Flashing blue and red lights for night riding - Police only?

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Flashing blue and red lights for night riding - Police only?

Postby Cheesewheel » Sat Jun 30, 2012 8:37 pm

I do quite a bit of driving at night (and night riding too) and I can't help but notice how reflective hi-viz orange and yellow and flashing lights and wotnot common to night cyclists get sucked up in the background of traffic lights, road works (which tend to be perennial on the gold coast), etc. The moment I see a flashing blue light however I instinctually immediately ease up and pay attention.

Just ordered a few blue and red fibre flares and figure on setting them up in a fashion vaguely reminiscent of police lights

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Does anyone know the legal specs/have experience for mounting flashing lights on bicycles and whether the police have some sort of legal "patent" on it?

Fibre flares have an LED at each end that illuminate like a thin tube of silicon to give the light sabre effect. They have two modes - flashing and constant.

Of course I could ask a local cop but generally they are busier with more important things and tend to answer in the negative to anything that annoys them or appears potentially dubious so I am just putting this out there to see if anyone can shed any light ( :) ) on the subject.

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by BNA » Sat Jun 30, 2012 8:53 pm

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Re: Flashing blue and red lights for night riding - Police o

Postby biftek » Sat Jun 30, 2012 8:53 pm

from what i have read ,flashing red and blue lights are for emergency vehicles , ony a vehicle is not meant to be fitted with those colours , you can get pinned for impersonating the police
while i haen't found any legislation about this,maybe my googlefu is out of action
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Re: Flashing blue and red lights for night riding - Police o

Postby Cheesewheel » Sat Jun 30, 2012 9:13 pm

Found another thread that touches the subject but nothing beyond the anecdotal.
viewtopic.php?f=12&t=51949&start=0#p789136

My googlefu brought up a few states in america that specifically outlaw the use of blue flashing lights as well as other US states that specifically don't.

Thinking to maybe downplay it a bit and keep the red one's on the tail and strap the blue one to the downtube
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Re: Flashing blue and red lights for night riding - Police o

Postby il padrone » Sat Jun 30, 2012 9:14 pm

Cheesewheel wrote:Just ordered a few blue and red fibre flares and figure on setting them up in a fashion vaguely reminiscent of police lights

This in particular would be very likely to draw an 'impersonating a police officer' charge. Not a good thing to be accused of.

The required lights are specified in Rule 259, anything different will raise questions as to why.
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Re: Flashing blue and red lights for night riding - Police o

Postby Oxford » Sat Jun 30, 2012 10:05 pm

it is not illegal for bicycles to have blue lights solid or flashing in Qld. refer this post for links to legislation:

viewtopic.php?f=53&t=35664&p=554374&hilit=+blue+light+flashing#p607849
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Re: Flashing blue and red lights for night riding - Police o

Postby KonaCommuter » Sat Jun 30, 2012 10:09 pm

Oxford wrote:it is not illegal for bicycles to have blue lights solid or flashing in Qld. refer this post for links to legislation:

viewtopic.php?f=53&t=35664&p=554374&hilit=+blue+light+flashing#p607849




Thanks Oxford


I’ll bet pennies to the Pound that if a cyclist rolls with a blue flashing light ........ :twisted:
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Flashing blue and red lights for night riding - Police only?

Postby ozdavo » Sun Jul 01, 2012 1:22 pm

Oxford wrote:it is not illegal for bicycles to have blue lights solid or flashing in Qld. refer this post for links to legislation:

viewtopic.php?f=53&t=35664&p=554374&hilit=+blue+light+flashing#p607849


While it says a "street rod vehicle" can use a blue lens, I can't see where it clarifies what a " street rod vehicle" is. ( bare in mind I'm looking at this on my phone ATM)
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Re: Flashing blue and red lights for night riding - Police o

