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Dimitry K., Esq.
Dimitry K., Esq., Attorney
Category: Traffic Law
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Is it legal to have a siren in my car. Im not police just a

Customer Question

Is it legal to have a siren in my car. Im not police just a regular car in minnesota and is flashing XXXXX XXXXXghts legal as well?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Traffic Law
Expert:  JB Umphrey replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for using JustAnswer!

Those are not legal to have in your car. You could be criminally charged with attempting to impersonate a law enforcement official. Bad news all around.

If you have a follow-up question, please reply and ask it.

If you are satisfied that your question has been answered, kindly select the ACCEPT button to close this thread and so that I receive credit for assisting you today.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I was wondering if it was legal in the state on Minnesota to have amber emergency lights in car or on top. And was also wondering if I can have a siren on a vehicle.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Relist: Incomplete answer.
Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for your question.

I see that you relisted your question and opted out from your previous expert. Are you seeking a second opinion at this time?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Yes, thank you for replying.
Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 2 years ago.
Not a problem, happy to assist.

The attorney above was correct. Placing XXXXX XXXXXghts or a siren on a vehicle that is not a police vehicle is against state code, specicially 169.64. Here are the relevant sections pertaining to lighting and to for "auxilary" devices.

169.48 VEHICLE LIGHTING.

Subdivision 1.Lights to be displayed.

(a) Every vehicle upon a highway within this state:

(1) at any time from sunset to sunrise;

(2) at any time when it is raining, snowing, sleeting, or hailing; and

(3) at any other time when visibility is impaired by weather, smoke, fog or other conditions or there is not sufficient light to render clearly discernible persons and vehicles on the highway at a distance of 500 feet ahead;

shall display lighted headlamps, lighted tail lamps, and illuminating devices, as hereinafter, respectively, required for different classes of vehicles, subject to exceptions with respect to parked vehicles and law enforcement vehicles, as hereinafter stated. In addition to the other requirements of this paragraph, every school bus transporting children upon a highway within this state, at any time from a half hour before sunrise to a half hour after sunset, shall display lighted headlamps, lighted tail lamps, and illuminating devices as required by this paragraph, except that the operator shall use the lowermost distribution of light specified in section 169.60 unless conditions warrant otherwise.

(b) When requirement is hereinafter declared as to the distance from which certain lamps and devices shall render objects visible or within which such lamps or devices shall be visible, these provisions shall apply during the time stated in this section upon a straight level unlighted highway under normal atmospheric conditions unless a different time or condition is expressly stated and unless otherwise specified the location of lamps and devices shall refer to the center of such lamps or devices. Parking lamps shall not be used in lieu of headlamps to satisfy the requirements of this section.

 

---//--

 

169.56 AUXILIARY LIGHTS.

Subdivision 1.Spotlight.

Any motor vehicle may be equipped with not to exceed two spot lamps and every lighted spot lamp shall be so aimed and used upon approaching another vehicle that no part of the high-intensity portion of the beam will be directed on the road surface to the left of the center of the vehicle, nor more than 100 feet ahead of the vehicle upon which such lamps are mounted.

Subd. 2.Fog light.

Any motor vehicle may be equipped with not to exceed two fog lamps mounted on the front at a height not less than 12 inches nor more than 30 inches above the level surface upon which the vehicle stands and so aimed that when the vehicle is not loaded none of the high-intensity portion of the light to the left of the center of the vehicle shall at a distance of 25 feet ahead project higher than a level of four inches below the level of the center of the lamp from which it comes. Lighted fog lamps meeting the above requirements may be used with lower headlamp beams as specified in section 169.60.

Subd. 3.Auxiliary low-beam light.

Except as provided in subdivision 5, any motor vehicle may be equipped with not to exceed two auxiliary low-beam lamps mounted on the front at a height of not less than 24 inches nor more than 42 inches above the level surface upon which the vehicle stands. The provisions of section 169.60 shall apply to any combination of headlamps and auxiliary low-beam lamps.

Subd. 4.Auxiliary driving light.

Except as provided in subdivision 5, any motor vehicle may be equipped with not to exceed two auxiliary driving lamps mounted on the front at a height not less than 16 inches nor more than 42 inches above the level surface upon which the vehicle stands. The provisions of section 169.60 shall apply to any combination of headlamps and auxiliary driving lamps.

Subd. 5.Exception for light obstructed by snowplow blade.

(a) The auxiliary lamps permitted in subdivision 3 may be mounted more than 42 inches high on any truck equipped with a snowplow blade that obstructs the required headlights. The lights may not be illuminated when a snowplow blade is not mounted on the vehicle.

