Keep an eye out for blue lights on Peterborough fire trucks

Keep an eye out for blue lights on Peterborough fire trucks
By Taylor Clysdale
Peterborough This Week
Link to article: Keep an eye out for blue lights on Peterborough fire trucks

The red and orange flashes on Peterborough Fire Service’s vehicles will eventually be accompanied by new blue lights.

Those lights, say fire Chief Chris Snetsinger, will increase visibility and decrease accidents.

In September the Ontario government said it planned to push legislation that would allow the use of flashing blue lights on emergency service vehicles.

That came after Clarington’s fire service pushed for the legislation after a vehicle crashed into one of their trucks, causing between $6,000 and $8,000 in damage.

Now that blue lights are allowed, Snetsinger says Peterborough will look to phase in the adoption of the new lights and retrofit existing vehicles if it can.

He says blue lights are advantageous to emergency services because of how unique they are.

“Blue is the last light to be lost in a snowstorm,” says Snetsinger, adding another benefit is that it helps drivers “determine the motion of a vehicle.”

That’s because studies show if a driver sees a red light in poor visibility, they’re likely to think it’s another vehicle and will likely be moving at the same speed as them, notes the fire chief.

It can also be mistaken for an intersection light, confusing drivers, he adds.

The changeover isn’t going to be immediate though. Peterborough Fire Services has a new vehicle on the way that will come equipped with two blue lights, one at the front and another at the rear.

But for existing vehicles the plan is to substitute the current lights, but the way strobe lights are built may make some harder to replace.

So while it may take a few years to phase in the new lights, with only five pumpers and three front line vehicles Snetsinger says it won’t be too expensive.

“We wouldn’t have a lot of vehicles to do so it’s not a big cost item for us,” he notes.

And the benefits, he adds, will outweigh those minimal costs.

“It will help make the Ontario roadways safer,” he says.

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