Iowa Vehicles Permitted to Use Emergency Vehicle Lights


"Authorized emergency vehicle" means vehicles of the fire department, police vehicles, ambulances, and emergency vehicles owned by the United States, this state, any subdivision of this state, or any municipality of this state, and privately owned vehicles as are designated or authorized bu the director of transportation under section 321.451.



3.Blue light.
a.  A blue light shall not be used on any vehicle except for the following:
(1)  A vehicle owned or exclusively operated by a fire department.
(2)  A vehicle authorized by the chief of the fire department if the vehicle is owned by a member of the fire department, the request for authorization is made by the member on forms provided by the department, and necessity for authorization is demonstrated in the request.
(3)  An authorized emergency vehicle, other than a vehicle described in paragraph “a”, subparagraph (1) or (2), if the blue light is positioned on the passenger side of the vehicle and is used in conjunction with a red light positioned on the driver side of the vehicle.

b.  A person shall not use only a blue light on a vehicle unless the vehicle meets the requirements of paragraph “a”, subparagraph (1) or (2).



4.Expiration of authority.The authorization shall expire at midnight on the thirty-first day of December five years from the year in which it was issued, or when the vehicle is no longer owned by the member, or when the member has ceased to be an active member of the fire department or of an ambulance, rescue, or first response service, or when the member has used the blue or white light beyond the scope of its authorized use. A person issued an authorization under subsection 3, paragraph “a”, subparagraph (2), shall return the authorization to the fire chief upon expiration or upon a determination by the fire chief or the department that the authorization should be revoked.



2.Prohibited lights.A flashing light on or in a motor vehicle is prohibited except as follows:

a.  On an authorized emergency vehicle.

b. On a vehicle as a means of indicating a right or left turn, a mechanical failure, or an emergency stop or intent to stop.

c.  On a motor vehicle used by a rural mail carrier when stopping or stopped on or near a highway in the process of delivering mail, if such a light is any shade of color between white and amber and if it is mounted as a dome light on the roof of the vehicle.

d.  On a vehicle being operated under an excess size permit issued under chapter 321E.

e.  A flashing blue light on a vehicle upon which a blue light is permitted pursuant to subsection 3 of this section.

f.  A flashing white light is permitted on a vehicle pursuant to subsection 7.

g.  Flashing red and amber warning lights on a school bus as described in section 321.372, and a white flashing strobe light mounted on a school bus as permitted under section 321.373, subsection 7.h.  A flashing amber light is permitted on a towing or recovery vehicle, a utility maintenance vehicle, a municipal maintenance vehicle, a highway maintenance vehicle, or a vehicle operated in accordance with subsection 6 or section 321.398 or 321.453.

i.  Modulating headlamps in conformance with 49 C.F.R. §571.108 S7.9.4. are permitted on a motorcycle.
j.  On a vehicle being operated as an escort vehicle for a funeral procession as provided in section 321.324A.


6.Amber flashing light.A farm tractor, farm tractor with towed equipment, self-propelled implement of husbandry, road construction or maintenance vehicle, road grader, or other vehicle principally designed for use off the highway which, when operated on a primary or secondary road, is operated at a speed of thirty-five miles an hour or less, shall be equipped with and display an amber flashing light visible from the rear at any time from sunset to sunrise. If the amber flashing light is obstructed by the towed equipment, the towed equipment shall also be equipped with and display an amber flashing light as required under this subsection. All vehicles specified in this subsection which are manufactured for sale or sold in this state shall be equipped with an amber flashing light in accordance with the standards of the American society of agricultural engineers.