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Green flashing beacons / RVLR 1989


Wikicop20
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This may have been discussed before, but is it not time for a revision of the green/blue light rules for other organisations?

Obviously current legislation:

Quote

green light from a warning beacon fitted to a vehicle used by a medical practitioner registered by the General Medical Council (whether with [full or provisional] registration);

https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/541460/response/1295064/attach/3/RVLR 1989.pdf?cookie_passthrough=1

But this was written before community first responders were really in use. CFRs respond to emergency priority calls (probably more than out of hours doctors).

Most doctors now seem to respond with the ambulance service or air ambulance trauma car & use blues-twos anyway.

Therefore it would seem sensible to at least add CFRs to the above legislation (like the added Military Special Forces in 2011 for blue).

Or am I missing something?

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To my knowledge CFR's are not blue or green light trained, they are only entitled to have a sticker in the windshield of their motor vehicle which is for parking reasons as I understand it. 

Green lights do not offer the same exemptions as blue lights and are only there to serve the purpose of alerting other road users to their presence but as far as I remember (I'm going back a while) they do not allow the driver to go through a red active traffic signal or exceed the speed limit of the road. I'm sure somebody with more traffic knowledge will be able to clarify. 

It's been a long time since I've seen any green flashing lights and from speaking with a traffic friend of mine a while ago I think I heard them saying that it was in the pipework of it being retired as everyone uses blue flashing lights now for emergencies anyway. 

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CFRs can be blue light trained depending on the ambulance service. If you mean responding on blues in your own personal vehicle then that is more precarious from an insurance perspective and most emergency service personnel don't do it. 

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On 09/10/2021 at 13:18, XA84 said:

To my knowledge CFR's are not blue or green light trained, they are only entitled to have a sticker in the windshield of their motor vehicle which is for parking reasons as I understand it. 

Green lights do not offer the same exemptions as blue lights and are only there to serve the purpose of alerting other road users to their presence but as far as I remember (I'm going back a while) they do not allow the driver to go through a red active traffic signal or exceed the speed limit of the road. I'm sure somebody with more traffic knowledge will be able to clarify. 

It's been a long time since I've seen any green flashing lights and from speaking with a traffic friend of mine a while ago I think I heard them saying that it was in the pipework of it being retired as everyone uses blue flashing lights now for emergencies anyway. 

Yes I believe you are correct.

However, my point is as the green light grants no exemptions and is a courtesy light, it could easily be used for the CFR role,  - they could do whatever training the out-of-hours GP drivers currently use and then use it in addition to their visor sign.

Popular in US, Canada , but of course the UK is stumbling behind as always...

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On 09/10/2021 at 18:44, Johno539 said:

CFRs can be blue light trained depending on the ambulance service. If you mean responding on blues in your own personal vehicle then that is more precarious from an insurance perspective and most emergency service personnel don't do it. 

I did not know that, that is good, but as you say, how do they get away with that with their insurance company?

I was thinking more on the lines, of change the regs so that CFRs responding (in their own, which was the original idea, or volunteer vehicle) to an emergency could use a green light. I'd say one green beacon (mini-lightbar style) on the roof - 360 visibility and a dash light, in addition to the visor sign.

I know they respond to local things only, but have you tried driving 'locally' in some urban areas, it's quicker cycling!

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The green lamp is rarely used, has never really taken off. Why? You ask! Because it doesn’t impart any benefit of speed limits, no accompanying audible warning, so in practical terms more of a nuisance than a benefit 

as you say, times have changed and those that need it can use blues.  Rather than expand the greens, it would be safer to remove them 

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7 hours ago, Wikicop20 said:

Yes I believe you are correct.

However, my point is as the green light grants no exemptions and is a courtesy light, it could easily be used for the CFR role,  - they could do whatever training the out-of-hours GP drivers currently use and then use it in addition to their visor sign.

Popular in US, Canada , but of course the UK is stumbling behind as always...

