By Radar
#1647
A question for all you ECTO-1 owners out there...are the blue light bars on your car legal in your area? Has anyone ever recieved a citation or a warning from the police because of the lighting?

My father has been a firefighter for over 20 years and has told me it's illegal (here in Tennessee, anyway) for any non-emergency vehicle to have operational blue or red light bars. I know it seems absurd that someone could mistake an ECTO-1 for an emergency vehicle, but even having a blue or red light around your license plate will earn you a ticket if a cop notices.

Can anyone provide more info on this? What are the laws in your state or country? Has anybody had a run-in with the authorities concerning your official lights on a not-so-official car? I am considering fixing up an ECTO-1 sometime in the future but if I can't legally have the lighting for it I won't even bother.
User avatar
By AJ Quick
#1648
Its illegal.. plain and simple.

You may think no one would mistak an Ecto-1 for a police car.. but if you see flashing lights you aren't going to be able to look in your mirror and see a classic car.

Most owners keep them covered while driving..
User avatar
By fifth_beatle
#1649
I have a friend that is a police officer, and he told me that it was against the law to OPERATE running lights on a non-emergency vehicle on a public roadway. He didn't say it was illegal to actually have them ON your vehicle, if they are just there for show. And, of course, they can be turned on if you are on private property- they have no jurisdiction if you're on your own (or someone else's) land. I think it's alright to have 'em as long as you use them legally. Look at Venkman71, for instance- there's pics of him driving his Ecto on the street, and it's fitted with the lights.
-5B
User avatar
By Exoray
#1651
He didn't say it was illegal to actually have them ON your vehicle,


That depends on the state you are in, but in general red or blue are illegal unless you are an emergency vehicle...

Like AJ said most people place a cover on them when driving...

Here is a copy from Illinois code...
625 ILCS 5/12?215

(c) The use of blue oscillating, rotating or flashing lights, whether lighted or unlighted, is prohibited except on:
It goes on to list specific emergency vehicles, but as you can see it doesn't matter if they are on or off in Illinois...
User avatar
By fifth_beatle
#1652
You're right! I totally forgot- another one of my friends bought a used Kawasaki police motorcycle, and when he received it, they had replaced the red and blue lights on either side with clear lenses so he could drive it on the street.

My mistake.
~5B
User avatar
By Exoray
#1653
Since I see you are from Texas, Texas law is very similar...
Texas, Transportation Code 547.305
(c)a person may not operate a motor vehicle equipped with a red, white, or blue beacon, flashing, or alternating lights unless the equipment is:
Same old list of emergency vehicles...
User avatar
By keoni
#1657
Exoray wrote:
625 ILCS 5/12?215

(c) The use of blue oscillating, rotating or flashing lights, whether lighted or unlighted, is prohibited except on:


i have a blue oscillating light in my personal car... but then again im an ambulance driver. in chicago, on one and i mean no one can have any blue lights on their vehical. i could get a citation if i went into chicago and forgot to take my light off my dashboard. they dont care who you are, they'll ticket ya. but i think you can get a permit to have them for show, but i dont know for sure
By river_of_slime
#1658
Speaking of lights i herd a story a long time ago about Ecto-1. As we all mension you cant drive a car with blue lights. Well back in 83 Dan and Bill took Ecto on a mini trip thru NYC after production. Well they got pulled over by the cops cause there were driving around with the lights on.

Oh just to let you know you cant ask special permission either to run with the lights, your car needs to be in park before you can turn on the lights and run the siren. Now if your maybe an old EMS working and own a old car commercial ambulance you can help out in some cases getting people to the hostpital.
By ecto_skywalker
#1659
AJ Quick wrote: You may think no one would mistak an Ecto-1 for a police car..


You would be surprised at how lame people are. I don't know if it happened any where else in the country... If you guys are familiar with Best Buy, their computer techs are called the "Geek Squad" and they drive around in black and white VW Beetles. A California Highway Patrol officer raised all kinds of hell, stating that the Best Buy cars looked to much like the CHP cars... Hmmm... A black & white Beetle and a black & white Ford Crown Victoria. I see the similarities. :shock: I'm glad these guys are patroling my highways. :lol: I hope I don't get pulled over in my F-150 when they are looking for an Izuzu Pup. lol
User avatar
By Exoray
#1661
My local police department has a VW bug police car :) They don't normally use it for everyday patrols (although I have seen them using it) but more for parades and other types of promotions...
By Radar
#1662
keoni02 wrote: but i think you can get a permit to have them for show, but i dont know for sure


There may be some merit to this. Lots of people own vintage police cars, the kind with the single domed red light on the roof. Because it's a vintage car and is licensed as such, they don't get heat just for having the light. An ECTO-1 is a horse of a different color, but could some kind of vintage/exhibition license or permit also cover it's lights? Mind you, I'm not saying you could legally careen down the street with the lights flashing, but with such a license they might be legal for display.

