Barrar’s Bill to Authorize Tow Truck Lights and Increase Safety Becomes Law
HARRISBURG, PA-Legislation sponsored by Rep. Steve Barrar (R-Chester/Delaware) that would better protect tow truck operators by authorizing the use of emergency lights to increase other drivers’ visibility was recently signed into law.
House Bill 1414, now Act 83, authorizes flashing yellow and white lights on tow trucks, yellow strobe lights for solid waste collection vehicles and mounted internal blue lights for volunteer firefighters. Lights may only be used when towing a vehicle behind the tow truck, rather than being securely positioned on the flatbed of the tow truck without any part of the vehicle being towed overhanging. The emergency lights cannot be used when brake lights, turn signals and operating lights are visible from the rear and not obstructed.
“I am thankful to everyone who supported this important bill that focuses on the safety of men and women who work as tow truck drivers, police officers and emergency responders in the Commonwealth,” Barrar said. “We need to minimize the threats to their safety, which is exactly what this law will do.”
The bill also authorizes solid waste collection vehicles across the Commonwealth to use a bright yellow strobe, visible from all directions, and would require that the strobe be active when stopped on a street and while collecting garbage, solid waste, recyclables and refuse while moving between stops at a speed not greater than 10 miles an hour.
Additionally, it permits emergency lights and sirens on the vehicles of armed probation officers in a city of the first class. The officers are appointed by the court and are sworn officers with the power to arrest. They work closely with the Philadelphia Police Department, as well as U.S. marshals and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Unlike the others, they are not currently able to participate in car pursuits because they aren’t equipped with necessary lighting.
Finally, the new law allows police and sheriff vehicles to display flashing red and blue lights in reverse light assemblies and emergency vehicles to display flashing red lights in reverse light assemblies. When police officers who are members of a county or regional special emergency response team are driving their personal vehicles in an official capacity, they are now able to use flashing or revolving red lights.
Article Courtesy of My ChesCo