Chapter 420

Chapter 420

2003 -- S 0987 SUBSTITUTE A

Enacted 08/06/03







     Introduced By: Senators Damiani, and DaPonte

     Date Introduced: April 01, 2003




It is enacted by the General Assembly as follows:


     SECTION 1. Sections 31-24-31 and 31-24-49 of the General Laws in Chapter 31-24

entitled "Lighting Equipment and Reflectors" are hereby amended to read as follows:

     31-24-31. Flashing lights -- Forward viewing or rotary beam lights. -- (a) Flashing

lights are prohibited, except on an authorized emergency vehicle, school bus, snow removal

equipment, or on any vehicle as a means for indicating a right or left turn. However, the

requirements of section 31-24-33 shall be deemed to be satisfied if the vehicle is equipped with

lamps at the front mounted at the same level, displaying simultaneously flashing white or amber

lights, and at the rear mounted at the same level, and displaying simultaneously flashing red

lights, all of which lights shall be visible from a distance of not less than five hundred feet (500').

      (b) Forward viewing or rotating beam lights may be installed on and shall be restricted to

the following categories of emergency vehicles, and these lights shall be of color designated:

      (1) Emergency response vehicles of any fire, rescue, or ambulance department, fire

chiefs, assistant fire chiefs, deputy chiefs, captains; any privately owned vehicle of any authorized

volunteer member of a fire, rescue, or ambulance department; emergency management agency

directors, assistant directors, assistant medical examiners and/or forensic pathologists of the

office of state medical examiners; rescue vehicles, emergency response vehicles of the

department of environmental management and the division of state fire marshal; school buses;

and two (2) American Red Cross disaster vehicles: Red, white and/or alternating flashing white;

      (2) Wrecker trucks, service station trucks, state and town safety and maintenance

vehicles; snowplows and tractors; light company trucks, telephone company trucks, water

company trucks, oil company trucks, and other utilities' trucks; vehicles of television, radio and

press photographers; rural mail carriers; all motor-propelled vehicles owned by the Northern

Rhode Island REACT (radio emergency associated citizens team); and all motor-propelled

vehicles owned by or under contract to the Rhode Island department of transportation when on

official state business; and vehicles marking the beginning and end of funeral processions:


      (3) Police units, state and local: Center rotating beam lights: Blue or red; Outboard

mounted lights: Blue or red.

      (4) Violations of this section are subject to fines enumerated in section 31-41.1-4.

     31-24-49. Approval of lighting equipment required. (a) No person shall have for

sale, sell, or offer for sale for use upon or as a part of the equipment of a motor vehicle, trailer, or

semi-trailer or use upon any such vehicle any head lamp, auxiliary or fog lamp, rear lamp, signal

lamp, or reflector which reflector is required by this chapter or parts of any of these which tend to

change the original design or performance, unless of a type which has been submitted to and

approved by the administrator of the division of motor vehicles. Violations of this section are

subject to fines enumerated in section 31-41.1-4.

     (b) The administrator shall approve a flashing amber light configuration for use in funeral


     SECTION 2. Section 31-27-16 of the General Laws in Chapter 31-27 entitled "Motor

Vehicle Offenses" is hereby amended to read as follows:

     31-27-16. Funeral processions. -- (a) Any person who operates a motor vehicle on any

of the highways of this state in such manner as to willfully interject a funeral cortege shall be

guilty of a civil violation.

      (b) For the purpose of this section, "funeral cortege" is defined as a procession of motor

vehicles clearly identified by operating headlights, flashing amber lights, signs, flags, or other

identifying devices, as participating in a funeral.

     SECTION 3. This act shall take effect upon passage.



LC02856/SUB A