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Author Topic: Emergency flashers on coach?  (Read 4694 times)
JackConrad
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« Reply #15 on: December 25, 2008, 03:50:41 AM »

Since all cars come eqipped with 4 way flashers, I wonder what the actual law is regarding when to use them?  I imagine this will vary state by state.  Jack
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« Reply #16 on: December 25, 2008, 05:45:24 AM »

Since all cars come eqipped with 4 way flashers, I wonder what the actual law is regarding when to use them?  I imagine this will vary state by state.  Jack


Jack,

They do, indeed, vary by state.  As Gus suggested, in some states, they are to be used when a vehicle is moving slowly on a highway.  Since we were talking about California, here is the relevant code:

25251.  (a) Flashing lights are permitted on vehicles as follows:

...

(2) When disabled or parked off the roadway but within 10 feet of the roadway, or when approaching, stopped at, or departing from, a railroad grade crossing, turn signal lamps may be flashed as warning lights if the front turn signal lamps at each side are being flashed simultaneously and the rear turn signal lamps at each side are being flashed simultaneously.

(3) To warn other motorists of accidents or hazards on a roadway, turn signal lamps may be flashed as warning lights while the vehicle is approaching, overtaking, or passing the accident or hazard on the roadway if the front turn signal lamps at each side are being flashed simultaneously and the rear turn signal lamps at each side are being flashed simultaneously.

...

(5) To warn other motorists of a funeral procession, turn signal lamps may be flashed as warning lights on all vehicles actually engaged in a funeral procession, if the front turn signal lamps at each side are being flashed simultaneously and the rear turn signal lamps at each side are being flashed simultaneously.

(b) Turn signal lamps shall be flashed as warning lights whenever a vehicle is disabled upon the roadway and the vehicle is equipped with a device to automatically activate the front turn signal lamps at each side to flash simultaneously and the rear turn signal lamps at each side to flash simultaneously, if the device and the turn signal lamps were not rendered inoperative by the event which caused the vehicle to be disabled.

...


Note that, per the above, California does not permit hazard lamps to be used on slow moving vehicles, or generally at any time on a moving vehicle except when crossing railroad tracks, passing accidents, or in a funeral procession.  They are required to be used, however, when disabled in a traffic lane -- the law does not give a hoot about your battery -- unless whatever disabled the vehicle also disabled the hazards.

-Sean
http://OurOdyssey.BlogSpot.com
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JackConrad
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« Reply #17 on: December 25, 2008, 06:15:01 AM »

(3) To warn other motorists of accidents or hazards on a roadway,

I wonder if a bus going up a grade at 15-20 MPH when cars are going up the grade at 60-65 MPH would be considered a hazard on the roadway?  Jack
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« Reply #18 on: December 25, 2008, 06:43:23 AM »

I suppose you could make that argument.  But you'd need to appear in court to do so.

That said, I see it all the time, and I've never seen anyone pulled over for running with their four-ways on for any reason.  Cops have better things to do.

Having strobes on a vehicle not authorized for them, which is where this thread started, is a different matter.  You can, and likely will, get pulled over for it, and, depending on the cop's mood, you can get an infraction citation or even a criminal one ("impersonating" -- don't laugh, it's happened).

Again, this is all state by state.  I know some people would like more consistency, but it just isn't so.  If you drive through Texas with a shotgun in a rack visible through your pickup truck window, and get stopped, the cop might ask if it's loaded.  Drive that way through New Jersey, and you'll be spread-eagled on the ground before you know what hit you.

-Sean
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« Reply #19 on: December 26, 2008, 11:06:53 AM »

As with many things, bending the law a little may not get you in trouble and may prevent an accident.  I agree with Dirtbag, that judicious use of strobes in true hazard situations is unlikely to get you a ticket even though strobes violate the vehicle code.  I have amber strobes mounted on the roof at the rear of my bus, which I use while climbing mountain grades.  We frequently traverse the Sherwin grade between Bishop and Mammoth CA, where we have 8 miles of 6% climb.  In my bus, while towing my car, this hill brings me down to the mid 30 mph range by the time I get to the top.  With lots of gonzo snowboarders traveling the same route at 70 plus, I want to be seen.  Ditto for when I'm stopped on the hill putting on the snow chains, even though I am on the shoulder.  This stretch of road is heavily patrolled by CHP, especially at the chain-up sites, and no one has ever said a thing about my lights.  I put the lights up there after I came across a motorhome obliterated to behind the front axle when it smashed into a slow moving big rig on a steep grade near Palm Springs.  I'm not advocating lawlessness, but for me, the risk of a ticket is worth the added (again, my view) safety.

--Bryan
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« Reply #20 on: December 26, 2008, 11:48:50 AM »

Bryan,

I would be interested in seeing pics of your bus. Particularly the strobes, or light bar, that you have.

God bless,

John
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« Reply #21 on: December 26, 2008, 12:14:05 PM »

I fail to see the need for strobes.  The standard flashers can be bright enough to warn off traffic.  One could easily put extras higher up and thereby have double the amount of lights flashing.  In reading the code posted above, the big concern is that the lights flash simultaneously; they do not want everyone deciding that their vehicle could be duplicating emergency vehicles.  I would think that part of the logic is that the more people did such a thing, the less likely it would be that motorists could distinguish between emergency vehicles and a guy that just loves putting on a light show.

I see trucks climbing grades all the time with their flashers on.  If the CHP was ticketing for it, I suspect I would not see it at all.  If one were in doubt about whether they should do it also, contact the CHP and get the opinion of someone with a name.  Although the CHP does have a somewhat odd reputation among many other agencies, for the most part they probably mean well.
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« Reply #22 on: December 26, 2008, 01:13:41 PM »

Hi all
I can't speak of California, but I remember PA had signs posted requiring the use of flashers under 45mph.( on grades) This was years ago, it may have changed. Smiley Mitch


PS. The speed limit was 55 back then. Smiley
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« Reply #23 on: December 26, 2008, 02:35:30 PM »

I personally recall this past September numerous states throughout that had signs posted that require hazards to be on if you are going 45mph or less
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« Reply #24 on: December 27, 2008, 08:15:43 PM »

Hi all
I can't speak of California, but I remember PA had signs posted requiring the use of flashers under 45mph.( on grades) This was years ago, it may have changed. Smiley Mitch


PS. The speed limit was 55 back then. Smiley

Mitch,

I believe you are correct about that. I travel from South-Western PA to DC/Baltimore several times a month to work and visit friends and associates. The trips take me through the Alleghenies and Appalachia, and usually I take Rt 70 (PA Turnpike through Breezewood). But I've also taken 40/68 (National Road) via MD/WV, and Routs 30/31 (Real fun if you like going slow...then very fast..then slow...then slower..then very very fast!<Sigh....>). Tri-Axle truckers make the journey even MORE interesting...I'll be nice and leave it at that... okay one comment:

I thought there was a reading test for the CDL. Something about pulling over at the top of the mountain, check brakes, descend in low gear at no greater than 15 mph, use flashers. Runaway ramp at the bottom of the hill. Yada yada yada..  But maybe it's only a memory test...because.....

Well, despite hundreds of trips in/on various vehicles from motorcycles to breaking-down U-Hauls (I plead the 5th!); I cannot for the life of me remember which mile-markers the signage is at. I will be going back to Baltimore twice early next month. I'll keep an eye out.

Doug
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