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Use of bluelights and sirens by coastguard


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#1 alpha

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Posted 14 September 2007 - 08:15 AM

I was recently passed by at least six private vehicles all of which had blue lights showing and one of which also had a siren on . I subsequently found out that they were coastguard volunteers responding to an emergency call .
As I was near their base I was speaking with a coastguard member and was told that they are allowed to use them and most coastguard volunteers have them in their private vehicles.
As I understand it only a senior manager in the Marine Emergency Service is permittted to use blue lights etc. , how come a blind eye is being turned to it and if it is being allowed why arent the retained firemen looking for the same ?

#2 sacundai

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Posted 14 September 2007 - 09:33 AM

I was recently passed by at least six private vehicles all of which had blue lights showing and one of which also had a siren on . I subsequently found out that they were coastguard volunteers responding to an emergency call .
As I was near their base I was speaking with a coastguard member and was told that they are allowed to use them and most coastguard volunteers have them in their private vehicles.
As I understand it only a senior manager in the Marine Emergency Service is permittted to use blue lights etc. , how come a blind eye is being turned to it and if it is being allowed why arent the retained firemen looking for the same ?

well in my station they are defo of the opinion its not allowed we could do with it mind you.

#3 RedOdare

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Posted 14 September 2007 - 03:46 PM

I've seen the Coastguard respond to a call in Dun Laoire and they just turned up a regular fashion in their own cars, no blues and twos, they have a busy station out in Howth that seems to be turned out at least once a week to calls, am pretty sure they wouldn't be allowed to be ripping around the city with blue lights on or we'd have heard about it by now.

Be interesting the insurance company or the guards response if you were in an rta.

#4 romeo bravo

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Posted 14 September 2007 - 05:26 PM

why do prision service get them, never understood that, they dont deal with emergencys and any catagory a prisioners are transported by the guards

#5 gormedic

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Posted 14 September 2007 - 06:24 PM

Its probably not a good idea to have every Tom, Dick and Harry involved in fulltime, partime and volunteer services using blues & twos, especially on private vehicles. They are to some extent already overused by some in the emergency services for which the nature of certain calls does not always warrant a hot response but gets it anyway.

As for the prison service having them, I didn't think any one service had a monoply on blue lights, they are just part of an audio visual system used to clear a path for any vehicle responding to an emergency. Plenty of prisoners have been sprung from prison vans over the years, and those that are involved in joint garda and military escorts also require them due to the size of some of these escorts. No point joe public pulling over for the blues and twos of garda cars and military vehicles only to get clocked by the white van with no lights or siren following behind at speed.

#6 alpha

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Posted 14 September 2007 - 08:27 PM

Thats coz we want the screws to get the little f***ers to the nearest cell before they throw another rock at us!!!!

#7 Blackbolt

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Posted 14 September 2007 - 10:43 PM

We just had a brigade order on this down here with an attachment from the Gardai. No fire officer below the rank of ACFO is permitted to have blue/red or any colour lights or any siren on their private vehicle. I would say its the same for the coast guard but as you say a blind eye is being turned, if they are allowed to use them, good luck to them. The retained fire service has been looking for the use of these for years but as it stands at the moment its a no go. As for insurance, it was checked with a number of companies and it seems that in order for cars to be insured to use blue lights they must be block insured, the companies will not give a special insurance for blue light conditions for privately insured vehicles.
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#8 alpha

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Posted 15 September 2007 - 09:46 AM

As I understand it, nobody below the rank of AFO, ( not ACFO ) except second and third officers in Dublin and Cork can use blue lights . Red lights are not permitted to show to the front of any vehicle ( Dont know why Kilkenny FS use them ) . I know insurance is not an issue, certainly in my area as all RSFO's use blue lights and sirens and say their insurance company have told them there is no issue with it.
I am not sure do they have exemption on the rest of the road traffic regulation ie red lights etc in their private vehicle, maybe they do.

#9 Blackbolt

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Posted 28 September 2007 - 06:48 PM

You may be right on the AFO rank but the insurance thing is wrong, it was checked. If I was the people using them I would double check and if their insurance company verifies that they are covered then i would be interested in knowing what company it is, thanks. We checked through a few brokers who checked most insurance companies for us, as well as directly with companies. some needed to check but some like Hibernian gave us a direct NO.
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#10 alpha

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Posted 03 October 2007 - 04:13 PM

You may be right on the AFO rank but the insurance thing is wrong, it was checked. If I was the people using them I would double check and if their insurance company verifies that they are covered then i would be interested in knowing what company it is, thanks. We checked through a few brokers who checked most insurance companies for us, as well as directly with companies. some needed to check but some like Hibernian gave us a direct NO.

