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      RS 32:318     

  

§318. Audible and visual signals on certain vehicles

            A. Every authorized emergency vehicle, except privately owned vehicles belonging to members of an organized volunteer fire department or fire district shall, in addition to any other equipment and distinctive markings required by this Chapter, be equipped with a siren, exhaust whistle, or bell capable of giving an audible signal.

            B. Every type I school bus purchased new after the effective date of this Subsection used for the transportation of school children shall, in addition to any other equipment and distinctive markings required by this Chapter, be equipped with the following signal lights and devices:

            (1) Every type I school bus purchased new after the effective date of this Subsection shall be equipped with signal lamps mounted as high and as widely spaced laterally as practicable, which shall be capable of displaying to the front two alternately flashing red lights located at the same level and to the rear two alternately flashing red lights located at the same level, and these lights shall have sufficient intensity to be visible at five hundred feet in normal sunlight.

            (2) Every type I school bus purchased new after the effective date of this Subsection shall be equipped with two semaphore signs mounted on the left side of the bus, one as near the front of the cab of the bus as practicable and one as near the rear of the body of the bus as practicable, said semaphore signs to be not less than eighteen inches in diameter, painted red, with the word "Stop" on each side thereof in white letters not less than six inches in height. Each semaphore sign shall be a standard octagonal sign containing two flashing red lamps which are visible from both sides of the extended sign. These signs shall be constructed so as to fold back against the side of the bus when at rest and capable of being extended perpendicular to the side of the bus with controls operated by the driver.

            (3) Every type II school bus purchased new after the effective date of this Subsection shall be equipped with at least one semaphore sign which shall comply with the requirements in R.S. 32:318(B)(2).

            (4) Every school bus purchased new after the effective date of this Subsection shall, in addition to the lights required by Subsection B(1), be equipped with yellow signal lamps mounted near each of the four red lamps and at the same level but closer to the vertical center line of the bus, which shall display two alternately flashing yellow lights to the front and two alternately flashing yellow lights to the rear, and these lights shall be visible at five hundred feet in normal sunlight. These lights shall be displayed by the school bus driver at least one hundred feet, but not more than five hundred feet, before (but not during) every stop at which the alternately flashing red lights required by Subsection B(1) shall be activated.

            C. Every authorized emergency vehicle shall, in addition to any equipment and distinctive markings required by this Chapter, be equipped with signal lamps mounted as high and as widely spaced laterally as practicable, which shall be capable of displaying to the front two alternately flashing red lights located at the same level and to the rear two alternately flashing red lights located at the same level, and these lights shall have sufficient intensity to be visible at five hundred feet in normal sunlight. In lieu of the alternately flashing red lights in the front, an authorized emergency vehicle may be equipped with a large revolving red light on the roof which is discernible in all directions and which shall also have sufficient intensity to be visible at five hundred feet in normal sunlight. In lieu of the large revolving red light on the roof, authorized emergency vehicles of organized fire companies only shall be equipped with a large revolving alternating red and white light on the roof encased in a clear dome, which is discernible in all directions and which shall also have sufficient intensity to be visible at five hundred feet in normal sunlight.

            D. A police vehicle when used as an authorized emergency vehicle may, but need not, be equipped with alternately flashing red lights specified herein.

            E. The use of the signal equipment described herein shall impose upon drivers of other vehicles the obligation to yield the right of way and to stop as prescribed in R.S. 32:80 and 32:125.

            F.(1) In lieu of the alternating flashing red lights in the front of the vehicle, or of the large revolving red light on the roof of the vehicle, all law enforcement officers are hereby authorized to equip, operate, and use motor vehicles with blue colored electric emergency lights in the exercise of their official duties. These lights shall have sufficient intensity to be visible at five hundred feet in normal sunlight.

            (2) All persons other than law enforcement officers on official duty are prohibited from equipping, operating, or using motor vehicles with blue colored electric lights thereon.

            G.(1) Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, privately owned motor vehicles belonging to members of the emergency medical team as designated by the commander of the United States Army Community Hospital at Fort Polk may be equipped with a large flashing red light which shall have sufficient intensity to be visible at five hundred feet in normal sunlight.

            (2) The commander shall submit the name and motor vehicle license number of each member of the emergency medical team to the secretary of the Department of Public Safety and the secretary of the Department of Transportation and Development.

            (3) The secretary of the Department of Public Safety shall issue, after review and recommendation of the secretary of the Department of Transportation and Development, to each team member a letter of authorization for the use of the light whenever the member is en route to the hospital in an emergency as declared by the hospital commander.

            (4) The letter of authorization shall be located within the vehicle for which it has been issued. The provisions of R.S. 32:24 shall extend to the driver of any vehicle issued the letter of authorization under this Subsection.

            H. Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, all publicly owned fire department vehicles and all licensed ambulances may use blue-colored electric lights. The lights shall be on the rear of the vehicle and shall not exceed fifty percent of the visual lights. For purposes of this Section, the term "ambulance" shall have the meaning ascribed in R.S. 40:1131.

            Acts 1962, No. 310, §1. Amended by Acts 1966, No. 147, §1; Acts 1966, No. 225, §1; Acts 1966, No. 373, §1; Acts 1977, No. 262, §1, eff. July 7, 1977; Acts 1980, No. 160, §1; Acts 1983, No. 100, §1; Acts 2010, No. 592, §1; Acts 2010, No. 861, §14; Acts 2014, No. 518, §1; Acts 2018, No. 247, §1.



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