Blue Light Law

Changes in Blue Light Law Under House Bill 1208

IC Code 36-8-12-11: House Bill 1208 introduced changes in the blue light law for volunteer firefighters. On March 27, 2002, Governor Frank O'Bannon signed the bill and it became effective on that date. Listed below are the modifications and additions made to the law.

Lights may be used while en route to scenes of emergencies or to the fire station.

  • A light is only required to have a source of at least 35 watts, instead of 50 candlepower.
  • Lights may now be placed on the (i) top of the vehicle, (ii) the dashboard inside, shielded to prevent distracting the driver OR (iii) front of the vehicle upon the bumper or at bumper level.
  • No more than 4 light assemblies may be displayed on 1 vehicle and each assembly must be of the flashing or revolving type.
  • A blue light assembly may contain multiple bulbs.
  • Alternately flashing headlamps may be used as a supplemental warning device. Strobe lights or flashers may be installed into the light fixtures on the vehicle other than the alternating headlamps. The strobe lights or flashers may be either white or blue, with the exception or red to the rear. - If a member of a volunteer fire department violates the blue light law, the chief of the department shall discipline the firefighter under fire department rules and regulations.

Blue Light Law
IC 36-8-12-11
Blue lights on private vehicles; authorization; violations

Sec. 11.
(a) Members of volunteer fire departments may display blue lights on their privately owned vehicles while en route to scenes of emergencies or to the fire station in the line of duty subject to the following conditions:

(1) A light must have a light source of at least thirty-five (35) watts.
(2) All lights must be placed on the:

  • (A) top of the vehicle;
  • (B) dashboard inside a vehicle, shielded to prevent distracting the driver; or
  • (C) front of the vehicle upon the bumper or at bumper level.
(3) No more than four (4) blue light assemblies may be displayed on one (1) vehicle, and each blue light assembly must be of the flashing or revolving type.
(4) A blue light assembly may contain multiple bulbs.
(5) A blue light may not be a part of the regular head lamps displayed on the vehicles. Alternately flashing head lamps may be used as a supplemental warning device. Strobe lights or flashers may be installed into the light fixtures on the vehicle other than the alternating head lamps. The strobe lights or flashers may be either white or blue, with the exception of red to the rear.

(b) In order for a volunteer firefighter to display a blue light on a vehicle, the volunteer firefighter must secure a written permit from the chief of the volunteer fire department to use the blue light and must carry the permit at all times when the blue light is displayed.

(c) A person who is not a member of a volunteer fire department may not display an illuminated blue light on a vehicle.

(d) A permittee of the owner of a vehicle lawfully equipped with a blue light may operate the vehicle only if the blue light is not illuminated.

(e) A person who violates subsection (a), (b), (c), or (d) commits a Class C infraction. If the violator is a member of a volunteer fire department, the chief of the department shall discipline the violator under fire department rules and regulations.

(f) This section does not grant a vehicle displaying blue lights the right-of-way under IC 9-21-8-35 or exemption from traffic rules under IC 9-21-1-8. A driver of a vehicle displaying a blue light shall obey all traffic rules.

(g) This section shall not be construed to include a vehicle displaying a blue light and driven by a member of a volunteer fire department as an authorized emergency vehicle (as defined in IC 9-13-2-6).