Georgia Emergency Vehicle Light State Statutes
There are very detailed and stringent rules in Georgia on how to show what color emergency vehicle lights on emergency vehicles and how they are used. Department of Transportation, police department, fire department, and public utility company vehicles may use emergency lighting, if agencies at all levels deem it appropriate. The State laws are explained below for each type of vehicle.
State Statutes Emergency Vehicle Lights
Vehicles belonging to the police department have the widest array of lighting Georgia motor vehicle laws provide for them. Legislation 40-8-90 provides that motor vehicles owned by federal, state and local law enforcement agencies may use blue emergency lights.
This law also provides for a sheriff to be able to use blue lights in a law enforcement activity on his own personal car. Statute 40-80-92 states that no designated law enforcement cars require a blue light showing permit. The law also specifies that the amber, red and white police lights are required for police cars as well. Law enforcement vehicles that are not owned by the government must apply for a permit to display lights of these colours, but waive the fee.
Georgia state patrol vehicles are subject to additional legislation. State statute 40-8-91 states that the colored emergency light must be visible in front of and behind the vehicle from 500 feet. These vehicles must also be clearly marked on both sides and the back of the vehicle as state patrol cars.
According to state statute 40-6-6, police vehicles are allowed to disregard speed laws, stop signs and general movement laws when responding to an emerging call or pursuing a suspect, as long as their red lights are in use.
Fire Truck Lights
Federal, state, and fire vehicles owned locally in Georgia have similar regulations to police vehicles. By state statute 40-80-92, fire trucks and vehicles can display emergency lights in red, white and amber. These vehicles do not require a permit for displaying red lights when clearly marked on both sides of the fire vehicle. They do require a license to display amber lights but would not be required to pay the fee for the permit.
Fire vehicles are not allowed to display fire truck lights in blue. The statute 40-80-90 clearly prohibits these for any vehicles except those used for law enforcement purposes.
State statute 40-6-6 also allows for leniency in new situations regarding traffic laws for fire department equipment. Fire trucks are allowed to speed through red lights and stop signs while showing their red lights. When returning from a fire call they are not allowed to display lights or disregard the traffic laws.
Volunteer Fire Fighter Lights
Similar to government fire vehicles, those used by volunteer fire fighters are allowed to use red emergency lights. Nevertheless, under the provisions of Georgia State Statute 40-8-92, a permit must be filed and a fee paid for the use of the lights by these private vehicles.
Since these vehicles would be authorized to use fire emergency vehicles, similar rules apply in an emergency to disregard traffic laws as for fire vehicles owned by the government, by state statute 40-6-6.
Ambulances may display red, white, or amber lights according to Georgia State Statute 40-8-92. It also states that any ambulance meeting the definitions set out in Statute 31-11-2 does not need to apply for a permit to display a red light in addition to using these colors in their emergency flashing lights.
Similar to fire trucks, ambulances cannot display blue lights in accordance with statute 40-8-90, as they are not vehicles used by law enforcement.
State statute 40-6-6 allows ambulances to disregard red lights, stop signs and speed laws as well as use their colored lights when it is required by emerging conditions.
Tow Truck Lights
Truck vehicles can use emergency amber lights according to Georgia state statute 40-8-92. Since these vehicles are private property and are not used for law enforcement or emerging fire or medical services, an application must be submitted for amber lights use and the $2.00 fee must be paid. The license must be renewed yearly.
Construction Vehicle Lights
Georgia state statute 40-8-92 allows the application of an amber light permit for construction vehicles. They will be subject to the permit fee of $2.00, and will have to renew every 12 months.
The vehicle should have an amber-strobe light according to statute 40-8-27 for those carrying logs, poles, posts or pulpwood longer than four feet in length. The light should be multidirectional, and in any direction visible up to 500 feet. It should also be on whether the vehicle is traveling at night or during the day. These vehicles do not need a permit to show the amber lights.
Utility Vehicle Lights
Similar to construction vehicles, utility vehicles may apply under Statute 40-8-92 for use with amber lights. Utility vehicles are subject to a permit fee of $2.00, as well as an annual renewal.
Pilot Vehicle Lights
In order to transport another vehicle, any vehicle that travels at low speeds must be equipped with flashing lights to signal other drivers. State statute 40-8-35 explains that amber lighting must be displayed on all slow moving vehicles on the roadway. In addition, the lights must be displayed in such a way that in any weather conditions they can be seen 500 feet before or behind the vehicle.
Safety Vehicle Lights
Protection vehicles under Georgia state law 40-8-92 are required to use amber lights. They have to fill in the appropriate application and request the permit fee of $2.00. These also require an annual renewal of permits.
Special Allowances Georgia State Statute 40-8-92 requires all vehicles using emergency lights to apply for and be granted a licence. Some vehicles, in particular those owned and operated by government entities, are exempt as specified above. A special permit would need to be applied for for the remaining vehicles to be permitted to use the colored flashing lights. A request is completed and submitted based on the color of the lights, which includes information about the vehicle model and planned use. There is a small application fee and the permit is valid for 12 months following issuance, or 5 years in government vehicle cases. One can find the application paperwork here: https:/dps.georgia.gov / vehicle-light-permit-amber-red-blue.
For more information on what lights are available to you, we suggest calling your State Highway Patrol office at: 404-699-4368
* Please note that these numbers are what we can find now, and the numbers may have changed since this listing.