Flashing lights and mopeds in Canada

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Flashing lights and mopeds in Canada

Postby Micronaut » Wed Apr 12, 2006 7:50 pm

Only certain vehicles are allowed flashing lights
Ambulances, police cars and work trucks are among those cited in law

http://www.canada.com/montrealgazette/n ... a20513782a

Published: Wednesday, March 29, 2006
A long time ago, I was in a rock band and one of the members was a techno wizard who loved to build crazy lights to add to our shows.
In addition, he would build all kinds of light kits to add to his mother's Oldsmobile. Although I wasn't a lawyer at the time, my dad was and managed to answer most of my friends questions about the legalities of putting flashing lights on a car.
I had pretty much forgotten about my rock-star dreams when I came across a law that I hardly knew existed. While it doesn't get a lot of airplay, it might be useful to any of you who are thinking of adding some flashing lights to your SUV or parent's Oldsmobile.
The law is called the Regulation Respecting Emergency Vehicles, Vehicles Equipped with Flashing or Rotating Amber Lights and Mopeds for Handicapped Persons. It's a rather interesting hodgepodge of regulations covering a variety of topics all loosely covered by the theme of vehicles with flashing lights.
The regulations begin with a definition of vehicles that are recognized as emergency vehicles. They are divided into a few broad categories. The first category could be considered the rushing category as it recognizes vehicles that are used to rush medical personnel or equipment to those in need of immediate medical care (ambulances) or to rush technicians or first-aid equipment to persons in need of immediate medical care (first responders).
The second category is the law and order category. These vehicles include police cruisers, special constable cars and public security vehicles.
Being recognized as an emergency vehicle means that it can be equipped with a flashing or rotating red light on top of the car. If your car is not a recognized emergency vehicle, you can't install a red beacon under penalty of law.
Other types of vehicles, however, are entitled to install rotating or flashing amber lights on top of or behind the vehicle. These are cars or trucks that are used for public works and travel at a reduced speed, or to control traffic in an emergency. And amber or yellow light denotes caution and danger. It may also be used by tow trucks while loading or unloading cars when on the shoulder of the road.
Certain media vehicles are allowed to use a flashing amber light, but not while they are moving. They are permitted to have a flashing and rotating amber light only while parked at the scene of a newsworthy event.
The third part of the regulations deals with three wheeled vehicles recognized as mopeds for handicapped individuals. Theoretically, these could be four-wheel electric wheelchairs as well as other specially designed vehicles that give motorized access to the streets to those who are disabled.
There are a series of requirements in order to have a three wheeled vehicle designated as a moped for the handicapped that can be plated and put on public roads. These requirements include: it must be an open vehicle with certain limits on engine displacement, minimum and maximum speeds and equipment.
Once recognized as a moped for the handicapped, it must be equipped with all the normal lights you would find on a regular car before it is allowed on the streets.
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Montreal lawyer Jordan Charness is a partner in the firm Charness, Charness & Charness.
Please send letters to Steering You Right, Driving section, The Gazette, 1010 Ste. Catherine St. W., Suite 200, Montreal, Quebec, H3B 5L1.
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