Other drivers often fail to notice/react to blues so not sure what the point would be of a green light as it probably won't help much when you can't claim exemptions anyway. 

 

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10 hours ago, Wikicop20 said:

I did not know that, that is good, but as you say, how do they get away with that with their insurance company?

I was thinking more on the lines, of change the regs so that CFRs responding (in their own, which was the original idea, or volunteer vehicle) to an emergency could use a green light. I'd say one green beacon (mini-lightbar style) on the roof - 360 visibility and a dash light, in addition to the visor sign.

I know they respond to local things only, but have you tried driving 'locally' in some urban areas, it's quicker cycling!

You may behind the times and concepts for emergency type driving. A few years ago, drivers were encouraged to give way to blue lights, even moving over at red ATS. However, even on blue lights, let alone green ones, the MOP are not encouraged to do do such things, in fact, they get prosecuted for passing a red light when trying to help blue lights get through.  So the idea hat using a green light is even more hazardous both for the MOP and the green light driver.   
oh f the likes of CFRs are not permitted blues by their instructing health service, I cannot imagine they would support the use of green ones.   Tm s legislation and the safety issues do not support it.  
IMHO, either be qualified snd sanctioned by the law to use blues, or follow in the traffic flow like everyone else.  

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On 11/10/2021 at 18:07, Johno539 said:

Other drivers often fail to notice/react to blues so not sure what the point would be of a green light as it probably won't help much when you can't claim exemptions anyway. 

 

I'm not sure that is fair. A lot of drivers do notice and react properly to blues.

I just find it odd that people who respond to emergencies don't really get any assistance to get there. 

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On 11/10/2021 at 21:44, BlueBob said:

You may behind the times and concepts for emergency type driving. A few years ago, drivers were encouraged to give way to blue lights, even moving over at red ATS. However, even on blue lights, let alone green ones, the MOP are not encouraged to do do such things, in fact, they get prosecuted for passing a red light when trying to help blue lights get through.  So the idea hat using a green light is even more hazardous both for the MOP and the green light driver.   
oh f the likes of CFRs are not permitted blues by their instructing health service, I cannot imagine they would support the use of green ones.   Tm s legislation and the safety issues do not support it.  
IMHO, either be qualified snd sanctioned by the law to use blues, or follow in the traffic flow like everyone else.  

Yes of course.

But legislation can change and as it is not obviously correct or enforced currently, I suggest that it does.

If we talk about prosecution, then we should talk about amber lights on security vehicles being sorted, green lights on construction machinery on public roads, motorways etc. 

I agree that CFRs who respond on behalf of the ambulance service, should either have insurance, training and legislation for blues, or we change it and train them to use courtesy (green) lights. I know that there would be no exemptions, but at least it could help. Mountain Rescue, HMCG seem to be able to use blues&twos and stop safely at red lights, speed limits etc.

I think the whole regs need looking at again and updated. 

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51 minutes ago, Wikicop20 said:

I'm not sure that is fair. A lot of drivers do notice and react properly to blues.

I just find it odd that people who respond to emergencies don't really get any assistance to get there. 

It might not be fair, I'm just basing it on my experience of responding on blue lights and sirens. 

I saw you mentioned coastguard and mountain rescue in another post. Did you see the mountain rescue team member that got prosecuted for an rtc they were involved in on blues? (that is without claiming any exemptions) I mention it because it does highlight how things can go wrong. It also highlights how people who can use blues but aren't actually trained to as part of their day to day job (ie most mr or cg team members) can fail to recognise when they really aren't needed. 

I understand your point about people responding to emergencies needing to get to scene quickly but actually a few minutes to calm down or think about what you are going to can be a really good thing. 

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15 hours ago, Wikicop20 said:

Yes of course.

But legislation can change and as it is not obviously correct or enforced currently, I suggest that it does.

If we talk about prosecution, then we should talk about amber lights on security vehicles being sorted, green lights on construction machinery on public roads, motorways etc. 

