An analysis of the so-called law (625 ILCS 5/12-212)(c) which is claimed to prohibit under-body neon lights in Illinois

An analysis of the so-called law (625 ILCS 5/12-212)(c) which is claimed to prohibit under-body neon lights in Illinois

This is an example of what many cops target as a motor vehicle violation. Of course, I can only speak to Illinois law since that is the only State I’ve researched, but I’m fairly confident that other States with similar laws on their books rely upon equally misapplied reasoning as the State of Illinois.

What is this all about, you may ask, and who really cares? I’m taking no side, specifically, as to the preference or defense of this automotive accessory inasmuch as I am illustrating the often misapplication of the law by police and the complicit fleecing if ignorant and unwitting “Defendants” who are prosecuted for such a contrived offense. This analysis looks at the letter of the law, the authority for its promulgation, the debates relating to its passing, and the intent behind its construction.

If you, or anyone you know, has been fined or threatened with prosecution for displaying similar lighting on their cars then you may want to provide them with this information so they may make an informed rebuttal the next time a revenue collector for the State or corporate municipality confronts them with ignorance and violence for violating nothing other than the regurgitated ramblings of an automaton.

Essentially, the law works like this; the Legislature proposes a Bill, there are debates and a vote, the Bill, if passed, is signed by the Governor and become law. The police then issue tickets based on what they are told the law means. People who receive citations go to court and the judge or prosecutor informs them of the alleged charge and they are asked to enter a plea. If they adopt the more-often-than-not fraudulent portrayal of the law’s application then they have just harmed themselves and plead to a non-existent or insufficient charge. The Statutes are NOT the law. They are prima facia evidence of the law, but they are not the letter of the law. Below is an image of a ticket charging this lighting offense and you’ll notice that they rely upon Section 12-212(c). Subsection (c) merely states that any lighting not authorized by this Statute is prohibited. Is that what the Legislature intended when the law was crafted? You will see, per the House Debate below, that the lights have to be “flashing”. Also, the charge on the ticket does not state an offense, since the language “Improper Use of a Lighting System” is nowhere to be found in that part of the statute.

Again, the entire system is a fraud and intentional misapplication of the law. They rely upon your ignorance and willingness to take the path of least resistance, viz., pay the ticket. I wanted to get this posted for now, and will be following up with more context on what constitutes a charge and how to successfully challenge and defeat this lie.

This is an image of an “information” wherein the “offense” of improper lighting was alleged….improperly. This “information” (ticket) fails to state an “offense”.

Sources of Authority

1. Illinois Compiled Statutes 625 ILCS 5/12-212

Illinois House of Representatives Transcripts

List of House Transcripts available which are responsive to a search for “2651”, the number of the House Bill for Public Act 86-664  http://www.ilga.gov/search/LISGSApage.asp?target=2651&submit1=Go&scope=hsetran86  When viewing any of the documents in pdf format you can perform a search for the text “2651” and go to those sections of the transcripts.

STATE OF ILLINOIS 86th GENERAL ASSEMBLY HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES TRANSCRIPTION DEBATE 22nd Legislative Day April 7, 1989 for the first reading of House Bill 2651  http://www.ilga.gov/house/transcripts/htrans86/HT040789.pdf

STATE OF ILLINOIS 86th GENERAL ASSEMBLY HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES TRANSCRIPTION DEBATE 35th Legislative Day May 4, 1989 where House Bill 2651 is passed on Short Debate  http://www.ilga.gov/house/transcripts/htrans86/HT050489.pdf

 STATE OF ILLINOIS 86th GENERAL ASSEMBLY HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES TRANSCRIPTION DEBATE 39th Legislative Day May 11, 1989 for the second reading of House Bill 2651  http://www.ilga.gov/house/transcripts/htrans86/HT051189.pdf

 2. STATE OF ILLINOIS 86th GENERAL ASSEMBLY HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES TRANSCRIPTION DEBATE 43rd Legislative Day May l8, 1989 (Page 232 – 238) Page 239, where more debate takes place, is missing from the transcript.http://www.ilga.gov/house/transcripts/htrans86/HT051889.pdf

Illinois Senate Transcripts

List of Senate Transcripts available which are responsive to a search for “2651”, the number of the House Bill for Public Act 86-664  http://www.ilga.gov/search/LISGSApage.asp?target=2651&submit1=Go&scope=sentran86  When viewing any of the documents in pdf format you can perform a search for the text “2651” and go to those sections of the transcripts.

