized, to be equipped with colored emergency lights, whether blinking or steady-burning.


However, the above section refers to another section where exceptions can be found:

http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?000+cod+46.2-1020
46.2-1024. Flashing or steady-burning red or red and white warning lights.
...Any member of a fire department, volunteer fire company, or volunteer rescue squad, any ambulance driver employed by a privately owned ambulance service, and any police chaplain may equip one vehicle owned by him with no more than two flashing or steady-burning red or red and white combination warning lights..




Actual details of light colors, wattage, and so on is a bit trickier to answer, as it seems to be open to considerable interpretation.  For instance, take a look at this document regarding blue and amber lights, in addition to red and whites:

http://www.oag.state.va.us/OPINIONS/2000opns/may005.pdf
Fire marshal granted law-enforcement powers by local governing body may equip vehicle with blue lights.



Bottom line seems to be that your colleagues appear to be within the law, as long as their lights are fairly conventional, and are used only for emergency situations.

Let me know if there's anything more you need on this.

David

 
 

Mon 3 Sep 2007 - 3:26 am UTC

Accepted and rated

pcbene
Customer

Exactly what I needed to know. Thanks!

 

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