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Author Topic: Police Car Light Patterns
Nion
We Three Blings


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We had the unusual treat(?) to see some person pulled over in front of where we're living tonight. It occured to us, as we watched, that every so often the pattern of the flashing lights on the police car would change. This quickly prompted the question, "Why?"

What is the purpose behind this? I've heard that it has something to do with making the cars more noticeable in a car chase, but that doesn't make any sense to me. I would think the interval between changes would be too far apart to be effective as an extra warning.

Can anyone shed some light on the subject? [Smile]

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It can't rain all the time.

Posts: 1102 | From: Iowa | Registered: Oct 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
MattG
I Saw Three Shipments


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Generally its so that driver's don't get mesmorized and it also aids in visibility, just like when an ambulance leaves its lights on in front of a house.
Posts: 61 | From: Pittsburgh, PA | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
RoofingGuy
The First USA Noel


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You gave the answer yourself [Big Grin]

You "noticed".

A drowsy or unattentive driver is more likely to notice a change in the flashing lights in the rear-view mirror, then the actual flashing lights themselves.

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I refuse to get into a battle of wits with an unarmed person...

Posts: 724 | From: Ontario, CAN | Registered: Jan 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
jimmy101
The First USA Noel


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Back when I had drivers ed a local cop came and gave a talk. One thing he mentioned was that the most dangerous thing a highway patrolman does is traffic stops. Not because of stopping a lunatic that wants to hurt the officer but because of the chance of getting hit by another car.

He also said that patrol cars used to have just two blinking red lights in back. Unfortunately, drunks would see the blinking lights and aim between them, thinking they were marking the sides of the road. Obviously this led to bad things. He then said that the current light patterns are designed to not look like any other flashing light pattern. Multiple colors, no discernible patterns, variable timing and brightness etc. Basically camouflage in reverse, make the patrol car look like nothing else a driver sees.

Posts: 629 | From: Greenwood, IN | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Seaboe Muffinchucker
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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They're the "Oh, God, don't hit me" lights.

Seaboe

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Education is not the filling of a hard drive, but the lighting of a bulb. -- Yeats via Esprise Me

Posts: 5562 | From: Seattle, WA | Registered: Jun 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
CPD 20
I'm Dreaming of a White Sale


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quote:
Originally posted by jimmy101:
One thing he mentioned was that the most dangerous thing a highway patrolman does is traffic stops. Not because of stopping a lunatic that wants to hurt the officer but because of the chance of getting hit by another car.

True except its for all cops not just highway patrolmen.

quote:
Originally posted by SeaboeMuffinchucker:
They're the "Oh, God, don't hit me" lights.

You are so correct.

About ten years as a young police officer I had the quite frightening experience of being struck by a vehicle during a traffic stop at night. I was standing at the driver's window of the vehicle I had pulled over, when fortunately, my backing officer was watching my back and yelled at me. As I tried climbing into the drivers lap I was hit, more like brushed, in my side/back with the passenger side mirror of an approaching vehicle. I was extremely lucky that night, I only needed to clean the dirt off my back, oh and change my shorts. [Eek!]

Posts: 5 | From: Oklahoma | Registered: Feb 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Menolly
We Three Blings


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CPD 20, so glad for the happy ending! And welcome to the Board. [Smile]

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Let's just pretend we're normal for a minute ~ New favorite T-shirt quote

Posts: 1193 | From: Ohio | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Dark Blue
The First USA Noel


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This is why you may find me approach you on your passenger side. Yes I know its an inconvienence to you to have to lean across the car to hand me stuff, but its inconvienence to me to have someones license plate embossed into my cuff case so lets just call it even.

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I'm a sheepdog. I live to protect the flock and confront the wolf. -- On Sheep, Wolves and Sheepdogs by LTC. Dave Grossman, USA (Ret)

Posts: 675 | From: Arizona | Registered: Jun 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
   

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