Postby jules21 » Sun Jul 01, 2012 1:49 pm

it's not illegal. i doubt that you could be pinged for impersonating an officer - that's reserved for stuff like flashing a fake badge and telling people you're a cop, etc.
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Re: Flashing blue and red lights for night riding - Police o

Postby Oxford » Sun Jul 01, 2012 1:51 pm

ozdavo wrote:
Oxford wrote:it is not illegal for bicycles to have blue lights solid or flashing in Qld. refer this post for links to legislation:

viewtopic.php?f=53&t=35664&p=554374&hilit=+blue+light+flashing#p607849


While it says a "street rod vehicle" can use a blue lens, I can't see where it clarifies what a " street rod vehicle" is. ( bare in mind I'm looking at this on my phone ATM)

when you read the legislation I think its at the end in the appendices it defines vehicles and human powered vehicles ie bicycles are exempted form the legislation.
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Re: Flashing blue and red lights for night riding - Police o

Postby gorilla monsoon » Sun Jul 01, 2012 4:23 pm

Can be solved with a single phone call to police HQ, I reckon.

My experience with red and blue lights being a no-no comes from participation in Variety charity Bash events. Supp Regs declared it a total "not on" to run red and blue lights in any combination. Checking revealed it was illegal. Don't know if that applies to bicycles though.
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Re: Flashing blue and red lights for night riding - Police o

Postby Oxford » Sun Jul 01, 2012 5:02 pm

gorilla monsoon wrote:Can be solved with a single phone call to police HQ, I reckon.

...

You're assuming they know the answer. Sadly it is my experience that in many situations involving bicycle matters, the police are sadly very lacking in knowledge. Ignorance is apparently bliss, so long as you're not a cyclist relying on the police to do their job.
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Re: Flashing blue and red lights for night riding - Police o

Postby il padrone » Sun Jul 01, 2012 5:10 pm

Statement from the Fitzroy Legal Service's web page on bicycle lights (it's only one opinion)

The Road Rules state that the rider of a bicycle must not ride at night, or in hazardous weather conditions causing reduced visibility, unless the bicycle, or the rider, displays:

a flashing or steady white light (arguably then, the blue lights which are becoming more popular as front lights offend this rule) that is clearly visible for at least 200 metres from the front of the bicycle;

http://www.lawhandbook.org.au/handbook/ch10s03s03.php#
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Re: Flashing blue and red lights for night riding - Police o

Postby wombatK » Sun Jul 01, 2012 5:31 pm

Cheesewheel wrote:I do quite a bit of driving at night (and night riding too) and I can't help but notice how reflective hi-viz orange and yellow and flashing lights and wotnot common to night cyclists get sucked up in the background of traffic lights, road works (which tend to be perennial on the gold coast), etc. The moment I see a flashing blue light however I instinctually immediately ease up and pay attention.

Just ordered a few blue and red fibre flares and figure on setting them up in a fashion vaguely reminiscent of police lights


Does anyone know the legal specs/have experience for mounting flashing lights on bicycles and whether the police have some sort of legal "patent" on it?

Well cheesewheel, you haven't told us where you live (you can put a location in your profile) - so we've got to guess about
the legality.

In NSW, use of flashing blue lights is covered under the ROAD TRANSPORT (VEHICLE REGISTRATION) REGULATION 2007 - REG 88A
and particularly the sections relating to Vehicle Standards... see this RTA document for more details

Flashing lights and Sirens

It is most certainly not legal to display a flashing blue light on a motor vehicle. Without asking my local police traffic
sargent, I wouldn't know whether or not it is illegal - there might or might not be a regulation or law that they
can use to book you.

But all that ought to be a moot point. The only reason you suspect that blue lights are very noticeable is because
their use is highly restricted.

The point of flashing emergency vehicle lights is to convey particular messages that put obligations on other motorists (and
cyclists) to give way to them. In NSW The use of blue, or blue and red flashing lights is intended to advise other road users that the vehicle displaying them is responding to an emergency situation. They must only be used when the vehicle is
being used for police operational functions or urgent purposes arising from an accident, fire or other
emergency.

