Emergency vehicles are left to the states to regulate. Federal regulations on such vehicles are sparse. Because of this, each state has slightly different statutes regarding the treatment of their emergency vehicles. In Kentucky, the emergency vehicle lights statutes define emergency vehicles as any vehicle being used for emergency purposes by an authorized organization.
According to state statute 189.920(2), all police vehicles in the state, whether they're on a municipal, county, or state level, must have at least one flashing or rotating blue light. In normal sunlight, this light must be visible within 500 feet of the front of the vehicle. Additionally, police vehicles are required to have a siren. These regulations also apply to sheriffs' vehicles.
State statute 189.920(1) states that any firetruck owned by the public or owned by a volunteer fire department must be equipped with at least one flashing or rotating red light. Red strobe lights are also acceptable. The warning flashing lights must be visible from at least 500 feet in normal daylight conditions. Additionally, the fire truck must be equipped with a siren.
Volunteer Firefighter Lights
According to state statute 189.920:(10), vehicles privately owned by volunteer firefighters are subject to the same requirements outlined in state statute 189.920:(1). The same is true for vehicles operated by ambulance personnel and emergency services directors. For this criteria to apply, the personnel in question must be responding to an emergency.
When responding to an emergency, volunteer firefighters and ambulance personnel must use at least one flashing or rotating red fire truck light. It must be visible from at least 500 feet. Additionally, the vehicle should have some kind of siren or bell equipped.
Ambulances are required to use flashing red lights or red strobe lights, outlined in the same statute as publicly owned firetrucks, statute 189.920:(1). These lights must be visible within 500 feet in normal daylight conditions. Like firetrucks and police cars, ambulances are also required to have a siren equipped.
Tow Truck Lights
Tow trucks aren't specifically covered under Kentucky's state statutes. However, when a tow truck is in the process of collecting a vehicle, it's operating under public safety parameters. Under these parameters in state statute 189.920(4), tow trucks are permitted to use at least one flashing or rotating yellow tow truck light.
Construction Vehicle Lights
Construction vehicles don't have any specific lighting criteria outlined in Kentucky's state statutes. The vehicles must comply with every regulation for headlights with regular motor vehicles. This means that after a certain height, the headlights cannot be pointed at an active road. If a construction vehicle is traveling in the road at a slow pace, it should have an escort vehicle.
Utility Vehicle Lights
Utility vehicles are considered to be a public safety vehicle. Under state statute 189.920(4), all vehicles related to public safety must have at least one flashing or rotating yellow light. This light must be visible from a distance of at least 500 feet during sunny conditions.
Pilot Vehicle Lights
According to the Kentucky government's website, pilot vehicles must always have appropriate signs posted both on them and the load they're escorting. Lead escort vehicles must have warning signs that are visible to oncoming traffic. Every escort vehicle must also have flashing amber lights, and the normal headlights must be lit for the entirety of the transit, even in sunny conditions.
Security Vehicle Lights
The security vehicles in malls are not permitted to use lights under any Kentucky statutes. However, a yellow flashing light may be used by church buses, funeral escort vehicles, and mail carriers currently on duty. School buses are permitted to use red flashing lights.
If a vehicle is publicly owned by a regional jail or county jail, it can be commandeered for emergency service purposes. When the vehicle serves emergency service purposes, it should be equipped with at least one flashing or rotating blue light.
If a jailer or chief administrator has been elected to govern the regional or county jail, they may also equip one of their privately owned vehicles with at least one flashing or rotating blue light. However, no publicly or privately owned jail vehicle will be given a siren, whether or not it's being used as an emergency vehicle.
For more information about what lights may be available to you, we suggest calling your State Highway Patrol office at: 502-782-1800
*Please note that these numbers are what we are currently able to find and the numbers may have changed since this listing.
Disclaimer: The emergency vehicle light state statute guide was created by Extreme Tactical Dynamics as a guide and reference. We make no claim to the accuracy or validity of this guide. This guide was written to the best of our knowledge and has been provided to our customers as a courtesy ONLY! The information in this guide is our interpretation of the law as we have read it. We cannot be held responsible for any errors as this is only our interpretation of the law and the laws are constantly changing. We cannot be held liable or responsible for any errors and recommend that our customers refer to their local authorities to confirm the particular statue that governs their use of emergency vehicle lights.