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Red Flashing Lights To Rear Of A MOP's car


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#1 csmith

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Posted 11 August 2005 - 10:37 AM

I work for a breakdown and service company, and on all our vehciles we have the obligatory flashing amber lights on the roof to signify warning and hazard now.

Now as well as the trucks we have an assistance vehicle (Black Ford Mondeo) where for example there has been a road accident the driver of the breakdown truck would need some help clearing up this car is sent out. Reason i ask this is that on the mondeo there is flashing yellow lights on the roof but also flashing rear fog lamps in a sort of wig wag fashion. I was wondering is there any problem with using rear wig wag flashing fog lights as warning lights or can i be done with impersonating a police officer, ? :whistle:

#2 Yeti

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Posted 11 August 2005 - 12:00 PM

Flashing red lights is defined as "other emergency service".

Why not just have a 'wig wag' relay flash the indicators from side to side like I have on my van?

I have a 3 way relay system - one circuit flashes the indicators from side to side, one is wired to flash the rear brake lights (although it's not wired to a switch, I have used it in thick fog, with the police also sitting further back behind with the blues, reds and fogs on), and the third flashes the full beam (also not wired to a switch at the moment).

#3 Morse

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Posted 11 August 2005 - 12:03 PM

Flashing red lights is defined as "other emergency service".

Why not just have a 'wig wag' relay flash the indicators from side to side like I have on my van?

I have a 3 way relay system - one circuit flashes the indicators from side to side, one is wired to flash the rear brake lights (although it's not wired to a switch, I have used it in thick fog, with the police also sitting further back behind with the blues, reds and fogs on), and the third flashes the full beam (also not wired to a switch at the moment).

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Why would you want all that? I don`think any of it is legal??

Sounds like a traffic cops dream and shift cops nightmare.

Edited by Morse, 11 August 2005 - 12:03 PM.


#4 Yeti

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Posted 11 August 2005 - 12:08 PM

Flashing amber lights is perfectly legal.

Flashing headlights is perfectly legal.

Flashing rear reds isn't.

Wait till you've tried pulling a taxi out of a field in thick fog at 2am - once you've tried that, the more visible you are the better.

#5 Morse

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Posted 11 August 2005 - 12:16 PM

Hence the reason I put in the ??? :o)

I`ve never come across a car with flashing headlights other than police cars / fire / amb, with alternating main beam. I would have my doubts about them being legal on any other car. However, until I have a look at PINS I reserve judgement.

Not sure what difference flashing amber lights would make as cars come with hazzard lights anyway.

#6 Yeti

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Posted 11 August 2005 - 12:34 PM

having them alternate left to right seems to catch folk's eye quicker, as it's unusual.

Several of the local lifeboat crew here use the flashing main beam, although they do have flashing red lights also.

#7 Morse

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Posted 11 August 2005 - 12:44 PM

having them alternate left to right seems to catch folk's eye quicker, as it's unusual.

Several of the local lifeboat crew here use the flashing main beam, although they do have flashing red lights also.

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I honestly don`t know, I would have to check. I`ve never came across such a thing so I may check out of curiosity.

I think most police would stop someone if they saw flashing main beam. If I was in my own car and someone came up behind me in a Nissan Cherry with flashing beams I don`t think I would be moving.

Fair enough with the life boat but the lights don`t have much credibility unless there are blue lights as well.

#8 Yeti

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Posted 11 August 2005 - 03:08 PM

To point out my intention - the flashing light system I've fitted to the van is only ever intended to be used while parked at a breakdown/recovery carrying it out - not while heading to it.

#9 Buzz

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Posted 11 August 2005 - 06:07 PM

Several of the local lifeboat crew here use the flashing main beam, although they do have flashing red lights also.

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Do you mean when they are responding to a call-out (i.e. on thier way to the station)?

#10 Yeti

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Posted 11 August 2005 - 08:33 PM

Yes.

