We see it again and again, Upstate, Downstate, Rural, Suburban. There it is not one but two blue lights on a vehicle, Maybe even three. On a car of somebody who belongs to the Elks maybe? No. A fireman? Yes, a volunteer fireman. Can that be ? Every volunteer fireman knows the law allows only one blue light, doesn't he? Maybe he doesn't? Or maybe he's trying to beat the law. Well, then, surely his Chief has been around long enough to know. He knows its the Chief's responsibility to see that his men conform to the law. Wouldn't you say? Yes, but maybe he doesn't want to make waves or be unpopular. Let the next Chief revoke the authorization. Well, is the Chief the same guy who complained a few years ago about some fellow in another outfit with more than one blue light? Yes, he is, but. How simple it really is. One blue light. That's easy to absorb. Just one. What do we see/ A couple on the front maybe. A bar light across the roof with blue on each end, dark in the middle. One on the dash, another in front. Who knows what they rig up! But its OK if only one is lighted, that is flashing, at any one moment, isn't it? If they flash alternately, so that only one is actually lighted at any one time? A foxy argument, an attempt at rationalization of an illegality, but not accurate. The Commissioner's Regulations specifically provide that making blue lights flash alternately is prohibited. All right, then. Just what does the law say? Start with Vehicle and Traffic Law Section 375(41) entitled "Colored and Flashing Lights". After that we look at Part 44 of the Commissioner's Regulations for more detail. In the law itself, we find the following: It states plainly and clearly that "one blue light may be affixed" to a vehicle. Note the word "affixed". Means just what it says. Attaching a light to a vehicle. Bolted on. Held by magnets, Whatever. It is affixed. A non-firemen affixing a blue light, though he never lights it, is in violation. A firemen who affixes more than one blue light, though one is never lighted, is in violation. The law uses the word "displayed" to refer to having the light energized, lighted. After stating one blue light, the law says "Such blue light may be displayed by such volunteer fireman on such vehicle....". The one blue light maybe affixed to and displayed on any motor vehicle owned by: a volunteer fireman, a member of his family residing in the same household, a business by which the firemen is employed. The fireman may only use a blue light if his Chief has given him an authorization in writing. Once a Chief issues a blue light authorization to a firemen, it remains in effect indefinitely until that Chief or a later Chief revokes it. This is of course to give Chief's control so that they can see that the law is complied with. The law says the blue light may be displayed (used, lighted) "only when engaged in an emergency operation" Put it all together and the law says: "One blue light maybe affixed to any motor vehicle owned by a volunteer member of a fire department or on a motor vehicle owned by a member of such person's family residing in the same household or by a business enterprise in which such person has a proprietary interest or by which he is employed, provided such volunteer firemen has been authorized in writing to so affix a blue light by the Chief of the fire department or company of which he is a member, which authorization shall be subject to revocation at any time by the Chief who issued the same or his successor in office. Such blue light may be displayed by such volunteer firemen on such a vehicle only when engaged in an emergency operation. The blue light authorization, signed by the Chief, must be carried upon the person of the operator of the vehicle whenever the light is lighted. The one blue light may be a fixed (unmoving) light, set in one direction, and then can be flashing, or be steady (staying lighted), and it may be mounted anywhere on the vehicle, even behind the grille. or, a revolving, rotating, oscillating or constantly moving light, in which case it must be mounted above the headlights and preferably on the roof. But, if the light is mounted on the dashboard inside the vehicle, then the rear of it must be painted over or have a suitable cover to prevent reflected glare or distraction to the driver, And, it may be a roof top bar light . If, not more than 9 inches high, the housing itself is blue. Not a clear, uncolored housing with blue bulbs. there is but ONE light. The housing must be continuous with no breaks in the blue. Thus, a blue housing extending entirely across the roof is permissible. But a housing with breaks, or covering, or divided by a section of metal or another color, so as to result in a showing or impression of two or more lights, is not permissible. All bulbs inside the housing, if not constantly lighted when in use, must flash on and off simultaneously. BUT, in no case may the blue light be a strobe light or give off blinding flashes. The blue light must be visible from the front of the vehicle. The light source must not be greater than 32 candle power. The light cannot be part of the headlight system. No inscriptions may appear across the face of the lens. If it is a dome light, it must be not more than 9 inches high, and if it is a lens light, then it is to have a lens 3 to 6 inches in diameter. Well, so far, so good, but we know the law permits red, white, amber, and green lights as well as blue. Can more than one color light be used on the same vehicle? Yes, within the following regulations. A Blue light may not be affixed to a vehicle which is entitled to and has a red light. A blue light and a green light may be affixed to the same vehicle. A Green light is authorized for members of a volunteer ambulance service. This does not mean a fire department operated ambulance. If a volunteer firemen is also a member of a volunteer ambulance service, separate from his fire department, he may use green and blue, but of course may only be lighting one at a time depending whether he is on fire service or ambulance service at the time.