(b) No other vehicle may be operated on a public highway unless the auxiliary lamps permitted in subdivisions 3 and 4 comply with the height requirements or are completely covered with an opaque material.

 

---/---

 


169.64 PROHIBITED LIGHTS; EXCEPTIONS.

Subdivision 1.Bright light.

Any lighted lamp or illuminating device upon a motor vehicle, other than a headlamp, a spot lamp, or an auxiliary driving lamp, which projects a beam of light of an intensity greater than 300-candle power, shall be so directed that no part of the beam will strike the level of the roadway on which the vehicle stands at a distance of more than 75 feet from the vehicle.

Subd. 2.Colored light.

Unless otherwise authorized by the commissioner of public safety, no vehicle shall be equipped, nor shall any person drive or move any vehicle or equipment upon any highway with any lamp or device displaying a red light or any colored light other than those required or permitted in this chapter.

Subd. 3.Flashing lights.

Flashing lights are prohibited, except on an authorized emergency vehicle, school bus, bicycle as provided in section 169.222, subdivision 6, road maintenance equipment, tow truck or towing vehicle, service vehicle, farm tractor, self-propelled farm equipment, rural mail carrier vehicle, funeral home vehicle, or on any vehicle as a means of indicating a right or left turn, or the presence of a vehicular traffic hazard requiring unusual care in approaching, overtaking, or passing. All flashing warning lights shall be of the type authorized by section 169.59, subdivision 4, unless otherwise permitted or required in this chapter.

Subd. 4.Blue light.

(a) Except as provided in paragraphs (b) to (d), blue lights are prohibited on all vehicles except road maintenance equipment and snow removal equipment operated by or under contract to the state or a political subdivision thereof.

(b) Authorized emergency vehicles may display flashing blue lights to the rear of the vehicle as a warning signal in combination with other lights permitted or required by this chapter. In addition, authorized emergency vehicles may display, mounted on the passenger side only, flashing blue lights to the front of the vehicle as a warning signal in combination with other lights permitted or required by this chapter.

(c) A motorcycle may display a blue light of up to one-inch diameter as part of the motorcycle's rear brake light.

(d) A motor vehicle may display a blue light of up to one-inch diameter as part of the vehicle's rear brake light if:

(1) the vehicle is a collector vehicle, as described in section 168.10; or

(2) the vehicle is eligible to display a collector plate under section 168.10.

Subd. 5.Flashing light on tow truck.

A tow truck or towing vehicle must be equipped with flashing or intermittent red and XXXXX XXXXXghts of a type approved by the commissioner of public safety. The lights must be placed on the dome of the vehicle at the highest practicable point visible from a distance of 500 feet. The flashing red light must be displayed only when the tow truck or towing vehicle is engaged in emergency service on or near the traveled portion of a highway. The flashing XXXXX XXXXXght may be displayed when the tow truck or towing vehicle is moving a disabled vehicle.

Subd. 6.Flashing XXXXX XXXXXght.

(a) Any service vehicle may be equipped with a flashing amber lamp of a type approved by the commissioner of public safety.

(b) A service vehicle shall not display the lighted lamp authorized under paragraph (a) when traveling upon the highway or at any other time except at the scene of a disabled vehicle or while engaged in snow removal or road maintenance.

(c) A self-propelled implement of husbandry may display the lighted lamp authorized under paragraph (a) at any time.

Subd. 7.

[Repealed, 1991 c 277 s 18]

Subd. 8.Strobe lamp.

(a) Notwithstanding sections 169.55, subdivision 1; 169.57, subdivision 3, paragraph (b); or any other law to the contrary, a vehicle may be equipped with a 360-degree flashing strobe lamp that emits a white light with a flash rate of 60 to 120 flashes a minute, and the lamp may be used as provided in this subdivision, if the vehicle is:

(1) a school bus that is subject to and complies with the equipment requirements of sections 169.441, subdivision 1, and 169.442, subdivision 1, or a Head Start bus that is not a type III vehicle as defined in section 169.011, subdivision 71. The lamp shall be permanently mounted on the longitudinal centerline of the bus roof not less than two feet nor more than seven feet forward of the rear roof edge. It shall operate from a separate switch containing an indicator lamp to show when the strobe lamp is in use. The strobe lamp may be lighted only when atmospheric conditions or terrain restrict the visibility of school bus lamps and signals or Head Start bus lamps and signals so as to require use of the bright strobe lamp to alert motorists to the presence of the school bus or Head Start bus. A strobe lamp may not be lighted unless the school bus or Head Start bus is actually being used as a school bus or Head Start bus; or

(2) a road maintenance vehicle owned or under contract to the Department of Transportation or a road authority of a county, home rule or statutory city, or town, but the strobe lamp may only be operated while the vehicle is actually engaged in snow removal during daylight hours.

