[MV] Re; Red/blue light on antique vehicles

Nelson Dionne (aa1mo@nsradio.org)
Tue, 12 Oct 1999 10:06:57 -0400

Hello List;

Recently, there has been a thread about emergency lights. I'm going to
muddy the water a bit more. Here in Massachusetts, the Registrar of Motor
Vehicles office (in the past) issued a letter stating that it was OKfor
antique emergency vehicles to maintain their emergency lighting. While the
letter was issued mainly with antique fire trucks in mind, this would have
the effect of covering all antique emergency vehicles such as police
cruisers, ambulances, etc.

Needless to say, this is NOT a blanket permit to allow the driver of an
antique vehicle to use the emergency lights/sirens at any time, it will
allow the items to "stay aboard" to be used in the parades, exhibitions,
etc. that the vehicle may participate in.

As far as the Registrar was concerned, the type of vehicle (IE, one
that originally had emergency lighting/devices) was what allowed the
continued use of these items, not the type of registration that the vehicle
now had. Therefore, a firetruck is always a firetruck, even though it now
has an antique license plate.

Should an MV owner want to use his MV for emergency use, (with the
local volunteer search & rescue squad, as an example), I'd get whatever
permit your state requires for emergency lighting/devices. This would cover
those times when the antique exemption would not apply.

This would allow the use of these markings/lights, etc. on military
emergency vehicles too. As I'm sure that those on the list know, there is
no shortage of restored MP vehicles, as well as ambulances and even the
occasional fire truck, too.

Nelson Dionne
Salem, MA
MVCC #411

PS: if anybody wants to know the exact Massachusetts laws governing the
misuse of emergency lights, I have them in my files. These are most often
used in the case of late model vehicles impersonating police vehicles., not
a restored antique.

PPS; there are groups for collectors of antique fire trucks, as well as
police cars.

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