Just think about what would happen if we all followed your logic and started using blue flashing lights on our bicycles.

You've heard about the boy who cried wolf ? It wouldn't be long before motorists began ignoring even genuine
emergency vehicles.

Running blue flashing lights is just plain thick-headed, beggar-thy-neighbour thinking. Give yourself an uppercut and
throw them in the bin.
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Re: Flashing blue and red lights for night riding - Police o

Postby Oxford » Sun Jul 01, 2012 5:50 pm

if you actually read the op's post, he mentions the gold coast, so its not a long bow to draw to conclude he's in Qld.
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Flashing blue and red lights for night riding - Police only?

Postby RonK » Sun Jul 01, 2012 7:38 pm

Oxford wrote:if you actually read the op's post, he mentions the gold coast, so its not a long bow to draw to conclude he's in Qld.

There are some mexicans who don't know where the state border is. 8).
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Re: Flashing blue and red lights for night riding - Police o

Postby il padrone » Sun Jul 01, 2012 7:51 pm

From AIS Information Sheet 21 Lighting Standards this sets out some lighting rules, in particular:

(TO(RUM-VSS)) allows lights not mentioned in the standards to be fitted in addition to the
required lights, whereas the former Traffic Regulation 1962 required specific approval, which
was not often granted. Lights that flash or are white, red, yellow or blue are mentioned in the
standards. However, pink lights, for example are not mentioned and could, theoretically, be
fitted.
The use of blue lights are reserved for police vehicles in Queensland but ambulances and fire
engines in other states may use blue lights.
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Flashing blue and red lights for night riding - Police only?

Postby ozdavo » Sun Jul 01, 2012 8:01 pm

wombatK wrote:.
Running blue flashing lights is just plain thick-headed, beggar-thy-neighbour thinking. Give yourself an uppercut and
throw them in the bin.

Wombat, firstly take a deep breath. Secondly, pull your head in; it is not thick headed no matter what you think of the situation, nor is that the kind of derogatory remark I expect to see on BNA.
I think the idea is brilliant. In QLD police are often "hired" to sit with their flashing on around roadworks with the sole intention to intimidate motorists into obeying the reduced speed limits around the roadworks.
This is the same principal; intimidate motorists into not killing me, and providing it complies with the law I can't see any problem with it.



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Flashing blue and red lights for night riding - Police only?

Postby ozdavo » Sun Jul 01, 2012 8:07 pm

il padrone wrote:From AIS Information Sheet 21 Lighting Standards this sets out some lighting rules, in particular:

(TO(RUM-VSS)) allows lights not mentioned in the standards to be fitted in addition to the
required lights, whereas the former Traffic Regulation 1962 required specific approval, which
was not often granted. Lights that flash or are white, red, yellow or blue are mentioned in the
standards. However, pink lights, for example are not mentioned and could, theoretically, be
fitted.
The use of blue lights are reserved for police vehicles in Queensland but ambulances and fire
engines in other states may use blue lights.


The preceding paragraph to that is:

Additional lights fitted to motor vehicles and, in particular, alternative lighting on dressed up vehicles with underbody lighting, such as neon lights and ultra violet lights, are acceptable, subject to certain conditions.


Therefore IMO irrelevant to bicycles.



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Re: Flashing blue and red lights for night riding - Police o

Postby Oxford » Sun Jul 01, 2012 8:16 pm

ozdavo wrote:
wombatK wrote:.
Running blue flashing lights is just plain thick-headed, beggar-thy-neighbour thinking. Give yourself an uppercut and
throw them in the bin.

