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The Positioning of Strobe Lights on Police Motorcycles

Law enforcement divisions that are situated in urban areas often use a much wider variety of the patrol vehicle than what would typically be employed by their more rural counterparts, who are more apt to rely on a fleet that consists almost entirely of roomy 4-door sedans. City police units are much more likely to be seen patrolling on either bicycles or motorcycles, and that means requiring a wider diversity of LED strobe lights to configure these smaller vehicles for duty.

strobe lightsMotorcycle-based police units enjoy all of the speed of larger interceptors, but much more maneuverability. Where a marked police car would need a moderately large array of strobe lights, including a light bar across the top that can span the entire diameter of the cabin, a motorcycle typically only requires four. From the vantage point of a driver that's a few dozen yards ahead, the motorcycle unit will have a much smaller cross-section. In other words, it will appear to be a lot smaller than a patrol car that's following at the same distance, and that leaves less visible area for strobe lights to serve as a meaningful signal to the driver that the offer on the bike would like a word with them.

Typically, this means installing strobe lights in sets of two on both the front and back of the motorcycle unit. One blue light, and one red light on each end. It's simply a scaled down styling of the standard police lighting pattern. Additional LED strobe lights or markings can, of course, be installed on a by-department basis, but by and large, this is the standard setup that you would see if you were to compared motorcycle units between different cities.

strobe lightsAs far as where strobe lights are actually positioned on the bike, it varies. Since motorcycles typically have a lower profile than other, larger types of emergency vehicles, it makes sense that a slightly higher placement would aid with their visibility. Usually, they are in front of, and just slightly lower than the handlebars is fairly common on the front, and on either side of the taillight in the back. Among having other advantages, the ease of converting a civilian motorcycle into a police unit is one of the reasons why it's no surprise that many state departments are adding a higher ratio of them to their patrol ranks.