Missouri Emergency Vehicle Light State Statutes
The color of the lights of an emergency vehicle can often be the easiest means of detecting and recognizing any suspicious vehicle on the road. Even when the car is too dark to see, usually you can find out what it is based on the hue of its flashing lights. Furthermore, not every area has the same exact type of laws regarding automotive lighting, so common light colors in different regions can actually be different. There are specific laws in the state of Missouri on what sort of emergency vehicle lights various emergency vehicles can use. Here’s what you need to know about the Missouri emergency light-vehicle rules.
State Statutes Emergency Vehicle Lights
Missouri state statute 304.022.1 sets the rules for vehicles for enforcing emergency law. These laws apply to all types of law enforcement officers including ordinary police departments, state highway patrol, state park rangers, traffic officers, coroners, and sheriffs. They must have at least one red lighted lamp, which can be seen from at least five hundred feet away, and at least one blue light, which can flash, according to the lights. Vehicles fitted with blue police lights must have a permit in Missouri. To obtain the permit, they are required to speak in person with the chief of the relevant department and obtain a written permit.
Fire Truck Lights
The rules for lights on fire-emergency trucks are laid down in the Missouri state statute 307.175. These rules apply to both traditional fire trucks and other squad vehicles used for fire rescue. They may use a blue fire truck light when responding to a fire or an ambulance call. Either fixed lights, flashing lights or rotating lights can be these lights. Fire trucks in Missouri are only permitted to activate their lights during a “true emergency,” and they must also use the siren when they go to the emergency. Fire trucks may obtain permits for these lights by applying to their fire department chief and obtaining written permission.
Volunteer Firefighter Lights
As outlined in Missouri Statute 307.175.1, emergency lights laws are the same whether the organized fire department is paid or volunteer. This means that any vehicle run by a fire department can display emergency lighting as long as their department chief has written permission. These lights must be either fixed, flashing, or rotated in blue light. Whenever the lights are turned on, it must be due to a real emergency and during the time the emergency lights are turned on, the volunteer firefighters are required to turn a siren on.
Ambulances are in the same class of emergency vehicles as fire department vehicles under Missouri state law. Thus they are governed by the statutes of 307.175.1. When an ambulance responds to an emergency call, it is authorized to use a blue light which can either flash, rotate or be fixed. The ambulance must also have its siren on whilst running this light. Ambulance vehicles are only permitted to use lights if they have a written permit from their ambulance chief.
Tow Truck Lights
A tow truck’s lights will vary depending on its function and its owner. A tow truck may use a red and flashing blue light under statute 304.022.4 (4), if it is owned and operated by a public utility or public service corporation and if it is in the process of providing an emergency service. This statute requires any tow truck that uses emergency lights to get a siren going too. These lights can only be used by tow trucks when responding to an emergency however. There are no other specific laws regulating tow truck lights, but for additional visibility, some trucks may choose to use an amber flashing or fixed light. If they choose to include additional lamps, they must comply with state statute 307.080 laws which claim that they may not use more than three lamps mounted at a height between 12 to 42 inches above ground level.
Construction Vehicle Lights
Building vehicles are vehicles that work in construction areas. They may be seen halting or slowly moving along the sides of different roads. These vehicles fall under statute 307.115 that specifies that road machinery or equipment must have at least one white lamp visible from the 500-foot front and one red lamp in the rear that is 500-foot visible from the back. Some construction vehicles may choose to use construction vehicle lighting approved by statute 307.050, because of their very slow movement. Under this law, a vehicle does not need to bother with approved headlamps as long as they do not operate more than 20 miles an hour and have two lighted front lights that are either white or yellow lights strong enough to display things 75 feet ahead of the vehicle. State statute 307.080 states that vehicles which choose to mount additional amber lamps for visibility must use no more than three lamps and mount them off the ground somewhere between 12 to 42 inches high.
Utility Vehicle Lights
It is classified as a utility vehicle if a vehicle is used for a public utility service, such as electricity or water. Those utility vehicles can display emergency lighting under the 304.022.2 statutes. This states that as a precautionary measure, they can display flashing amber or amber and white lights while stationary. The statute also allows any vehicle owned and operated by a public utility to use a flashing red and blue light while moving during a response to a true emergency. The utility truck driver must get a written permit from the head of their department to get permits for red and blue emergency lighting.
Pilot Vehicle Lights
The vehicles used to escort an oversized load along the highway are pilot vehicles. Although Missouri has some regulations for such vehicle types, there are no laws specifically referring to the strobe lights on these vehicles. Any pilot car clearly has to follow the standard lighting and headlamp rules set out in chapter 307 of the state of Missouri. It means they must use two white headlights and red taillights during nighttime or adverse weather conditions like any other vehicle. Vehicles escorting may choose to use auxiliary headlamps for enhanced visibility if required. State statute 307.080 states that these additional headlamps must be white or amber, no more than three in total, and placed off the ground anywhere between 12 and 42 inches.
Security Vehicle Lights
Security Car Lights Security vehicles are the vehicles that patrol mall parking lots and other security areas but they are owned and operated privately. Under Missouri State Law 304.022 these kinds of vehicles are not qualified as emergency vehicles, so they are not qualified to use any kind of fixed or flashing red or blue emergency lighting. Instead, these vehicles must comply with statute 307.095 and display only white, yellow, or amber headlamps. Security vehicles may decide to add a few extra lamps for added visibility to their vehicle. If they choose to do so, they have to adhere to the 307.080 statute and mount no more than three extra lamps off the ground somewhere between 12 to 42 inches.
For more information on what lights are available to you, please call your State Highway Patrol office at: 573-751-3313
* Please note that these numbers are what we can currently find, and the numbers may have changed since this listing.