Colorado Emergency Vehicle Light State Statutes

Emergency Vehicle Lights are used throughout the United States as safety devices. Lights are more than used for signage or as a visual aid. Fire and service vehicles use many cameras. Each state has rules and regulations covering a variety of vehicles utilizing emergency or warning lights.

In the state of Colorado, warning or emergency lights may only be used in designated vehicles. The Colorado Revised Statutes C.R.S. 42-4-238 focuses on this legal status. The laws which cover various vehicles used by government and private vehicles follow.

Note: The Colorado.gov website does not host a Colorado Statutes on-line list. Instead, they are referring users to advance.lexis.com, a third party service that manages online statutes for the state.

Police Lights

Under Colorado Revised Statutes C.R.S. 42-4-213, police vehicles must have at least one signal lamp mounted on the vehicle as high as practically possible. This police light must be a flashing, oscillating, or rotating red light that can be seen at 500-feet in the daytime from the front or rear. It should be remembered that vehicles classified as undercover are excluded from this law. In addition, the vehicle can display additional combination lights in blue, white, or blue and white. These lights may be of the variety that flashes, oscillates, or rotates. A vehicle that is designated as a command post vehicle may also use green flashing lights. These lights may be used at a single stationary location of the designated command post. City, sherriff, and state patrol vehicles are subject to this state statute.

Fire Truck Lights

The statutes covering emergency lights for fire trucks fall under Colorado Revised Statutes C.R.S. 42-4-213 as a designated emergency vehicle. These emergency vehicles have to have at least one signal lamp mounted on the vehicle at the highest possible practical location. This light must be bright, and can be a lamp that flashes, oscillates, or rotates. In regular daytime it must be visible from the front and back at a distance of 500-feet. Fire emergency vehicles may also display additional lamps in blue, white, or a blue and white combination of colors. Those lamps may flash, swing, or rotate during use. If the vehicle is designated as a command post during a disaster or emergency it may display flashing green lights. The vehicle must be stationary and only one vehicle will be able to display this light colour. This State statute applies to all emergency fire vehicles, regardless of their jurisdiction.

Volunteer Fire Fighter Lights

Volunteer firefighters who regularly serve in a fire department organized within Colorado’s towns, counties, cities, or districts are permitted to equip their private vehicles with signal lights. These personal vehicles may display a single or combination of signal lamps, in accordance with Colorado Revised Statutes C.R.S. 42-4-222. Those lights in nature can be flashing, oscillating, or rotating.

These lights must be visible during the day at a distance of 500-feet in front and rear of the vehicle. Those lights must be colored red. If additional lights are displayed in addition to the primary lamp, the colors must be white, or a combination of white and red. At least one lamp has to be mounted to the top of the passenger car. Only upon obtaining a permit can those lights be shown.

This provision allows these lights to be used for funerals, parades, and special occasions that will not cause a person to believe they are responding to an emergency.

Ambulance Lights

Statutes are covered in Colorado Revised Statutes C.R.S. 42-4-213 concerning emergency lights on ambulances. At the maximum functional position must have at least one lamp installed. It can flash, oscillate, or rotate, and has to be color red. Additional lights which display blue, white, or a blue and white combination may be mounted. Such lights can flash, swing, or rotate during use.

Volunteer ambulance attendants can have a permit to mount emergency lamps. Colorado Revised Statutes C.R.S. 42-4-222 provides for the statutes covering voluntary rules. Their personal vehicle may have one or more signal lamps flashing, oscillating, or rotating about. You will add at least one light to the top of the vehicle and show the color red. Additional lights may display white, or a red and white combination.

In normal daylight, the main red strobe light on an ambulance or voluntary vehicle must be visible from the front or rear at a distance of 500 feet.

Colorado Revised Statutes C.R.S. 42-4-214 covers

Tow Truck Lights

Tow trucks as a service vehicle. Such vehicles may have one or more lights. Those lights have to be mounted as high as possible. They have to be visible from all directions, and they can flash, oscillate, or turn. The lights must be yellow in colour. Can not use any other color or color mix. Only when the vehicle is on the open road can the lights be used, and it poses a traffic hazard. They should be visible in all directions and up to 500-feet away during the day. Only the Colorado Public Commission can authorize a tow truck lights vehicle, and owners must apply for a licence.

Construction Vehicle Lights

Construction vehicles fall into the category of service vehicles and use of light is covered by Colorado Revised Statutes C.R.S. 42-4-214. The vehicle must show at least one lamp, but may use multiple lights. Those lights have to be colored yellow. Certain shades, or color combinations are not allowed. The lights must be mounted as high as possible, and they can flash, oscillate or rotate. They will show up to 500-feet aw in all directions.

Utility Vehicle Lights

Vehicles operated by companies providing power, telecommunications and sanitation services come under the laws of service vehicle. These vehicles may display only on yellow colored lights according to Colorado Revised Statutes C.R.S. 42-4-214. They must have at least one lamp on display, but may use more than one. The strobe lights must be mounted as high as practically possible and during use, they can flash, oscillate or rotate.

The lights must show in all directions in all directions at a distance of 500-feet.

Pilot Vehicles

For use as a service vehicle, vehicles which escort over-sized loads on roads in the state of Colorado are required. Those vehicles must have at least one lamp displaying in all directions, according to Colorado Revised Statutes C.R.S. 42-4-214. During the day it has to be visible from 500-feet and yellow in colour. Could use more than one light. Both lights shall be mounted as high as practically possible.

When in use these lights can flash, oscillate, or rotate. The state of Colorado allows drivers to take USPilotCar.com qualification classes. Operators who drive as escorts often have to complete a checklist for approval to use these lights.

Security Vehicle Lights

In Colorado Revised Statutes C.R.S. 42-4-214, vehicles operated by a company offering security services may use lighting as covered by service vehicles. We may use one or more lights, mounted on the vehicle as high as practically possible. They have to be visible in natural daylight from all directions at a distance of 500-feet. Thee lights must be yellow in colour, and when used, they can flash, oscillate or rotate.

For more information on what lights are available to you, please call your State Highway Patrol office at: 303-273-1616 * Please note that these numbers are what we can currently find, and the numbers may have changed since this listing.