Whether you operate a construction company, run a private ambulance company, run a utility provider, or have a towing business, you likely have a fleet of vehicles that you need to get the job done. Did you know that there are federal and state safety standards that apply to these cars, trucks, and SUVs? In fact, both utility vehicles and tow trucks are required to meet a number of standards before being used on a job site or dispatched to a customer in need.
One essential requirement is lighting, and, for these work vehicles, some lights are required while others are forbidden. Be certain to keep your vehicles compliant by knowing when you can and must have a grill light, flashing light, or Emergency Led Light Bar.
Federal Requirements on Lighting
There are two federal regulations that dictate the lighting allowed on roadside and private emergency response vehicles. The first is the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard. This law is executed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA,) a federal agency. It is this particular law that dictates what is required for a brand new vehicle. The other relevant law is found in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). This law doesn’t provide much information for those constructing these vehicles and new purchasers but does have a lot of influence on what lighting is allowed on the truck or car after it is in operation.
When it comes to the FMCSA, the most important thing to know is that a lot of modifications you may want to make are actually prohibited. By way of example, the color of lights on your tow truck or utility vehicle cannot be similar to those used on police vehicles or ambulances. Therefore, only these vehicles can have a specific emergency LED light bar, while a roadside construction vehicle will need to utilize one that only has white or yellow lights.
Additionally, the Society of Automotive Engineers and Department of Transportation will regularly provide advice and information to manufacturers and owners of these vehicles. At times these recommendations haven’t aligned. In the worst instances, there have been direct discrepancies. For this reason, it is imperative to discuss any after-sale modifications with the manufacturer or a lawyer knowledgeable on these issues.
Requirements for Utility and Construction Vehicles Set by the State
Remember, there are not just federal standards to meet when it comes to your emergency and response vehicles. In many regards, the lighting requirements for towing, utility, and similar vehicles are designated at the state level. It could be that your utility vehicle or towing truck needs a version of an emergency LED light bar, without the red and blue lights, to be compliant, or it may only be a grill light that is allowed in your state.
You might be allowed to place red lights on the rear of your light bar in some states, to indicate that it is the back of the vehicle, but not in others. For instance, in Texas, tow trucks are prohibited from the use of red lights, other than tail lights. While most states discourage the use of blue lights as well because this is the color of EMT vehicles, in New Mexico it is perfectly fine to have blue lights on your LED light bar. If you look at some of the northern states, such as Alaska and Minnesota, don’t be surprised to find that blue lights are placed on snowplows. As you can see, it is essential that you check your state’s laws regarding the color, shape, and placement of additional lights before you buy!
If your EMT or private ambulance company needs to upgrade its safety standards on trucks, cars, or other vehicles, your utility van needs a grill light, or your construction truck needs a stick light, you will find the lighting you need at Ultra Bright Lightz. We even have bulk deals to offer you the best deal on the safety lights you need!