#11 Buzz

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Posted 11 August 2005 - 10:50 PM

I reckon that's pretty dodgy (although please correct me if I'm wrong here). I was under the impression that RNLI crews weren't allowed, or that it certainly wasn't policy, to respond to call-outs using 'blues' (or 'reds' in this case).

It also begs the question that (1) if they aren't allowed to respond outside of the road traffic act why do they need flashing lights. They shouldn't be speeding, etc. And (2) if they are then why are they using red lights? Surely blues are more obvious, especially since the RNLI launch tractors use a blue light. I was under the impression that red flashing lights were reserved for the fire brigade?

Just my thoughts, but please correct me if I'm way off :whistle:

#12 Yeti

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Posted 11 August 2005 - 11:10 PM

Well the do use red flashing lights (RNLI having refused to issue them with blues), and they do break the speed limits to get to the lifeboat station - all the time - I've even seen them overtake police cars to head to a call out and the police don't bat an eyelid.

#13 Buzz

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Posted 11 August 2005 - 11:20 PM

Well the do use red flashing lights (RNLI having refused to issue them with blues), and they do break the speed limits to get to the lifeboat station - all the time - I've even seen them overtake police cars to head to a call out and the police don't bat an eyelid.

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Hmmm, fair enough.... I'd be interested to hear a traffic officer's take on this. I've never heard of an RNLI memebr doing advanced driving as part of their training? :whistle:

#14 kjmcculloch

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Posted 11 August 2005 - 11:35 PM

Breakdown vehicles are allowed to have red warning lights as are police vehicles in the Road Vehicle Lighting (amendment) Regulations 2003. They can be used when the vehicle is at a standstill or less than 10mph near an accident or breakdown. Hope I'm interpreting this right, if not I'm sure someone will say.

#15 Headset57

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Posted 12 August 2005 - 12:34 AM

Well the do use red flashing lights (RNLI having refused to issue them with blues), and they do break the speed limits to get to the lifeboat station - all the time - I've even seen them overtake police cars to head to a call out and the police don't bat an eyelid.

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Good for them,aal for it...
Have the rnli not thought about flashing green lights like the doctor has instead of using red?. Allthough i see no reason not to have blue, the Coastguard do albeit they are a seperate recognised blue light service, just like mountain and mines rescue units.
HS57

#16 Yeti

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Posted 12 August 2005 - 12:35 AM

Breakdown vehicles are allowed to have red warning lights as are police vehicles in the Road Vehicle Lighting (amendment) Regulations 2003.  They can be used when the vehicle is at a standstill or less than 10mph near an accident or breakdown.  Hope I'm interpreting this right, if not I'm sure someone will say.

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oooh.... breakdown vehicles are allowed flashing red rear lights! :whistle:

Guess who's going out to get a switch for them tommorrow.

#17 andynmiles

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Posted 12 August 2005 - 08:48 AM

I had terrible problems whilst I worked as a Station Officer in charge of the Fire Fighting and Rescue at a local Airfield.
As the OIC I had to attend any incident with the crews within a radius of 1 mile from the airfield, At these incidents I would take my personal car,(yes it was insured correctly) which was fitted with blue strobes, red strobes and alternating headlights. This meant that extra personal could be carried on our pump and I could get there quicker than the old bus, giving advice to the local fire brigade who would arrive before us.
One particular traffic officer threatened to stick me on for everything under the sun, and more if he could think of it. The whole crux of his argument was that I had not completed a driving course( I was qualified to brigade standards) I have since found out you do not actually have to have any formal training to drive on blue lights!! Crazy I Know
The moral of the story is make sure you know your correct, someone will always try it on with you""

#18 Donkey

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Posted 12 August 2005 - 04:44 PM

This will drift :offtopic: but I think there's some questions need answering...

