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Saturday, December 17, 2011

What are emergency vehicle lights

    emergency vehicle lights refers to any of several visual warning devices, which may be known as light bars or beacons, fitted to a vehicle and used when the driver wishes to convey to other road users the urgency of their journey, to provide additional warning of a hazard when stationary, or in the case of law enforcement as a means of signaling the driver to stop for interaction with an officer. These are additional to any standard lighting on the car such as hazard lights and are often used along with a siren (or occasionally sirens) in order to maximize their effectiveness. In many jurisdictions, the use of these emergency vehicle lights may afford the user specific legal powers, and may place requirements on other road users to behave differently, such as compelling them to pull to the side of the road and yield right of way so the emergency vehicle may proceed through unimpeded.

    The simplest form of lighting is a steadily burning lamp. These may be white lights used on scene to enable emergency workers to see what they are doing, or they may be colored lights that advertise the emergency vehicle's presence. In the latter case, steadily burning lights are often used alongside rotating or flashing lights rather than on their own, though historically some emergency vehicles only displayed steadily burning lights. For example, California Vehicle Code Section 25252 states that: "Every authorized emergency vehicle shall be equipped with at least one steady burning red warning lamp visible from at least 1,000 feet to the front of the vehicle"

    Flares also sometimes called fusee, is a type of pyrotechnic that produces a brilliant light or intense heat without an explosion. Another type of flare is the fusee, which burns for 10-60 minutes with a bright red light. Fusees are commonly used to indicate obstacles or advise caution on roadways at night; in this usage they are also called highway flares, road flares, or ground flares. They are commonly found in roadside emergency kits.

    Fusees are also known as railroad flares and are used to perform hand signals in rail transport applications. Since they can be used only once, fusees nowadays are usually intended for emergency use (as opposed to the incandescent lanterns typically used during normal operating conditions). However, in the days before train radio communications, fusees were used to keep trains apart on un-signalled lines. A railroad fusee was timed to burn for ten minutes and quantities were dropped behind a train to ensure a safe spacing. If a following train encountered a burning fusee it was not to pass until the fusee burned out. Fusees made specifically for railroad use can be distinguished from highway fusees by a sharp steel spike at one end, used to embed the fusee upright in a wooden railroad tie.