(b) Notwithstanding sections 169.55, subdivision 1; 169.57, subdivision 3, paragraph (b); or any other law to the contrary, a vehicle may be equipped with a 360-degree flashing strobe lamp that emits an amber light with a flash rate of 60 to 120 flashes a minute, and the lamp may be used as provided in this subdivision, if the vehicle is a rural mail carrier vehicle, provided that the strobe lamp is mounted at the highest practicable point on the vehicle. The strobe lamp may only be operated while the vehicle is actually engaged during daylight hours in the delivery of mail to residents on a rural mail route.

(c) A strobe lamp authorized by this section shall be of a double flash type certified to the commissioner of public safety by the manufacturer as being weatherproof and having a minimum effective light output of 200 candelas as measured by the Blondel-Rey formula.

Subd. 9.Warning lamp on vehicles collecting solid waste.

A vehicle used to collect solid waste may be equipped with a single amber gaseous discharge warning lamp that meets the Society of Automotive Engineers standard J 1318, Class 2. The lamp may be operated only when the collection vehicle is in the process of collecting solid waste and is either:

(1) stopped at an establishment where solid waste is to be collected; or

(2) traveling at a speed that is at least ten miles per hour below the posted speed limit and moving between establishments where solid waste is to be collected.

Subd. 10.Cover for lamp or reflector.

(a) Except as provided in paragraph (b), it is prohibited for any person to:

(1) equip a motor vehicle with any equipment or material that covers a headlamp, tail lamp, or reflector; or

(2) operate a motor vehicle fitted with or otherwise having equipment or material that covers a headlamp, tail lamp, or reflector.

(b) Paragraph (a) does not apply to:

(1) any manufacturer's original equipment or material;

(2) any equipment or material that is clear and colorless; or

(3) the covering for auxiliary lights required under section 169.56.

 

--//--

 

169.65 SPECIFICATIONS FOR LIGHTING AND OTHER DEVICES.

(a) The commissioner of public safety is hereby authorized and required to adopt and enforce standard specifications as to the amount, color and direction of light to be emitted or reflected by lighting devices and as to the general construction and mounting on the vehicle for compliance with the requirements and limitations of this chapter.

(b) No person shall have for sale, sell, or offer for sale for use upon or as a part of the equipment of a vehicle, trailer or semitrailer, or use upon any such vehicle, any headlamp, auxiliary driving lamp, rear lamp, signal lamp, spot lamp, clearance lamp, marker lamp or reflector, or parts of any of the foregoing, unless of a type which has been submitted to and approved by the commissioner of public safety.

(c) No person shall have for sale, sell, or offer for sale for use upon or as a part of the equipment of a vehicle, trailer or semitrailer, or bicycle, or use upon any such vehicle, any lamp or device mentioned in this section, which has been approved by the commissioner of public safety unless such lamp or device bears thereon the trademark or name and model designation all permanently marked under which it is approved so as to be legible when installed.

(d) No person shall use upon any vehicle, trailer or semitrailer or bicycle any lamps mentioned in this section unless such lamps are equipped with bulbs of a type approved by the commissioner of public safety, having a rated candle power, and are mounted and adjusted as to focus and aim in accordance with instructions of the commissioner of public safety.

(e) The commissioner of public safety is hereby authorized to approve or disapprove lighting devices.

(f) The commissioner of public safety is hereby required to approve or disapprove any lighting device, of a type on which approval is specifically required in this chapter, within a reasonable time after such device has been submitted.

(g) The commissioner of public safety is further authorized to set up a procedure which shall be followed when any device is submitted for approval.

(h) The commissioner of public safety is authorized to set and collect a reasonable fee for the testing and approval of all types of devices upon which approval is required in this chapter. Such fee may be sufficient in amount to reimburse the Department of Public Safety for all costs connected with such test and approval.

(i) The commissioner of public safety, upon approving any such lamp or device, shall issue to the applicant a certificate of approval, together with any instructions determined by the commissioner of public safety.

(j) The commissioner of public safety shall publish lists of all lamps and devices by name and type which have been approved by the commissioner of public safety, together with instructions as to the permissible candlepower rating of the bulbs which the commissioner of public safety has determined for use therein and such other instructions as to adjustment as the commissioner of public safety may deem necessary. No person shall sell for use or use on any vehicle any reconverted lamp or any device redesigned for a use other than for which it was originally approved unless authorized by the commissioner of public safety.

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