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South Carolina Emergency Vehicle Light State Statutes


South Carolina emergency vehicle light state statutes dictate who can and can’t use emergency lighting within the state’s borders. To make it easy for South Carolina first responders and warning vehicle drivers to buy the proper LED warning lights, we have gathered South Carolina state statutes and the definition of an emergency vehicle. Links to formal state statute sources are also included.

South Carolina Emergency Vehicle Definition Under State Statute 56-5-170

South Carolina defines an emergency vehicle state statute 56-5-170. This statute defines an emergency vehicle as any car or truck driven by ambulances, police, or firefighters. The statute extends to ambulances owned by privately or publicly operated companies. The South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles also has the power to deem some vehicles as emergency vehicles under this southern state’s statutes.

South Carolina Police Use Red, Blue, and White Emergency Lighting

Police in South Carolina are required to use red emergency lights under state statute 56-5-4700(b). Under this statute, police vehicles in South Carolina must use two front facing red lights. Police in the state are also allowed to use two flashing red lights on the rear of the vehicle, if the lights flash alternatively. When responding to an emergency, police are also allowed to activate white and blue lighting. No matter what combination of lights police use on their vehicle, all South Carolina police vehicles must be visible for at least 500 feet.


Fire Trucks and Ambulances in South Carolina Use Red Rear and Forward Facing Lighting

South Carolina fire trucks and ambulances are required to use red rear and forward facing lights under the same statute that governs police lighting in the state.

South Carolina Tow Trucks and Wreckers May Use Red Lights

South Carolina tow trucks and wreckers may use red lights according to state statute 56-5-4710. The statute requires red lights used on tow truck and wreckers in this state be rotating, oscillating, or flashing.

South Carolina Pilot Vehicles Must Use Amber Beacon Lights

Any pilot vehicle traveling in South Carolina must use an amber beacon light. Other amber warning lights can be used in addition to a beacon light.

For more information about what lights may be available to you, we suggest calling your State Highway Patrol office at: 803-896-7920

*Please note that these numbers are what we are currently able to find and the numbers may have changed since this listing.