Indiana Emergency Vehicle Light State Statutes
Drivers across all parts of the country must adhere to both country and state traffic laws they are driving for. Emergency vehicles are no exception to this law, and they also have to comply with the state statutes that specify the type of lights and sirens can be used for their type of vehicle. Each state has different light laws to which the emergency vehicles must adhere.
There are several statutes in Indiana, which determine which color and type of lights can be used in emergency vehicles. In this article, we’re going to look at the different laws for each type of emergency vehicle to ensure that the laws are maintained to keep people safe and trouble free. Here’s what you should notice about Indiana’s emergency vehicle lights.
Description of an Emergency Vehicle
Before looking further into the laws regarding emergency vehicle warning lights, the first thing that needs to be understood is the description of an emergency vehicle according to the laws in the state of Indiana. Any emergency vehicle is a vehicle registered to assist in an emergency, such as a fire truck or a police vehicle. The law also includes ambulances and buses which are also used by the State Highway Department. The statute that governs which vehicles are emergency and utility vehicles is the statute 9-13-2-6 for the state of Indiana.
No two states are the same, when it comes to police lights. According to the state statute of 9-19-14-5, Indiana police cars can use blue and red warning lights to alert traffic to their presence or emergency situation. The statute requires police cars to use at least two of their signal lamps, one of which emit red light and the other emit blue light.
There are some guidelines for where to put the lamps as well. The blue lamp has to be placed above the vehicle’s passenger side while the red lamp has to be above the vehicle’s driver side. The police vehicle’s lights must at least be visible from a distance of 180-degrees. To better visibility they do have to be placed wide and high on the car.
Fire Truck Lights
According to the state statute of 9-19-14-5.5, any vehicle that is registered as an emergency vehicle with the Department of Transportation can use a red or white lamped vehicle. This means enforcing the same rules as police cars for fire trucks, without using the blue lamp. Instead, a fire truck must use a red and white lamp emergency light, and the light must still be visible for at least 180-degrees. The vehicle needs registration as an emergency vehicle.
Volunteer Fire Fighter Lights
In Indiana, any registered vehicle that is used as a volunteer emergency personnel vehicle can have emergency lights to be used while driving to the scene of an emergency. For volunteer fire fighters, they must have at least 35 watts of light on their vehicles. The lights must be blue light, but it can have multiple bulbs within the light as long as they are all blue. Strobe lights or flashers can be used in the place of the blue lights as well.
If the volunteer fire fighter vehicle has blue lights, they must be placed in one of three places: at the top of the chosen vehicle, on the inside dashboard but shielded from the driver, or on the front bumper of the vehicle at the level of the bumper. The volunteer vehicle can have no more than four emergency light displays, and they must be either rotating or flashing lights. Volunteer fire fighter vehicles must be registered with the local volunteer fire department and the Department of Motor Vehicles for each county. This is important to ensure that in case of an emergency only registered vehicles are using the blue lights. To avoid problems, all registration should be kept in the vehicle, should something come into question.
According to the statute 9-19-14-2, any ambulance within the state of Indiana has two options when it comes to their warning lights on their vehicle. They can choose to use a solid red light, or they can choose us a split of white and red emergency lights. However, the statute states that ambulances can choose to have their lights installed by an ambulance light installer company in order to mount them efficiently.
The ambulance warning lights must be rotating, flashing, or oscillating, and they must have long visibility of 180-degrees at the lowest. In this case, it is similar to a police vehicle to provide ample time for other drivers on the road to prepare for a rapidly approaching ambulance that might be in a hurry to get to or from an emergency.
Tow Truck Lights
A tow truck is a vehicle which transports another vehicle to another location from the scene of an accident or emergency. They often carry large and difficult loads, and they have several statutes to withhold within all 50 states. In the state of Indiana, much like the rest of the country, any tow truck that is registered with the Department of Motor Vehicles is legally allowed the use of an amber light on their vehicle to signal their presence on the road. The light has to be flashing for those utility vehicles.
Construction Vehicle Lights
Vehicles seen on the roadside during various road construction are registered utility vehicles for construction. In the state of Indiana, these vehicles are granted special permission to use a certain type of emergency warning light for other drivers on the road. Construction vehicles must be registered as a construction / utility vehicle with the Department of Motor Vehicles. At that point, they can then add an amber light to the top of the vehicle to alert other drivers of the truck’s presence. The light has to sparkle.
Utility Vehicle Lights
There are a wide range of types of utility vehicles, ranging from water-department vehicles to garbage vehicles. To qualify as a Utility Vehicle, a vehicle must be registered. In Indiana state utility vehicles are allowed to use an amber light on their vehicle. However, to abide by the given statute, the light must be flashing. In order to maintain the warning light, the vehicle must also be registered as an emergency/ utility vehicle with the Department of Motor Vehicles. The light at the vehicle’s top has to be flashing.
Pilot Vehicle Lights
A pilot vehicle is any kind of vehicle that drives before a large load or guides cars through a building area. Their emergency light has the purpose of alerting drivers about the dangerous conditions ahead. Indiana state has no high policy on its lights for the pilot vehicles. For this vehicle the only specification from this state is that any pilot vehicle, be it a car or a truck, must use an amber light. The light has to be a specific warning light, and it has to be mounted on top of the vehicle to provide the best possible visibility within state borders.
Security Vehicle Lights
A security vehicle can mean anything from a security vehicle in the mall to a security vehicle in the college campus to a safety vehicle in the plant. Regardless, Indiana state has light warning laws for safety vehicles since they fall under the utility/emergency vehicles category. However, in order to comply with the laws, each vehicle has to be registered with the Department of Motor Vehicles to ensure that they keep the law for the state. Once the safety vehicles have registered, they can add an amber light to the top of the car. For so many feelings the light has to be visible and it has to be a flashing light to be considered a warning light.
When it comes to emergency vehicles, Indiana’s state places certain regulations on things the vehicles can have, such as lights, sirens and equipment. In order to comply with state laws, it is always important to do the extensive research necessary to ensure that any and all vehicles are registered as an emergency/utility vehicle and that the laws for these vehicles are upheld.
Each type of vehicle has its own laws on light, though in this state the restrictions are much easier to understand. For example, there are various light requirements for just a police car, fire truck, ambulance, and volunteer fire vehicle. Utility vehicles, including construction and pilot vehicles, must have a specific color light which differs from the other emergency vehicles’ red, white, and blue laws.
Remember, each vehicle has to be registered with either the Department of Motor Vehicles in the state or local area. Registration papers should be kept inside the vehicle at all times to ensure that the vehicle complies with the law for the safety of both emergency vehicle drivers and other drivers on the road given by the state of Indiana.
For more information on what lights are available to you, we suggest calling your State Highway Patrol office at: 317-232-8248
*Please note that these numbers are what we can find at the moment, and the numbers may have changed since this listing.