Around here non-emergency vehicles that still use flashers (game wardens, road crews, etc.) use either green or orange lights that rotate at a much slower rate than emergency lights. Would those be legal for an ECTO-1? Not screen accurate, but a big orange light bar would still look pretty cool.
User avatar
By Exoray
#1664
Around here non-emergency vehicles that still use flashers (game wardens, road crews, etc.) use either green or orange lights that rotate at a much slower rate than emergency lights. Would those be legal for an ECTO-1? Not screen accurate, but a big orange light bar would still look pretty cool.


Again you would need to check your state and local laws... Generally though yellow or amber light bars are "ok" as a signal for caution, but you might get hassled if you just drive around with them flashing when there is no caution...

As for a type of special use permit to display a car with blue lights, agian read the laws of your area, they are generally pretty detailed and have sections devoted to display and show cars... Also laws on private property vary from driving down the road... I have personally seen replica cop cars on the road and in most cases they had a cover over the light or light bar and even had a vinyl sign over the emblem on the door stating it was a "show car" not an authentic police car...
User avatar
By keoni
#1667
driving around with anylights other than the amber one ARE ILLEGEAL no matter what. by asking for a permit i ment so you can run the lights while the car stopped and being showed or for use in a parade. and as for the amber and green ones, thats what ecto1a has along with white and i think a single blue strobe.
By dustin993
#1670
river_of_slime wrote: Now if your maybe an old EMS working and own a old car commercial ambulance you can help out in some cases getting people to the hostpital.



Negative, bad idea. Ambulances have to be insured as and ambulance to transport patients. They also have to carry either an ambulance or a medical carrier license plate. They must also have 2 operating EMT's onboard.

We had an EMT transport a patient to an ER at the Veterans Affairs Hospital from another hospital for transfere of care. It was a wheelchair van call, but both of our wheelchair vans were out, so he hopped in an ambulance and did it. Since he took the patient to an ER in and ambulance with only one EMT, the compandy was fined $12,000, and the EMT lost his state EMT license.

I'm a firefighter in Illinois, and can legally use blue lights when reponding to a call, but I would never run them on an ecto replica to a fire. I would get arrested in a heart beat.
By secrecyguy
#1671
AJ Quick wrote: Its illegal.. plain and simple.

You may think no one would mistak an Ecto-1 for a police car.. but if you see flashing lights you aren't going to be able to look in your mirror and see a classic car.

Most owners keep them covered while driving..


As for "no one would mistake an Ecto-1 for a police car", I used to know someone who used to live near by me. He had an Ecto-1 replica and he told me that he got a ticket for impersonating a police car. I could tell the police officer did not watch the "Ghostbusters" movie.
By secrecyguy
#1672
ecto_skywalker wrote:
AJ Quick wrote:You may think no one would mistak an Ecto-1 for a police car..


You would be surprised at how lame people are. I don't know if it happened any where else in the country... If you guys are familiar with Best Buy, their computer techs are called the "Geek Squad" and they drive around in black and white VW Beetles. A California Highway Patrol officer raised all kinds of hell, stating that the Best Buy cars looked to much like the CHP cars... Hmmm... A black & white Beetle and a black & white Ford Crown Victoria. I see the similarities. :shock: I'm glad these guys are patroling my highways. :lol: I hope I don't get pulled over in my F-150 when they are looking for an Izuzu Pup. lol


That's why they changed the color scheme of the car little bit. Now it's only white on the top and all black on the bottom including the doors.
By PeteVenkman_Jedi
#2073
What about if you are in a parade or something with the Ecto-1 and a few guys in gear would you be able to run the lights then?
By TK Lee
#2078
Well in the UK here leagally you are allowed to have them on a car, the trouble comes if you switch them on, I think there is a sub condition that if the car is on the public highway that the lights must not be able to be turned on from inside the vehicle. Basically friends of mine (And I used to) have US Police car replica's (CHP, NYPD, LAPD etc) now what we did was have an isolator switch in the trunk or under the hood where we could kill power to all lights/sirens. This ment whilst driving no amount of playing with your lights panel would make them go, once you reach the car shows and on private ground you pop the hood turn the isolator off and play with your pretty lights and sirens.

BUT, and here's the BUT it's alot better idea to put a cover on them aswel, although you should be OK to have them on show blue lightbars do attract to much problems (Especially from officers who are not 100% versed on the light laws), As in the UK Blue is for Police/Fire and Abulance, Green for doctors, And yellow for maintenance and vehicle recovery etc. Red does not have an official use (Although someone did say to me once it was reserved for royal use?!?!), so I know a few who run Red lenses and this seems to make the police alot happier, they then change lenses when get to show. Although red does seem to be sneaking in on Police lightbars at the back. :roll:

Also you can have a US replica even with the word POLICE written on it too if you wish, BUT if there is an accident and someone says it was because they where looking at you, YOU will be considered responsible for the accidednt (I don't know how true this is but I feel my source might be right), but if you have Highway Patrol written on it your OK :?

