New Hampshire

New Hampshire Emergency Vehicle Light State Statutes

Every state shall have specific laws regulating the use of warning lights on emergency vehicles. Different colors indicate different emergency functions and rates. To order to find out important information about the lights of each state, it is best to get in contact with the DMV or state trooper office of that state. That said, New Hampshire’s basic rules are these.

New Hampshire defines the state statute 259:28 for identifying emergency vehicles. Any car driven by a firefighter, emergency medical service officer or police officer is considered an emergency vehicle that can use lights for emergency vehicles.

Police Lights

State 266:78-b statute says blue emergency lights are limited to law enforcement officials. Police vehicles should use blue lights. In addition, the New Hampshire police lights include red lighting and light bars which have yellow or amber directional arrows. It’s not necessary to use red or amber lighting for a police car as long as blue police lights have already been used. In New Hampshire state, strobe lights are only used by police cars, and in many cases solid colored lights will serve just fine.

Firetruck lights

Due to state statute 266:78-c, when en route to an emergency, fire trucks have to use red lights. If a firetruck is equipped with any type of light bar, the yellow and amber lights can be used to create directional arrows.

Volunteer Fire fighter Lights

State statute 266:78-c also defines vehicles operated as emergency vehicles by volunteer fire fighters. These emergency response vehicles are also licensed to use red lights. Fire wardens may also use red lights on their vehicles that are privately owned. However, in order to be approved for the use of these red lights, the person must receive authorisation from their department head.

Ambulance Lights

Statute 266:78-c also outlines ambulance use of red lights. Red lights may be used on both public and private ambulances. Additionally, members of a medical emergency response team may use red lights on their private vehicles if they have received authorization from their current heads of department.

Tow Trucks Lights

Tow trucks in the state of New Hampshire have no special lighting regulations. It would be considered a warning vehicle if a tow truck needs to warn people to get out of a lane. Under New Hampshire state warning vehicles are allowed to use red lights. That said, a warning vehicle has no ability to use yellow or amber lights, or yellow or amber lights on arrow boards.

Construction Vehicle Lights

Construction vehicles must comply with all the state-set light constraints. That means they cannot shine spotlights on the road, or mount their headlamps at distances from the ground that the state has not approved. If a construction vehicle needs to drive on the road, pairing it with an escort vehicle authorized to use emergency warning lights should be done.

Utility Vehicle Lights

Where a utility vehicle is in the midst of working, red lights may be used to warn other drivers about potential hazards. They can’t use amber lights or directional arrows though as well. If it is necessary to use a directional arrow, then another police car or emergency vehicle must arrive and mount that arrow.

Pilot Vehicle Lights

The driver is allowed to use amber lights mounted on top of the vehicle when a pilot vehicle is escorting a heavy cargo. One pilot vehicle has to drive in front of every heavy state haul load. Other pilot vehicle might drive behind, depending on the size of the load. The types of pilot vehicles used depend on the size of the load, the amount of distance traveled and whether the load will cross state borders or not.

Security Vehicle Lights

Security vehicles are not operated by law enforcement officers who drive around mall parking lots. As such, they have no jurisdiction to utilize emergency lights. Each safety vehicle should be equipped with headlamps that reflect what that type of motor vehicle would use.

These are all just basic rules regarding New Hampshire’s use of emergency lights. New Hampshire is unique in allowing so many different emergency vehicles to use red lighting, but it is unusual that amber lights are not allowed to use tow trucks and other service vehicles. Due to the differences between this and most other states, it is important that anyone who uses emergency lights should read on the statutes before they go out.

For more information on what lights are available to you, please call your State Highway Patrol office at: 603-271-3575

*Please note that these numbers are what we can currently find, and the numbers may have changed since this listing.