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Author Topic: Emergency flashers on coach?  (Read 4866 times)
ilyafish
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« on: December 22, 2008, 06:31:58 PM »

Was looking at different online videos and came across this



I was wondering how hard of a task would it be to have my lights do that?  I am still trying to find a reason but I am sure at some point it will come in handy!
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BG6
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« Reply #1 on: December 22, 2008, 10:22:37 PM »

You just need a flasher and strobe lights of the type used on police and fire vehicles.  Check ebay.
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Tim Strommen
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« Reply #2 on: December 22, 2008, 10:59:29 PM »

I get my pretty flashing lights from this company: www.galls.com

I am not a paid endorser - nor do I care if you go there.  They have a fairly good selection, and the shipping-costs/prices are excellent.  ON my pickup, I have a few of these, and a few of these.

My only caution to you is to be careful which colors you pick and when you use them - in California you can only use white or amber lights and even then you may only turn them on to indicate an "Unusual Traffic Hazard".  I've had them on my truck for about a year now, and never turned them on (I find that hazard lights get the job done most of the time).  The kids with the big stereos use them for car shows and get tickets for using them while in motion out here...

-Tim
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Sean
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« Reply #3 on: December 23, 2008, 07:45:00 AM »

... in California you can only use white or amber lights and even then you may only turn them on to indicate an "Unusual Traffic Hazard".


I beg to differ with you.  The CVC prohibits flashing lights of any color on most vehicles, with the exception of turn signals (which may be used as "hazard" lights when appropriate) and certain other specific lights such as "deceleration" lights.

There is a long list of exceptions for amber lights, to include certificated public utilities (power, water, phone companies, etc.), garbage trucks (whether municipally owned or private), vehicles engaged in road construction, etc..  If your vehicle does not fit into one of these exempted categories, you can be stopped and cited just for having them -- they don't even need to be on.

Red or white flashing lights are strictly reserved for emergency vehicles, as those are defined in the code.  In California, the only privately owned (as opposed to state, county, city, or federally owned) emergency vehicles must be fully marked and it's a short list:  private ambulances, fire apparatus belonging to companies required to have such (chemical plants, refineries, etc.), and police cars belonging to Stanford University (long story).  Every private emergency vehicle requires explicit permission from the commissioner of the California Highway Patrol.

Blue lights of any sort, flashing or not, are restricted to use by sworn peace officers, again as that term is defined in the code.

Many other states have similar laws regarding flashing lights, but each state has different specifics.  FWIW, even the president's limousine (and all the secret service escorts) needs to be modified when it comes to California.

-Sean
http://OurOdyssey.BlogSpot.com
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John316
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« Reply #4 on: December 23, 2008, 09:56:20 AM »

Sean,

Thanks for the info. I had no idea that California had such regs. That is too bad. It just shows how much they have regulated everything.

Merry Christmas,

God bless,

John
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busshawg
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« Reply #5 on: December 23, 2008, 10:18:35 AM »

Sean know what's he's talking about. They found lights I had mounted underneith that we're visable at all unless on during the night. They did an inspection and found these lights. I had to remove lenses, then the lights themselves and cut wires before they allowed me to carry on. All that was left was the mounts.
They also gave me a ticket.

Have Fun
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Grant
ilyafish
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« Reply #6 on: December 23, 2008, 10:38:38 AM »

So now what exactly would be the purpose of the flashing lights on that prevost in the video link posted?
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MattC
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« Reply #7 on: December 23, 2008, 11:34:58 AM »

Not a clue how they get away with white to the rear down that low....  In Alaska many transport, dot, etc. have white flashing strobes on to due the limited visibility in such lovelies as icefog and snow storms.  I'd bet if you don't see it on tractor-trailers on the highway, it's not legal. =)

I'd opt for some red/yellow up high on the rear cap, but not strobes.  IMHO
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« Reply #8 on: December 23, 2008, 08:45:50 PM »

That bus in the video has the flashing lights for the bling.

No useful purpose, and as noted, attract all kinds of the wrong attention.

Adding some higher mounted duplicates of your brake and turn signals has its benefits for the following traffic to see your intentions.

happy coaching!
buswarrior
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Tim Strommen
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« Reply #9 on: December 23, 2008, 10:36:30 PM »

... in California you can only use white or amber lights and even then you may only turn them on to indicate an "Unusual Traffic Hazard".
I beg to differ with you.  The CVC prohibits flashing lights of any color on most vehicles...

To the contrary - I think you made my point, just better.  And for the record my POV qualifies... (utility).  The comment about the "unusual hazard" is simply a general statement in the CVC - meant to indicate that they will give you a good sized ticket if you "just have them on for fun"...

Bottom line is, unless you have a real need (by "need" I define: "your bus also serves as an emergency response mobile operation center for your city/county"), you shouldn't have them at all.

-Tim
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Sean
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« Reply #10 on: December 24, 2008, 06:14:49 AM »

To the contrary - I think you made my point, just better.  And for the record my POV qualifies... (utility).  The comment about the "unusual hazard" is simply a general statement in the CVC - meant to indicate that they will give you a good sized ticket if you "just have them on for fun"...