I agree that CFRs who respond on behalf of the ambulance service, should either have insurance, training and legislation for blues, or we change it and train them to use courtesy (green) lights. I know that there would be no exemptions, but at least it could help. Mountain Rescue, HMCG seem to be able to use blues&twos and stop safely at red lights, speed limits etc.

I think the whole regs need looking at again and updated. 

Here's a thought, rather than botching the regs about courtesy (waste of time) green lights for users such as CFR's, how about revising how those roles can adapt to the legislation?  As for training for the use of courtesy / green lamps, the key element is to train that it offers NO exemption to normal driving standards.  That does mean that in the event of a collision, any benefit they have tried to gain by getting others to pull over (That's about all that could be done) could be seen as outside of normal driving and so contribute to wards the collision / offence.  IMHO, as good as the role of CFRs is, surely its for the Dept of Health / Health departments to decide how they are managed including what and how they can drive on behalf of the health authorities..... and it would seem that CFRs, unless classified as emergency vehicles would still not be covered if/when the S19 rule comes into effect. 
You do appreciate that Mtn Rescue can use blues but, AFAIK,  as yet are not exempt from speed limits or road signs. 

Edited by BlueBob
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7 hours ago, BlueBob said:

You do appreciate that Mtn Rescue can use blues but, AFAIK,  as yet are not exempt from speed limits or road signs. 

Mountain rescue teams will almost invariably be using their vehicles for policing or ambulance purposes as they're always requested for an incident by the respective control room, so the way S87 is written they would meet the criteria for the exemptions even if they're expected by some policy or MOI not to use them. 

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8 hours ago, BlueBob said:

You do appreciate that Mtn Rescue can use blues but, AFAIK,  as yet are not exempt from speed limits or road signs. 

Yes I do. I've never heard of anything so absurd. I can't think of any other nation that gives blue lights & sirens, but no exemptions! It's like someone in an office somewhere tries to make things difficult and complex. It was a waste of anytime anyway adding them in to their own category, as most of them seem to use the ambulance/ambulance purposes exemption. 

 

8 hours ago, BlueBob said:

Here's a thought, rather than botching the regs about courtesy (waste of time) green lights for users such as CFR's, how about revising how those roles can adapt to the legislation?  As for training for the use of courtesy / green lamps, the key element is to train that it offers NO exemption to normal driving standards.  That does mean that in the event of a collision, any benefit they have tried to gain by getting others to pull over (That's about all that could be done) could be seen as outside of normal driving and so contribute to wards the collision / offence.  IMHO, as good as the role of CFRs is, surely its for the Dept of Health / Health departments to decide how they are managed including what and how they can drive on behalf of the health authorities..... and it would seem that CFRs, unless classified as emergency vehicles would still not be covered if/when the S19 rule comes into effect. 

So are you saying that the CFRs should be classed as an emergency vehicle and respond as such? 

If so, I'd agree, but then question the point, as it would have to be a Trust vehicle, uniformed, shift type work, which I think detracts from the original purpose of a CFR - local, plain-clothed, grab their AED and get in the car.

Would be good to hear from some serving CFRs if there are any out there!

*

I am not trying to be disgreeable, just trying to make sense of why we have people responding to emergencies ... who cannot/will not have exemptions used ... 

It looks more to me Trusts and services don't want the extra work of training, equipment, insurance and terms & conditions fully exploring this and as seems to be usual in the UK, settle for the mediocre way of doing things.

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1 hour ago, Sceptre said:

Mountain rescue teams will almost invariably be using their vehicles for policing or ambulance purposes as they're always requested for an incident by the respective control room, so the way S87 is written they would meet the criteria for the exemptions even if they're expected by some policy or MOI not to use them. 

This surely begs the question as to why they bothered having them on the list at all, if they can and do use the ambulance exemption // register as an ambulance their vehicle. 

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