Rear-facing flashing red lights can, at present, only be used by the police although there is legislation in the pipeline to include police-authorised recovery operators in this but only when stationary at the scene of a collision with the police in attendance. I'm fairly sure that these amendments aren't in place yet but I could be wrong. Other than a fire service control vehicle no other vehicle may use a flashing red light to the front or rear. A lot of ambulances and other emergency services use rear facing flashing red lights and are not prosecuted, presumably because the police would not want the back-lash of public opinion against them. It may be very different for a private company caught using them though.

The use of blue lights on private vehicles belonging to volunteers from mountain rescue, fire service etc is something of a grey area, as is the use of flashing headlights. Legislation states that only vehicles used for police, fire, ambulance etc "purposes" may use blue lights which, technically, they are as those individuals are doing as they have been called by those agencies and are responding in an emergency capacity. However most of these organisations have policies in place that state they do not support the use of such lights and the individual would not have their backing should they be prosecuted. Similarly law and issues apply to flashing headlights. Whilst I know a lot of officers tolerate the use of rear red, flashing headlights and amber beacons by lifeboat crews, retained firefighters and mountain rescue personnel this is a personal decision for them based on their appreciation of local needs, it will not be force policy. I think the use of blue lights, going through red traffic lights, dangerous driving etc creates a whole different reponse though, and in every volunteer emergency organisation there's always one person who's guarenteed to spoil it for everyone else. Woe betide anyone who has a crash using additional equipment on their car as you can bet that the tacit support of the local police would soon vanish.

With regards to driving training, new legislation in currently being passed which will make it a legal requirement for anyone using blue lights to have received training. This is the first time this has been written into law.

Not many people that whilst doctors can use flashing green lights they are not afford the same rights as other services with regards to speeding, red traffic lights etc. The government in Scotland have taken a bold step to support volunteer emergency services by contributing funding to mountain rescue. I think it's about time that they took another step (followed by England & Wales) to extend the use of green flashing lights to all properly-regulated volunteer emergency services (e.g. mountain rescue, RNLI, retained fire-fighters not some one-weirdo in a clapped-out Escort with a hi-vis jacket and a Boots 1st aid kit) to aid their passage to their stations etc without giving them the exemptions from traffic law that'd take up a lot of money to provide driver training for.

#19 Yeti

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Posted 12 August 2005 - 08:35 PM

Just as well I didn't have time to go get that switch then...

#20 kjmcculloch

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Posted 13 August 2005 - 12:03 AM

This will drift  :offtopic: but I think there's some questions need answering...

Rear-facing flashing red lights can, at present, only be used by the police although there is legislation in the pipeline to include police-authorised recovery operators in this but only when stationary at the scene of a collision with the police in attendance.  I'm fairly sure that these amendments aren't in place yet but I could be wrong. 

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http://www.dft.gov.u...oads_507607.pdf

There are two references to it in this. Section 6 and section 8 item 12.

#21 Watchdog

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Posted 13 August 2005 - 07:23 AM

Well Yeti,

It would appear that you can get that switch after all.

#22 Black Rat

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Posted 13 August 2005 - 09:42 AM

Well Yeti,

It would appear that you can get that switch after all.

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Erm no he can't !

Rear Red flashing lights can only be fitted to vehicles used for police purposes. (Regulation 13 of the RVLR 1989)

The link refers to a Consulation Draft and to my knowledge isn't on the statute books as yet... I ain't seen any amendment but then some recovery operators are using them...

In all honest I don't care either way... If they use them so be it...

#23 Watchdog

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Posted 13 August 2005 - 10:00 AM

I'll get my coat. :whistle:

#24 Black Rat

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Posted 13 August 2005 - 10:03 AM

I'll get my coat.  :whistle:

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Where did you hang it mate, I'll get it for you :lol: :D :) Only jesting ;)

#25 PBC_1966

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Posted 14 August 2005 - 02:24 PM

Rear Red flashing lights can only be fitted to vehicles used for police purposes. (Regulation 13 of the RVLR 1989)


What about vehicles which have combined brake/turn signals and thus have red hazard flashers?




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