Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Blue lights on vehicles

Over the past week I've been spotting more vehicles porting blue front LEDs. "Huh" I thought "Aren't blue lights reserved for emergency vehicles only?". Turns out maybe they're not.

Lighting is covered under the Road Vehicles Lighting Regulations Regulations 1989 plus various amendments the site doesn't bother to integrate into the document or produce a PDF version of them making it a right mess for anyone to actually check what is actually current. But hey it's just the law why do we need to be able to look at that [sigh].

As it happens none of the amendments alter the basic points involved here, but obviously don't take my word for it feel free to manually check all five.

The basic points are:

No red lamps on the front
Only red lamps at the rear.

There's a couple of extra points there - front headlamps need to be white or yellow; and indicators; reverse lights and plate illuminates aren't covered by the red-only rear lamp rule. Nothing about blue lamps there. Well that's because they get their own little section entitled "Restrictions on fitting blue warning beacons, special warning lamps and similar devices" Quite short - you can't fit a blue warning beacon or special warning lamp to a non-emergency vehicle; now find the definition of what those are.

That's covered back in Part 1 under "Interpretation". Again simply put a warning beacon is one that flashes or rotates and a special warning beacon is exactly the same except it only emits blue light.

Any other restrictions on colour in this instance? No - none.

So as laid out in the regulations there appears to be no restriction on fitting the entire front of your vehicle in blue lights provided they don't flash, rotate (or be construed to flash or rotate; so don't mount them on your windscreen wipers) or be thought of as headlamps.

Odd considering that when I looked this up Norfolk Constabulary seem to have a different opinion. As in such cases I always ask "When anyone tells me something is against the law do they tell me exactly which law?" in this case no they don't.