This law is extremely out-dated, dating back to the mid to late 80's. In today's day and age, two lights (which according to the law, cannot be LEDs) are not effective enough to get a driver's attention. Driver's are becoming less aware of their surroundings, being distracted by iPods, radios, texting, etc. I have seen personally, vehicles completely ignoring blue light responders, which is valuable time lost for firefighters to get to their stations. I am requesting Pennsylvania firefighters (and/or residents) and firefighters (and/or residents) of other state's for their support in this petition (which I will mail in conjunction with a letter, which will be sent to a local Rep.).
Current Law States:
- No more than two flashing of revolving lights, one of which must be visible 360 degrees
- No audible warning devices (horns, sirens, etc.)
- Must follow all traffic laws (Cannot go over speed limit, cannot run red traffic signals, cannot disobey stop signs)
These rules cause a lot of confusion. Most drivers associate an emergency with lights and sirens, not just flashing lights. I have seen many time a blue light responder come to an intersection, and all traffic stop to allow the responder to continue through the traffic signal. Even under those circumstances, where all traffic has stopped to give right-of-way, the responder can still not disobey the traffic signal. This causes drivers to lose credibility of only blue flashing lights. Also, drivers are used to seeing either all red emergency lights (Ambulance, Fire apparatus) or red and blue (police, occasional fire apparatus).
Now, here's what am I asking from the state:
- A complete revision of the Blue Light laws
- Make it mandatory for drivers to pull over (No longer "courtesy")
- Allow an optional audible warning device
- Allow LED lights
- Allow more than two lights total
What I am asking is not unreasonable. All these things can be regulated with mandatory training in order to achieve such privileges, such as an Emergency Vehicle Operations Course (EVOC), signing a contract stating any misuse in punishable, etc. This may seem like something so small, but in reality, seconds can mean the difference between life and death, and every second counts.
How it could work:
Upon reading some of the signatures, I've came up with a way that this law could ensure that only the most responsible firefighters would get the privilege.
- Must have a clean driving record (no speeding tickets, reckless driving, DUI)
- Get an OK from the chief, deputy chief, battalion chief, etc.
- Require all responders to have a dashboard camera (fairly cheap), and require it to be running from the second you get in the car to the second you arrive at the fire house/on scene. Require this for those with sirens and without sirens. That way, if a public complaint arises, it can be disputed through footage.
- Sign a contract stating misuse will come with a fine (determined by state)
- Require an EVOC class
- Any audible warning devices must be purchased through and/or regulated by you chief, deputy chief, battalion chief, etc.
Any other suggestions on how this law can be implemented can be left in your signature. I read all of them.
I'm asking for all support with this petition. Thank very much in advance, for even taking the time to read this.
SHARE THIS ON FACEBOOK, WITH YOUR LOCAL FIRE COMPANIES, AND YOUR LOCAL REPRESENTATIVES. Let's see change!