Tim,

You need to read deeper into the code.  If you personally own that truck, it does not meet the code.  The vehicle must be owned and operated by a public utility.  Just as peace officers, in California, can not put flashing lights on their personal vehicles, even though many other states allow that.  To have lights, a police car must be owned (or leased) by the municipality.

Back when I was working police motors, I worked with guys from a couple departments that did "lease-backs."  The department gave the officer a credit for his motor, and then he went out and purchased it personally.  This was back in the mostly-Kawi days, and the credit was based on the fleet price for a KZ1000-P, but several of the guys ponied up the extra cash for Harleys.

The guys then had to title the motors with themselves as the "legal" owner (where the bank's name usually goes) and the city as the "registered" owner before the city could insure the bike and put the gear on it.  At the end of the leaseback, all the lights and sirens had to come back off.

The code is very, very clear.  NO flashing lights except as specifically authorized:

25250.  Flashing lights are prohibited on vehicles except as otherwise permitted.

Several other sections go on to define certain permitted uses:

25252    Warning Lamps on Authorized Emergency Vehicles
25252.5    Flashing Headlamps on Authorized Emergency Vehicles
25253    Warning Lamps on Tow Trucks
25253.1    Warning Lamps: Dismantler's Tow Vehicle
25254    Warning Lights on Vehicles Operated by Personnel of Marshal's Department
25256    Warning Lights on Highway Maintenance Vehicles
25257    Schoolbus Warning Signal System
25257.2    Flashing Lights: Schoolbuses Transporting Disabled
25257.5    Flashing Lights: Schoolbuses
25257.7    Schoolbuses: Additional Lights
25258    Authorized Emergency Vehicles: Additional Lights
25259    Additional Warning Lights on Authorized Emergency Vehicles
25259.1    Disaster Service Workers: Flashing Amber Warning Lights
25259.5    Warning Lights on Red Cross Vehicles
25260    Warning Lights on Public Utility Vehicles
25260.1    Warning Lights on Utility Vehicles
25260.3    Warning Lights on Personnel Aerial Lift Vehicle
25260.4    Warning Lamps: Hazardous Substance Spill Response Vehicle
25261    Warning Lights on County Vehicles
25262    Armored Cars
25263    Warning Lights on House Towing Vehicles
25264    Warning Lights on Coroner Vehicles
25265    Warning Lights on Sanitation District Repair Vehicles
25266    Warning Lights on Levee Maintenance Vehicles
25267    Warning Lights on Pest Abatement Vehicles


Finally,

25268.  No person shall display a flashing amber warning light on a vehicle as permitted by this code except when an unusual traffic hazard exists.

specifies that the light can be used only when an unusual traffic hazard exists, but makes clear that the light must first be on a vehicle as permitted by this code.  See above for vehicles permitted by the code...

-Sean
http://OurOdyssey.BlogSpot.com
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Len Silva
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« Reply #11 on: December 24, 2008, 07:51:18 AM »

Some years ago, I was in California broke down on the 5 and parked well off the breakdown lane on the grass.  A CHP officer asked me to turn off the hazard lights. He said they cause more problems by having them on unless you are actually in a position to be a hazard to traffic.

I've considered that good advice ever since and don't use them if I can get completely off the road.
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RJ
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« Reply #12 on: December 24, 2008, 10:15:51 AM »


Some years ago, I was in California broke down on the 5 and parked well off the breakdown lane on the grass.  A CHP officer asked me to turn off the hazard lights. He said they cause more problems by having them on unless you are actually in a position to be a hazard to traffic.



This is very true.  Ask any highway patrol officer - most will tell you that drunk drivers tend to "zone in" on flashing lights, and will often run right into the back of a vehicle that has them on - especially at night!

Locally, our transit bus operators are trained to use the 4-way flashers only when they have to stop in the lane of traffic for a signed bus stop.  Otherwise, "If you are out of the traffic lane sufficiently that you can park the bus legally and walk away from it, use your turn signals for pulling over and pulling out - do not use the 4-ways while stopped." - from the operator's training manual, which I wrote.

Miss those days. . .

FWIW, HTH & Merry Christmas!

 Wink
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RJ Long
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« Reply #13 on: December 24, 2008, 03:31:36 PM »

I was under the impression that Hazard flashers are for use only when moving slow?

How many times have you seen a car parked along the highway with the hazard blinkers just barely  visible because the battery was slowly dying?

I never turn on any lights when parked either close to or far from the highway simply to keep anyone from hitting my vehicle rear.

I am convinced that some drivers head right for tail lights, blinking or not, in poor visibility conditions.

When I lived in Puerto Rico the local custom was to turn on hazard blinkers every time it rained. It looked like the whole world was blinking!! Never saw that happen anywhere else in the world I had ever been?
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« Reply #14 on: December 24, 2008, 06:03:11 PM »

My coach came with white Whelen strobes on the front bumper , surface mount and red strobes built in to the rear brake lights. I do use them on some of the tight twisty backroads near my home where I can't keep the bus in one lane on the tight curves with no shoulder and am forced  to hog the entire road . I can't see LE frowning on the brief use in the name of safety. These roads were cut through earth/rock , so approaching traffic cant see my height until they are facing me head on because I am in their lane.  I alert with the air horn and activate the strobes prior to entering these curves.
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1996 MCI DL3 Custom Coach conversion
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