Yeah, but I dont see what they need insurance for and as I understand it, that was what the RSFO's here were told. The Road Traffic act, vehicle lighting regulations ,specifically says they are authorised to use them , on their own vehicles, in the course of their work, so I cant see how an insurance company or the Gardai can tell them otherwise. The same act refers to indicators, stop lights etc ,so do the insurance companies decided that is ok or not too ?
If the asked to be covered for an exemption from the rest of the road traffic acts, i.e. to drive above speed limits, break red lights etc, then I could see that would be an issue for an insurance company, but then why would they be asking for that anyway ? If they want to get there fast, let them give up the mileage allowances , get an official vehicle and problem solved. :rolleyes:

#11 Evac U8

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Posted 03 October 2007 - 05:46 PM

Hi Alpha,
Where about does it state they can us lights on there own vechicle if they are not a senior officer?It mentions they can use them on trailer,is it mentioned some where else in the Statute books?

http://www.irishstat...en/si/0137.htmlS.I. No. 137/1996 Road Traffic (Lighting of Vehicles) (Amendment) Regulations, 1996
S.I. No. 137/1996 Road Traffic (Lighting of Vehicles) (Amendment) Regulations,


http://www.irishstat...ml#zzsi138y1996S.I. No. 138/1996 Road Traffic (Construction, Equipment and Use of Vehicles ) (Amendment) (No. 3) Regulations, 1996
S.I. No. 138/1996 Road Traffic


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#12 alpha

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Posted 04 October 2007 - 07:46 AM

Dont know, never said anything about they being able to use blue lights etc if they werent a senior officer !!!!!

#13 Evac U8

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Posted 04 October 2007 - 11:49 AM

Hi Alapha
Just took it when you said
"The Road Traffic act, vehicle lighting regulations ,specifically says they are authorised to use them , on their own vehicles, in the course of their work, so I cant see how an insurance company or the Gardai can tell them otherwise"

I took it that where you said they that it was every body in the CG.
No worries
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#14 Blackbolt

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Posted 04 October 2007 - 12:13 PM

same here alpha.
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#15 Diverman

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Posted 22 December 2007 - 11:18 PM

I was recently passed by at least six private vehicles all of which had blue lights showing and one of which also had a siren on . I subsequently found out that they were coastguard volunteers responding to an emergency call .
As I was near their base I was speaking with a coastguard member and was told that they are allowed to use them and most coastguard volunteers have them in their private vehicles.
As I understand it only a senior manager in the Marine Emergency Service is permittted to use blue lights etc. , how come a blind eye is being turned to it and if it is being allowed why arent the retained firemen looking for the same ?


Hi Guys,
Sorry to come late to this. I'm a senior volunteer officer with the CG in a busy unit. Only full time CG above the rank of Divisional Controller(about 5 people) can use blues on their own private cars. The volunteers and other full time members cannot use them on private cars even on way to an incident. Some full timers are supplied with CG jeeps as they may have to go anywhere at any time to act as incident commanders etc.
Real pain in the bum in a busy traffic area but we have to live with it. Once you are responding to an incident your transport becomes insured by the CG, but this does not exclude you from normal traffic regs. The CG will not support you if you speed or break lights etc. The CG are not turning a blind eye to this and will act if it discovers illegal activity and instruction has been issued.
Units are supplied with marked jeeps and vans which are blue lighted and are entitled to be by the road traffic act. But like other services they don't entitle the CG to break the road traffic regs. In relation to the unit above which is allowed to use the blues I think this is a unit which only recently become a CG unit and up to now they had some sort of local agreement while a local community rescue team.

Keep up the good work all.
DM

#16 Blackbolt

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Posted 23 December 2007 - 12:04 AM

Once you are responding to an incident your transport becomes insured by the CG,



Thats a great perk, well done for having it, unlike yourselves the retained firefighters drive to the station for a call on their own insurance. A few lads over the years have had accidents and it has cost them to fix their cars.
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#17 sacundai

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Posted 23 December 2007 - 04:54 PM

[quote name='Blackbolt' date='Dec 23 2007, 02:04 AM' post='5842']
Thats a great perk, well done for having it, unlike yourselves the retained firefighters drive to the station for a call on their own insurance. A few lads over the years have had accidents and it has cost them to fix their cars are you sure blackbolt i was always led to believe once the beeper went i was insured by by my local authority so long as i had licence and insurance already in place

#18 Blackbolt

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Posted 24 December 2007 - 12:11 PM

You are insured, as in your body, but your car is not.
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#19 RedOdare

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Posted 05 January 2008 - 08:27 PM

Weird and wonderful thing about the law is that only service that have right to break red lights is the Army Ordance Survey section. Everyone else relies on the co-operation of fellow drivers and is down to common sense.

The same law only permits I think its diggers like JCB's to have orange flashing lights, everyone else with them is strictly speaking breaking the law. Red flashing lights are illegal so Kilkenny fire service are also breaking the law!

Thankfully bit of common sense seems to be used.

#20 alpha

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Posted 05 January 2008 - 10:46 PM

I know we have to proceed with caution , with due care and attention to other road users, but do we not have an exemption under by law 13 of SI 63 1993 , regarding obeying traffic lights, which prevents prosecution for breaking a red light ?
What extra do the Bomb disposal have ??




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