Arkansas Emergency Vehicle Light State Statutes
The custom light flashing kit might look cool on an online site, but bear in mind the room decor is the only thing you can use it for in Arkansas. Arkansas has special laws for emergency vehicle lighting and is routinely enforced by its state patrol and local police departments.
According to Arkansas State Code 27-36-301, anyone who applies to their vehicle some form of revolving, blinking, or oscillating light without being in one of the licensed categories of automobiles is automatically guilty of a Class A misdemeanor. The fine for the violation is not as steep as other offenses, ranging from $10 to $100 depending on the particular case.
In 2010 the regulation was introduced to ensure non-emergency drivers did not use emergency lights close to emergency lights. The law is intended to differentiate between real emergency personnel and traditional drivers. For some private businesses, people were known to use emergency lights and some even used them to identify themselves as law enforcement or other emergency personnel.
Arkansas emergency vehicle lights law has multiple categories of people who can use emergency road lighting. There are essentially four types of emergency lights that are permitted in the state:
Yellow or Amber lights
Fire Trucks-Red Emergency Lights
Red lighting is used on Arkansas state fire trucks. Fire trucks must use either the warning lights and light bars that rotate or flash. In addition, firefighters can put emergency lighting on their personal vehicles. That is to meet the number of volunteer firefighters working around the state in their neighborhoods.
The lights can either be attached to the dash, rooftop or be a surface mount attached to the exterior of the vehicle.
Two other emergency vehicle groups may use the red flashing, rotating or oscillating lights. Ambulances may also use this type of light, according to the statute. Medical professionals may also use either dash or surface mount red flashing or rotating lights on their personal vehicles, provided they have been given permission by the Arkansas Department of Health.
The red emergency lighting system can also be used by tow trucks, either flashing or rotating dash or surface mounts. However, the law states that tow trucks can only use emergency lighting when a vehicle tow is initiated or a vehicle is collected. Once the vehicle is secured to the tow truck, they must turn off emergency lighting.
Blue Emergency Lights for Police and Law Enforcement
Blue lights are only intended for state-wide law enforcement. All vehicles used by law enforcement, including those used by state troops and those used by local police departments, must only use flashing, rotating or blue strobe lights. There will be no police vehicle using flashing or rotating police lights both red and blue. Those systems stopped years ago.
Amber or White Emergency Lights for Security, Construction, Pilot Escort Vehicles, and Tow Trucks
Some private vehicles under Arkansas Law may use emergency lights. Some approved construction vehicles may use white or amber warning lights, as well as some publicly and privately owned vehicles used in potentially dangerous situations for drivers.
Additionally, amber lights must be used in escort or pilot cars. The law stipulates that these lights must either be strobe, incandescent, or halogen. The other type of vehicle required to use amber lights is school bus.
Purple emergency lights for funeral processions
Purple lights are those specifically designated for those who lead a funeral procession, which will be largely private vehicles designated by the funeral home. The purple lights can either oscillate, flash or rotate. Drivers may only use them during the procession, however, and must be switched off all other times.
If you customize your ride, the big takeaway is to be careful what you are using. Also, state law does not permit the use of red, blue or green lights in your vehicle’s front center section while traveling. Standard non-emergency vehicles may use flashing lights along the roadside to warn other drivers of an emergency but not as continuous lighting.
In addition, any extra custom lights on your vehicle, truck, SUV, van or minivan with more than 300 candle-power must not strike the road further than 75 feet from your vehicle. Lights that work with the car, such as headlights, turn signals, emergency warning lamps and headlamps, are not subject to this limitation.
Even white emergency lights on private vehicles are restricted. Non-emergency drivers cannot have more than two decorative LEDs mounted on the front of a vehicle, with white lights. Therefore, rows of spotlights that use many for camping at night are not allowed on the front of the vehicle.
There are also rules for tailoring the rear of non-emergency vehicles. Neon lights as well as type of emergency lighting are prohibited. However, in stop lamps, rear turn lights, hazard lights and reflectors, you do have some variation. For any of these purposes, you may use blue dot trail lights.
While some of these custom light kits look really cool, it’s best to stay within Arkansas state law or be prepared to pay fines and be required to take them away from your vehicle.