Kentucky Emergency Vehicle Light State Statutes
Emergency vehicles are left to control by the States. Federal regulations are scarce about these vehicles. For this reason, each state has somewhat different laws regarding the treatment of its emergency vehicles. In Kentucky the laws of emergency vehicle lighting identify emergency vehicles as any vehicle used by an approved agency of emergency purposes.
According to state statute 189.920(2), all police vehicles in the state, whether they are at local, city, or state level, must have at least one blue light that flashes or rotates. The light must be visible within 500 feet of the vehicle’s front in natural sunlight. Police vehicles are also expected to have a siren. These regulations also apply to vehicles used by sheriffs.
State statute 189.920(3) adds that if an order is enacted, any county or town may require blue and red flashing police lights from its sheriffs or police vehicles.
Statute 189.920(1) states that any firetruck owned by the public or owned by a volunteer fire department shall be equipped with at least one red light that flashes or rotates. Red strobe lights are appropriate too. In normal daylight conditions, the warning flashing lights must be visible from at least 500 feet. Additionally, a siren must be mounted to the fire truck.
Volunteer Firefighter Lights
Under State Law 189.920:(10), vehicles private owned by volunteer firefighters are subject to the same requirements as those set out in State Law 189.920:(1). The same applies to vehicles operated by ambulance personnel and heads of emergency services. The personnel in question must respond to an emergency for this criteria to be applied.
Volunteer firefighters and ambulance personnel must use at least one red fire truck light that flashes or rotates when responding to an emergency. It must be visible at least five hundred feet away. The vehicle should also have some type of siren or bell outfitted.
Ambulances shall use flashing red lights or red strobe lights as set out in the same statute as fire trucks owned by the public, Statute 189.920:(1). In normal daylight conditions, those lights must be visible within 500 feet. Ambulances are also required to have a siren equipped, as do firetrucks and police cars.
Tow Truck Lights
Tow trucks are not specifically covered by state statutes of Kentucky. However, when a tow truck is collecting a vehicle it operates under parameters of public safety. Under these state statute parameters 189.920(4), the use of at least one flashing or rotating yellow tow truck light is allowed for tow trucks.
Construction Vehicle Lights
Construction vehicles have no specific lighting criteria set out in the statutes of the state of Kentucky. For headlights with regular motor vehicles the vehicles have to comply with all regulations. This means that it is not possible to point the headlights to an active road after a certain height. If a construction vehicle is traveling at a slow pace on the road, an escort vehicle should be required.
Utility Vehicle Lights
Utility vehicles are considered as vehicles for public safety. Under state statute 189.920(4), all public safety-related vehicles shall have at least one flashing or rotating yellow light. During sunny conditions this light must be visible from at least 500 feet away.
Pilot Vehicle Lights
Pilot vehicles must always have appropriate signs posted both on them and on the load they are escorting, according to the Kentucky government’s website. Lead escort vehicles must have visible warning signs for oncoming traffic. Every escort vehicle must also have flashing amber lights, and even in sunny conditions the normal headlights have to be lit for the entire transit.
Security Vehicle Lights
Under any Kentucky statute, security vehicles in malls are not allowed to use lights. However, church busses, funeral escort vehicles, and mail carriers currently in duty can use a yellow flashing light. Red flashing lights are allowed in school buses.
If a vehicle is publicly owned by a regional prison or county jail, it may be ordered for purposes of emergency service. The vehicle should be equipped with at least one flashing or rotating blue light when serving the emergency service purposes.
If a jailer or chief administrator has been elected to govern the regional or county jail, they may also equip at least one flashing or rotating blue light to one of their private vehicles. However, no publicly or privately owned prison vehicle will receive a siren, whether it is used as an emergency vehicle or not.
For more information on what lights are available to you, we suggest calling your State Highway Patrol office at: 502-782-1800
*Please note that these numbers are what we can currently find, and the numbers may have changed since this listing.