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House of Representatives
Session of 2015 - 2016 Regular Session


Posted: March 3, 2016 01:05 PM
From: Representative Jerry Knowles and Rep. Dan L. Miller
To: All House members
Subject: Legislation Allowing for Internal Light Packages in Fire Chief Vehicles
In the near future, we plan to introduce legislation that would allow for internal light packages in fire chief vehicles.

As you may know, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) is responsible for regulating the use of emergency lights on emergency vehicles, such as those used by our local fire chiefs. Currently, under Title 67 (Transportation) of the Pennsylvania Code, these emergency lights must be mounted on the outside of fire chief vehicles, whether they are owned by the fire department or privately by the fire chief. This requirement limits accessibility in parking garages and other height-restricted areas, damages the vehicle’s resale value, and excludes the use of more modern internal light packages, which are much better for increasing overall safety on the road.

Recently, local fire departments have been attempting to incorporate these modern internal light packages into their vehicles to improve safety. As a result, these fire departments have been inundated with warnings from law enforcement agencies who are required to impose PennDOT’s outdated regulations.

Under this legislation, PennDOT would not be able to prohibit the use of flashing or revolving lights mounted internally in the passenger compartment of fire department vehicles or privately owned vehicles used in answering emergency calls by a fire chief or any assistant chief. Please know that this legislation does not require internal light packages, but simply gives our fire chiefs additional options when equipping their vehicles.

Please join us in co-sponsoring this important piece of legislation to better serve our local fire departments.

Introduced as HB1924