But basically in the UK I feel happy I could drive an Ecto 1 around without having to cover the lights, but I would do what my friend did and take many pics of it (He did of his NYPD Caprice) and take them to the local police station marked for the attention of head of the transport division, and enclosed a nice letter saying "Hi my name is Joe Bloggs, this is my Replica vehicle, please feel free to contact me with any questions you may have and or if you wish me to attend any charity events for you pleease just let me know". And got a nice letter back basically saying "Nice car, no problems here, we'll contact you if we need you", so had a letter form local police saying it was all OK ;)

Anyway thats the viewpoint from this side of the pond :D

ATB

TK Lee
By 1965Ambulance
#5588
I'm from Georgia and I've had my car done for nearly two years and I've never really had a problem with the lights. Of course I usually don't run the lights in the street unless I'm driving around campus or something but the cops I've passed usually just give me a thumbs up. I run the siren regularly, though.

I've got three PA speakers on top and play the theme on loop, too, which is what usually worries me when I see cops more than the lights do.

I've been in parades and stuff, too, through town with the lights on. People in my town and around I guess are just so taken that there's actually an Ecto-1 driving around that I don't really think they really notice the lights. Police included. I've only been pulled over once and it was because the cop wanted to see the car better.
User avatar
By chaoslantern
#5592
dose the same rule apply to green or yellow light bars
By Ecto96
#5611
I couldn't tell you for sure. A cop around here told me you can have any light on your car you want, just can't have it operating on the street while driving. I think we're going to be getting amber covers for our ecto, but we're gonna try for blue or green. We have amber bubble lights on our cars right now for a temporary thing, drove right past a cop with em on, not a problem, and we don't even have emblems yet.
User avatar
By BSjohnson
#5715
I plan on, some time in the (VERY distant) future, I plan on creating an Ectomobile out of my current car. It's the perfect car (I think) for a modernized version of the original Ecto-1.

The lights are an issue that's already come to my attention, but I think I'm just going to use green lights instead of blue because green is the color you think of when you hear "ecto" (does anyone remember the Hi-C Ecto-coolers?)

But of course, I'm going to check with local laws. It's different everywhere.
By ecto_skywalker
#5717
BSjohnson wrote: (does anyone remember the Hi-C Ecto-coolers?)


Hell Yes! :D You could still buy it a few years ago, but it no longer had Slimer on the package... Man, what I would give for a glass of
ECTO-Cooler. :P I've heard there is a couple flavors out there, that are similar. Infact somebody on the web claimed that when he bought the flavor "Lavaburst" the receipt said ecto cooler, interesting.

By the way, what car do you currently have that you are planning on converting to an ecto?
User avatar
By BSjohnson
#5718
Heh. Well .... I WOULD keep it a secret and suprise everyone when I started work on it .... but sadly that most likely won't happen for quite a while, we're talking upwards of 5 years.

But I currently drive a '99 Ford Taurus station wagon. It looks like this:
http://www.gbfans.com/images/pb/cambot/ ... agon01.jpg

Except mine's red. Though I would of course have it painted white with the appropriate red fins, and the yellow and black caution stripes from the Ecto 1a.

Personally I think it's a very nice shape for an ectomobile. I'm suprised I haven't seen anyone else use it yet. What do you think?
By ecto_skywalker
#5722
Ya, I think that would be cool to turn into an ECTO... I think a nice touch would be to find steel wheels with the chrome hub cap, like ecto's, that would a fit a Taurus. :D
User avatar
By BSjohnson
#5723
Hey! Nice idea, Skywalker! I'll try to remember that. ^.^
By Real LI Ghostbusters
#5727
I got a 95 Taurus wagon I conveted. In my area Long Island New York. I was told thats blue was Volenteer, Red and White was Police. I happen to have Red and white. Though I did get pulled over the first time I drove it on the expressway The cop simpley told me with a smile on his face and his partner taking pictures of my car " Wanted to let you know you can't have red but Iam not going to bust you over it" and I was sent on my way. I recently have the front lightbar all white and the rear one stays covered cause it is all red. Can't change it. When I drive into New york city I cover both of them to avoid any police attention.

Here is a picture of us in front of the Ecto Before a convention.

Image
User avatar
By BSjohnson
#5728
Say, that's pretty nice, Chris. Very similar look to the Caprice conversions I hear so much about.
User avatar
By BSjohnson
#5737
Heh. Well, that WAS a silly thing for me to say. I actually meant the shape of the car itself. ^.^
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