STATE OF ILLINOIS 86th GENERAL ASSEMBLY REGULAR SESSION SENATE TRANSCRIPT 38th Legislative Day June 13 , 1989 where it is reported that House Bill 2651 is “passed”.  http://www.ilga.gov/senate/transcripts/strans86/ST061389.pdf

STATE OF ILLINOIS 86th GENERAL ASSEMBLY REGULAR SESSION SENATE TRANSCRIPT 38th Legislative Day May 22 , 1989 where the where the House asks for concurrence on the passage of House Bill 2651 by the Senate.  http://www.ilga.gov/senate/transcripts/strans86/ST052289.pdf

STATE OF ILLINOIS 86th GENERAL ASSEMBLY REGULAR SESSION SENATE TRANSCRIPT 38th Legislative Day May 30 , 1989 where the Title of House Bill 2651 is read in the Senate.  http://www.ilga.gov/senate/transcripts/strans86/ST053089.pdf

STATE OF ILLINOIS 86th GENERAL ASSEMBLY REGULAR SESSION SENATE TRANSCRIPT 38th Legislative Day June 1 , 1989 identifying House Bill 2651 as a Transportation Bill.  http://www.ilga.gov/senate/transcripts/strans86/ST060189.pdf

STATE OF ILLINOIS 86th GENERAL ASSEMBLY REGULAR SESSION SENATE TRANSCRIPT 47th Legislative Day June l5, 1989 for the third reading of House Bill 2651, at Page 53 by Senator Topinka. How can the third reading take place on June 15, 1989, and the second reading (next link below) take place a day later on June 16, 1989?  http://www.ilga.gov/senate/transcripts/strans86/ST061589.pdf

STATE OF ILLINOIS 86th GENERAL ASSEMBLY REGULAR SESSION SENATE TRANSCRIPT 48th Legislative Day June l6, 1989 for the second reading of House Bill 2651, even though at Page 55 Senator Lechowicz says it is the third reading. http://www.ilga.gov/senate/transcripts/strans86/ST061689.pdf

STATE OF ILLINOIS 86th GENERAL ASSEMBLY REGULAR SESSION SENATE TRANSCRIPT 52nd Legislative Day June 22, 1989 where House Bill 2651 is declared “passed”.  http://www.ilga.gov/senate/transcripts/strans86/ST062289.pdf

Criminal Procedure

(725 ILCS 5/Art. 111) et. seq. 

3. (725 ILCS 5/11-3)(a)(b)

Taking into account the information found in the statutes, as well as the debates which speak to the “intent” of the legislature, one would be pressed to find where any light is prohibited unless permitted by the legislature. Saying this another way, it is expressed by the police and courts that unless a light is spelled out in the statutes as being permitted, they are otherwise excluded. Saying it yet another way, it is as if the legislature has some Constitutional power to regulate the lighting of vehicles. Can anyone find any such power in the Illinois Constitution? Of course not.

Let’s take the approach I’m sure some courts may take and say that the legislature has expressed an intent to limit “distracting lights”, and not just “flashing lights”. The question would be, is this a reasonable interpretation of the statute? If we focus only on (625 ILCS 5/12-212)(c), it would appear that way. However, (c) cannot be interpreted on its own without considering (a) and (b) as well. As I stated earlier, the statutes are not the law, they are a reflection of the law, but reflections can be distorted. You notice Public Act (P.A. 86-664) as the source for the statute. Public Act 86-664 is the offspring of House Bill 2651. This can be seen here in the Translation Table that ties a Public Act to its originating Bill.  http://www.ilga.gov/reports/static/PA86.pdf Public Act 86-664 can be seen on page 3 in the far upper right corner and 4 lines down the list. This indicates that Public Act 86-664 is tied to all the legislation pertaining to House Bill 2651. That is the Bill we follow for the analysis of this Act.

