Why don't the police use their lights and sirens?

Fire trucks use their lights and sirens, as do ambulances because it creates a safer situation on the road as it alerts other drivers to their presence. It enables people to clear a safer thoroughfare for them to pass.

Police travelling on multiple lane freeways generally do not use their safety equipment to alert other drivers of their presence and intention. Instead they tailgate other drivers and swerve through traffic. The non-use of their equipment creates an unnecessary hazard and dangerous situations because people are not alerted to their presence and intention.

Police routinely travel +90mph and sometimes exceed 100mph which is far and above all other traffic-swerving and racing without any alert or warning. Another local policeman lost his job a few weeks ago because the city was sued over an accident he caused with no warning lights or sirens and it was found to be the cause of injury. It prompted my question here.

*This is not a question for you to express your frustration with slow drivers and road hogs.

*This is not a disparaging remark against the police in general. I understand the very necessary role they play in society.

My question is about the police not using their safety equipment while other emergency vehicle services do for good reason and with good effect.

Is this decision not to use their safety equipment usually a department policy or is it left to the individual patrolman?

I was wondering what can be done about this.

12 Answers

  • ?
    Lv 5
    8 years ago
    Best Answer

    What can be done about this? How about staying out of the cop's way. It isn't up to you to make the policy of when the cops do or do not use sirens and lights. It is only your responsibility as a motorist to keep to the right and drive within the speed limit. The officers drive thousands of miles a year in both routine and emergency conditions and know their business far better than you do.

  • 3 years ago


    Source(s): Criminal Records Search Database - http://CriminalRecords.raiwi.com/?dcwW
  • Susan
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    TRC §547.501. AUDIBLE WARNING DEVICES. (a) A motor vehicle shall be equipped with a horn in good working condition that emits a sound audible under normal conditions at a distance of at least 200 feet. (b) A vehicle may not be equipped with and a person may not use on a vehicle a siren, whistle, or bell unless the vehicle is: (1) a commercial vehicle that is equipped with a theft alarm signal device arranged so that the device cannot be used as an ordinary warning signal; or (2) an authorized emergency vehicle that is equipped with a siren, whistle, or bell that complies with Section 547.702. (c) A motor vehicle operator shall use a horn to provide audible warning only when necessary to insure safe operation. (d) A warning device, including a horn, may not emit an unreasonably loud or harsh sound or a whistle. A private SECURITY GAURD (a crime prevention officer means nothing) does not operate an emergency vehicle. If the vehicle is operated on a public roadway, with a siren equipped (it does not have to be turned on) then you can get in trouble. If the DPS investigator stops to check you out an dsees you have a siren, or illegal lights, you get in trouble. A security gaurd, private invesigator, or body gaurd, has the exact same arest powers as any other civilian (and your not a police officer, or a law enforcement officer, your a security gaurd) which is called citizens arrest. I seriously doubt you have ever had to 'draw down' on a 'suspect'. I can tell you tht when ever a security gaurd tries to stop me, I simply wlak or drive away from them and the property they are one. You seem to have a big wanna be complex. Thats scary. your best bet is to put an amber light on the roof of your company car, and leave it on while on post.

  • 8 years ago

    Didn't you ask this question before? There are lots of times when the Police are in a hurry, for legitimate reasons, but do not use lights and sirens because it might alert bad guys of their approach, or create some other type of problem. Remember driver's Ed in High School? They told you to scan your rear view mirror every 3 seconds. The easiest thing to do is that if a cop drives up behind you, get out of his way. Besides, and 50-60 miles per hour, you are really outrunning the siren sound. And you would not hear until the are right on top of you anyway. ,

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  • MikeTL
    Lv 6
    8 years ago

    They do when the calls require it. Not every call requires lights and sirens. Further, there is talk in the NFPA to limit the use of lights and sirens on fire trucks.

    Many Fire departments now have restrictions on when lights and sirens are to be used.

    Lights and sirens don't guantee me the right of way, they only request it. Sometimes its faster to not use them at all.

    On Freeways, it is possible to "outrun" the sound of a siren. Once a vehicle reaches 60 - 70mph the siren becomes difficult to hear.

    Unless you have EVOC training you are not competent enough to make this argument as you don't know the laws, regulations, polices, or circumstances.

  • Anonymous
    8 years ago

    EMS and Fire are very restricted on time. If your house was on fire or you were having a heart attack you want them there FAST. Many police departments have policies on when they can use their lights and sirens. If there is a burglary in progress they most likely will "run hot" until they get close to the scene and then turn of the sirens and lights to be stealthy. It's just about what kind of a call they have. You're probably exaggerating on the speeds you've seen them go because their cars have GPS in them an Dispatch can check their speeds.

  • heika
    Lv 6
    8 years ago

    Often when responding to an emergency the officer does not want to alert the "bad guys" that he is enroute. Often in these cases they will use lights and horn. This does put an additional burden on the officer since some drivers may not see or hear them. In our district this is known as a "code 2 approach".

    Source(s): Lifes experiences
  • 8 years ago

    The law varies slightly from one state to another. For instance, in NH, no emergency vehicle is permitted to travel faster than the posted speed limit unless operating "emergency warning lights", and must use the siren when doing other maneuvers (e.g., running a red light or going the "wrong way"). A violation of that law would be evidence of negligence, if something bad were to happen. Some agencies have "policies" that permit an officer to "use his or her judgment" when responding, but to "obey the traffic code". In other words, you can speed without using your lights and siren, but we can fire you if something bad happens.

    If they end up "catching the bad guy" or "saving a life", everyone's happy. If they end up crashing into somebody, then they're thrown to the wolves.

  • 8 years ago

    As i have been instucted by police officers that are right on this site,police can do ,what ever they want,when ever they want,at any time that they want,even if it means putting, civilians,lives at risk of death,because they are,THE LAW.Hoe about that for an ego.

    Source(s): 53.
  • Anonymous
    8 years ago

    they do.but some times they like to follow people and try to hide that they are a cop.

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