Each week, Scottsbluff Police Cpl. Krisa Brass will answer questions submitted by Star-Herald readers. Send questions for consideration to firstname.lastname@example.org or by leaving your question at 308-632-9057.
Are blue lights authorized on motor vehicles that are non-emergency vehicles?
Can you have blue lights on personal vehicles for the purposes of normal driving? No, you cannot. But there are a few exceptions outside of emergency vehicles.
Blue and amber flashing lights can be displayed on vehicles so long as they are being operated by the Department of Transportation or another local authority (such as public utility) for the purpose of inspecting, constructing, repairing, or maintaining highways, roads, or streets.
Aside from actual emergency vehicles, permits can be issued to volunteer firefighters, peace officers, or physician medical directors to have a rotating or flashing red light in combination with a blue light displayed on their vehicle. The lights can only be activated while en route to the scene of a fire or other emergency requiring his/her services as a volunteer firefighter, peace officer, or physician medical director.
The same light combination can be used by rescue squads en route to or returning from an emergency requiring their services or any privately owned wrecker when engaged in emergency services at the scene of an accident or assisting a disabled vehicle so long as it has previously been authorized in writing
Are you required to remove the thick frost or clean off all snow from your vehicle windows? I see a lot of cars this time of year that have no more than a 10’’ circle cleaned on their windshields. Also are stickers/paint allowed on vehicle windows? Is there a penalty?
Yes, you are required to remove frost, snow, or anything else that may hinder your view of the roadway and other vehicles, pedestrians, etc. Nebraska state statute prohibits the obstruction or interference of the operator’s view. A vision obstruction is an infraction punishable by fine ranging from $50 to $150 depending on whether it was the first, second, third, or subsequent violation.
Nebraska state statutes as well as Scottsbluff city ordinance also require every windshield to be equipped with a device for clearing rain, snow, or other moisture. The equipment needs to be constructed as to be operated or controlled by the vehicle driver.
With the same topic of weather elements and how they impact vehicle operations, this is a good opportunity for a reminder to be sure your license plates are clear. State statute mandates all “letters, numbers, printing, writing, and other identification marks” on the plate must be clear and distinct and free of grease, dust, or any other blurring matter. The characters on the plate must be visible during the daylight and nighttime as well.