If one were to take (625 ILCS 5/12-212)(c) literally, as a stand-alone statement, it could be interpreted to mean that if you put any light on your car, that is not already authorized by “this Code”, even if you are not driving it, it would constitute an offense since such a light was placed on a vehicle. This is why the Code must be read in its entirety and “in context”. (625 ILCS 5/12-212)(a) begins with, and is binding upon all subsequent subsections of the act….”No person shall drive or move any vehicle or equipment upon any highway……” (c) makes no statement regarding driving or moving upon any highway. It merely states that any lighting not already authorized is prohibited. Therefore, it is necessary to consider (a) and (b) into the meaning of (c) as well.

The first requirement for a violation to exist is the question of the vehicle being driven or moved upon a highway. If this is on a parking lot or other private property there is no highway. You could put a red spotlight on your car and drive around your yard or a parking lot (with permission) and there would be no violation of this Act.

Second, (a) specified a “red light”. It specifies the color, so we cannot include others that are not red. It also states the light must be “visible from directly in front of the vehicle or equipment”. This is because the legislature has already provided for red lights displayed on vehicles when viewed directly from the front and without this qualification of “as otherwise provided by this Act” the law would contradict itself. This statement reserves the use of red lights when viewed from directly in front of the vehicle for a particular purpose. If it mentions red lights viewable from directly in front, it does not include red lights when viewed from underneath. The specifying or inclusion of a qualification excludes all others.

Subsection (b) provides for “flashing” lights, which are also spelled out in the Code. Since the purpose of flashing lights is to indicate caution or signal for a turn, the use of other flashing lights is prohibited if not communicating caution or signaling for a turn.

Subsection (c), when read in the context of (a) and (b), summarizes the intent and essentially states that “any red lights viewable from directly in front of the vehicle, or flashing lights not used to indicate caution or signal for a turn, not already authorized by this Code, shall be prohibited.” It does not claim domain over ALL lighting on ALL vehicles that is not already authorized in the Code.

So, if we look then to the Debates, we can also phrase the statement this way, “Unless previously authorized, this Code  prohibits the use of multi-colored flashing lights on vehicles other than those allowed under the current law, including red lights viewable from directly in front of the vehicle or equipment.”(Emphasis courtesy the statement by Representative Parcells)

This appears, to me, to be a reasonable reading of the law, taking into account the legislative intent as found within the House Debates. There is still the issue of improperly alleged charges by the police and prosecution, but that is for another post. I would recommend anyone considering to install these lights and “drive” (you really are not driving) upon a highway to print out the PDF of the House Debates and when confronted by the police, introduce this to them and ask them to read it. Once introduced during a traffic stop it is admissible as evidence in trial where it can be presented to a jury or judge. Even though the judge claims to be able to “instruct the jury as to what the law is”, he cannot assign intent not found within the letter of the law or the legislative debates. If you choose to go to court on the first appearance date, confront the prosecuting attorney with this information and see where it goes from there. I would recommend moving for a dismissal for lack of jurisdiction or insufficiency to state a charge.

1. (625 ILCS 5/12-212) (from Ch. 95 1/2, par. 12-212)
Sec. 12-212. Special restrictions on lamps. (a) No person shall drive or move any vehicle or equipment upon any highway with any lamp or device on the vehicle or equipment displaying a red light visible from directly in front of the vehicle or equipment except as otherwise provided in this Act.
(b) Subject to the restrictions of this Act, flashing lights are prohibited on motor vehicles except as a means for indicating a right or left turn as provided in Section 12-208 or the presence of a vehicular traffic hazard requiring unusual care as expressly provided in Sections 11-804 or 12-215.
(c) Unless otherwise expressly authorized by this Code, all other lighting or combination of lighting on any vehicle shall be prohibited.
(Source: P.A. 86-664.)

