Zorn’s emergency vehicle lights reform approved

LANSING, Mich. — The Michigan Senate on Thursday approved Sen. Dale Zorn’s legislation to allow the use of corner flashing lights on emergency vehicles as an option instead of rotating or oscillating lights attached to the roof.

Modern ambulance and rescue vehicles can have blind areas when rotating lights are attached to the roof. For decades, these vehicles have been using corner lights that meet the 360 degree and 500 foot visual requirement but their use has not been codified in state statue.

This bill would allow corner lights to be used on ambulance and rescue vehicles as long as the lights maintain the requirements of being visible 500 feet away and from 360 degrees around the vehicle.

“This bill is about legalizing the use of flashing corner lights that are in use today, and will improve public safety while reducing costs,” said Zorn, R-Ida.

Senate Bill 1084 would eliminate the current Michigan requirement that flashing, rotating or oscillating lights on emergency vehicles be mounted on the roof of the vehicles.

“After years of innovation, the traditional rotating light bar attached to the roof of an emergency vehicle may not be the safest or most cost-efficient option,” Zorn said. “On many modern rescue and emergency vehicles, the flashing lights are mounted on the corners of the vehicle rather than the roof. These lights are often brighter than traditional roof-mounted lights and meet the 360 degree requirement.”

SB 1084 has been sent to the House of Representatives for consideration.