Title 31
Motor and Other Vehicles

Chapter 24
Lighting Equipment and Reflectors

R.I. Gen. Laws § 31-24-31

§ 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 § 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 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 office of the state fire marshal; school buses; hospital emergency response vehicles; 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; newspaper motor route carriers; rural mail carriers; all motor-propelled vehicles owned by the Northern Rhode Island REACT (radio emergency associated citizens team); 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: Amber, provided, however, that wrecker and transportation vehicles operated pursuant to a public utilities commission license, and roadside assistance vehicles of any type operated for that purpose by the American Automobile Association shall be permitted to use flashing amber lights at the front and rear of the vehicle, to be activated only in the course of providing assistance to or transportation for a disabled vehicle. A fee of twenty-five dollars ($25) shall be charged for the issuance of a flashing lights permit to every vehicle identified in this subsection, with the exception of flashing lights permits issued to state, town or fire district safety and maintenance vehicles, which shall not be charged a fee.

(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 § 31-41.1-4.

History of Section.
P.L. 1950, ch. 2595, art. 34, § 25; G.L. 1956, § 31-24-31; P.L. 1965, ch. 177, § 1; P.L. 1968, ch. 61, § 1; P.L. 1970, ch. 104, § 1; P.L. 1971, ch. 72, § 1; P.L. 1973, ch. 56, § 1; P.L. 1975, ch. 53, § 1; P.L. 1986, ch. 141, § 1; P.L. 1987, ch. 343, § 1; P.L. 1987, ch. 344, § 1; P.L. 1988, ch. 361, § 3; P.L. 1990, ch. 324, § 8; P.L. 1996, ch. 157, § 1; P.L. 1999, ch. 447, § 3; P.L. 2002, ch. 292, § 121; P.L. 2003, ch. 420, § 1; P.L. 2003, ch. 436, § 1; P.L. 2005, ch. 63, § 1; P.L. 2005, ch. 65, § 1; P.L. 2007, ch. 350, § 1; P.L. 2010, ch. 23, art. 9, § 7; P.L. 2018, ch. 76, § 1; P.L. 2018, ch. 90, § 1.