 

2.  This text has been slightly modified from the online version through some spelling and grammar correction, as well as some formatting. Nothing has been intentionally altered or deleted so as to portray anything different from the original version. Added emphasis is of my doing.

STATE OF ILLINOIS
86th GENERAL ASSEMBLY
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES TRANSCRIPTION DEBATE
13rd Legislative Day May 18, 1989

House Bill 2651, 
Representative Parcells. Mr. Clerk, read
the Bill.

Clerk O’Brien: House Bill 2651, A Bill for an Act to amend the Illinois Vehicle Code. Third Reading of the Bill

Speaker Cullerton: Representative Parcells on House Bill 2651

STATE OF ILLINOIS
86th GENERAL ASSEMBL Y
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVE TRANSCRIPTION DEBATE

43rd Legislative Day May18 1989

Parcells: ‘Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Ladies and Gentlemen of the House. This is an Administration Bill of the State Police, and it has two or three different things..it’s literally a
cleanup Bill. It has to do with litter control, prohibits driving vehicles on the shoulder of highways, prohibits unauthorized use of flashing lights, unless they are
flashing lights that are in the law already,
 and it has some provisions for the prevention of…and treatment of those who have squealing tires. There was an Amendment
presented because there was some problem with how much mud and rocks and dirt would be dropped from farm vehicles. We amended that to suit the farm community, and as of now
know of no opposition to this Bill.’

Speaker Cullerton: ‘Lady’s moved for the passage of House Bill 2651. Is there any discussion? On that question, the Lady from Lasalle, Representative Breslin.

Breslin: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Representative Parcells, one question. Does this Bill still provide that construction debris must be swept off of state highways by construction
companies?

Parcells: No. The mud, dirt, and rocks were removed.

Breslin: And that applies to everyone, that’s not just an agricultural Amendment?

Parcells: No. It applies to everything.

Breslin: ‘Thank you.

Speaker Cullerton: Further discussion? The Gentleman from Dekalb, Representative Countryman.

Countryman: Thank you, Mr. Speaker, will the Lady yield?

Speaker Cullerton: For a question?

Countryman: Does this Bill still provide for squealing tires?

Parcells: Yes it does, but there was a provision made that the squealing tires could be done on race courses and places that squealing tires are an automatic result of
what’s going on, but not for squealing tires of young teenagers.

Countryman: ‘Is that what it says?

Parcells: No, it doesn’t say young teenagers, it just says that they…you see there’s always been something in the law that the police can handle this, but they had to take the
people down to the County Building, they weren’t able to just give them a ticket. This way they will be able to give them a ticket when they’re out there showing off and
perhaps endangering their lives and other lives.

Countryman: Well, would this apply to like when I ride with you in your Camaro down in front of the Capitol Building and you squeal your tires, would you be guilty of an offense?

Parcells: I possibly could be, yes.

Countryman: And if one of my constituents or Representative Hartke had a load of hogs going to market and they squealed would they be guilty of an offense?

Parcells: That could be, yes.

Countryman: I don’t know, this is kind of a squeaker I think. You know?

Speaker Cullerton: Further discussion? Gentleman from Logan, Representative Robert Olson.

Olson,R: Will you yield? Will the Speaker Yield?

Parcells: Yes.

Speaker Cullerton: She…for a question?

Olson R: Yes.

Speaker Cullerton: Yes, indicates she’ll yield for a question.

Olson, R: A short question. There’s a part in here about flashing lights. Does that cover…what color of flashing lights are we speaking of?

Parcells: What has happened in the past was that people could use any color light. This designates that only certain colored lights…it prohibits the use of multi-colored flashing
lights on vehicles other than those allowed under current law. They…the police have discovered that it’s very dangerous when people decide to put pink, purple, lavender
lights on their car and their flashing them. Therefore those that are by law, already in the law are fine, but they don’t want you using other colors because it is a danger.

Olson,R: The yellow flashing lights on construction equipment and farm equipment…

Parcells: I beg your pardon?

Olson, R: The yellow flashing lights that is on construction equipment, farm equipment…would still be legal?

Parcells: Yes, they would.