Wombat, firstly take a deep breath. Secondly, pull your head in; it is not thick headed no matter what you think of the situation, nor is that the kind of derogatory remark I expect to see on BNA.
I think the idea is brilliant. In QLD police are often "hired" to sit with their flashing on around roadworks with the sole intention to intimidate motorists into obeying the reduced speed limits around the roadworks.
This is the same principal; intimidate motorists into not killing me, and providing it complies with the law I can't see any problem with it.



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exactly and what about premises alarms with flashing blue lights, will they make people think cry wolf as well? as for vehicles with blue lights (in Qld in particular), can I respectfully suggest members read the links (ie the legislation) provided in my linked post and then make comment about what is or is not allowed. the reservation for blue lights is for non human/animal powered vehicles. so for instance bicycles and horse drawn vehicles are exempted from the blue light restriction as they are not considered vehicles under the act (hint its on page 163 of the legislation in the definitions). so as far as vehicle modifications are concerned, as long as you have the requisite white and red lights as required under the traffic regulations, adding a blue light is not illegal.
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Re: Flashing blue and red lights for night riding - Police o

Postby Nobody » Sun Jul 01, 2012 9:39 pm

This "give yourself and uppercut" seems to be contagious. At least three people have used it in the last few days. (And no, I'm not going to give myself one. I've got enough problems already. :) )

Doesn't appear to be helping with getting any points across either.
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Flashing blue and red lights for night riding - Police only?

Postby Dr_Mutley » Mon Jul 02, 2012 2:04 am

Nobody wrote:This "give yourself and uppercut" seems to be contagious. At least three people have used it in the last few days. (And no, I'm not going to give myself one. I've got enough problems already. :) )

Doesn't appear to be helping with getting any points across either.

but they think it makes geeks, and keyboard warriors sound somewhat cool apparently... When in fact it just shows they aren't all that bright...
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Re: Flashing blue and red lights for night riding - Police o

Postby GraemeL » Mon Jul 02, 2012 7:32 am

I am assuming the blue will be under the top tube and the red on the rear?

The cops have better things to do, I really don't think they would be bothered about someone using a red and blue light on their bike.


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Re: Flashing blue and red lights for night riding - Police o

Postby wombatK » Mon Jul 02, 2012 7:50 am

Oxford wrote:exactly and what about premises alarms with flashing blue lights, will they make people think cry wolf as well?

So you can't tell the difference between a stationary blue light and a mobile one ? And you also miss the distinction
between a light designed to operate very infrequently and one that will be operated intentionally for hours per day ?

Fortunately, motorists have no difficulty with that and alarm lighting hasn't blunted the effectiveness
of police emergency lights. The use of blue flashing lights on bicycles has as its sole purpose the intention to
mimic and thereby blunt the effectiveness of emergency vehicle lights.

Whether legal or not, you will be making a pest of yourself and giving police and motorists more reason to be
unsympathetic to cyclists.
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Re: Flashing blue and red lights for night riding - Police o

Postby RonK » Mon Jul 02, 2012 8:00 am

Why not go the whole hog and get the lights and siren sounds as well. Cheap too :roll: :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Re: Flashing blue and red lights for night riding - Police o

Postby GraemeL » Mon Jul 02, 2012 8:13 am

wombatK wrote:So you can't tell the difference between a stationary blue light and a mobile one ? And you also miss the distinction
between a light designed to operate very infrequently and one that will be operated intentionally for hours per day ?

Fortunately, motorists have no difficulty with that and alarm lighting hasn't blunted the effectiveness
of police emergency lights. The use of blue flashing lights on bicycles has as its sole purpose the intention to
mimic and thereby blunt the effectiveness of emergency vehicle lights.

Whether legal or not, you will be making a pest of yourself and giving police and motorists more reason to be
unsympathetic to cyclists.


We are talking about the Fiber Flares and if the blue one is under the top tube, for side visibility and the red is on the rear, what is the problem?
How are you "making a pest of yourself" for simply wanting to be seen?

I think motorists would be able to tell the difference between a bike and a police vehicle.


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