Olson, R: Okay

Speaker Cullerton: Representative Williams, on the purple lights question.?

Williams: Yes. What is the penalty for violation of the squeaking, squealing and…making of other noises of your vehicle?’

Parcells: It would be at the discretion of the officer, it would probably $50.00 like a regular…

Williams: At the discretion of the officer?

Parcells: I mean he is giving you a ticket instead of taking you downtown and having to tow your car. He will give you regular ticket that would then be at the discretion of the court. Right now it’s a Class A misdemeanor.

Williams: Right now squeaking and squealing your tires is Glass A misdemeanor? You mean if…

Parcells: …You see it’s under the E.P.A. regulations right now, Title 35, sub-title H, Chapter 1, section 902.0125. The only way they can handle this is that way. That’s why
we’re bringing it into this code and they would…otherwise they’d have to file a long form complaint and take you down to the County Building and maybe drag your car down. So
this way the officer could stop you and give you a ticket and it would be…(It is an interesting aside to view the above I.E.P.A. regulation involving tire noise. It should cause you to wonder why the I.E.P.A. would be the source for such violations. Mark McCoy)

Williams: What about…?

Parcells: It’s a petty offense.

Williams: Does it apply to a1l motor vehicles or is it…I mean is it…what about airplanes or any other things of that nature. Is it just for cars or is it apply to other, what about bicycles?

Parcells: This applies only to operation on the highway…of motor vehicles. I suppose if you had your airplane on the highway you could be in trouble.

Williams: Do you deal with other things besides squeaking and squealing? Do you deal with lights and decorations or other things in here? I’m just curious…I’ve been
informed that lights and other things around the tail may be illegal under this, under this Act..it says auto lighting.’

ParcellsIt prohibits the use of multi-colored flashing lights on vehicles other than those allowed under the current law. And as I said this is a safety thing because it’s very
distracting to motorists when you are putting…purple, pink, yellow, orange cruise lights on your car and flashing them.

Williams: If the cab driver like they often do in Chicago were to do that, who would be responsible, the cab company or the driver?

Parcells: The driver.

Williams: …Well to the Amendment…or the Bill…or…what are we vote…the Bill. I understand what we’re trying to do…we’re…I’ve often been awakened by squealing,
screeching light flashing, automobiles riding at extreme speeds emanating all types of nasty noises and things. But, the thought of allowing someone to take and to have a
ticket and to be placed in…I don’t know…the police will maybe take them under custody and lock some guy up for this stuff and half the cabs in Chicago and who knows, low
riders and other people may be a real dangerous species here, which may be a violation of certain people…cultural things. So I would think at this time, that this Bill is
not quite in the perfect form. I think that even though it is not, is an annoying habit, don’t know if it should be a punishable habit and I think that this may not be the
right Bill at the right time.

Speaker Cullerton: Gentleman from Vermilion, Representative Black.

Black: ‘Well, thank you very much, Mr. Speaker, will the Sponsor yield?’ 

Speaker Cullerton: For a question?

Black: Yes, thank you.

Speaker Cullerton: She indicates she will.

Black: I…Representative just have one question to ask you. Is this Bill on Short Debate? Oh, thank you very much; that’s all I wanted to know.

Speaker Cullerton: ‘Representative Homer.

Homer: Question for the Sponsor, please.

Speaker Cullerton: She indicates she’ll yield for a question.

Homer: Representative Parcells, your Bill would prohibit squealing and screeching noises from vehicles tires. think I’ve heard and understand what those are, but it also
says, ‘or such other noise from the vehicles tires.’ Could you either specify and/or emulate what other noise you’re talking about?

Parcells: don’t know how to describe what other noise they might make, but I would like to answer, that answer to previous question, this is already punishable under the E.P.A. Act but there it is a Class A misdemeanor and we’re bringing it into this Act to make it a petty offense, so that a policeman can just write a ticket. But it is already punishable…I mean it is already an offense but a
much more serious one than we would have it in this Act.

Homer: Well, is this a moving violation for which you could lose your license?

Parcells: …if you’ll wait just a moment we’ll look that up.

Homer: While you’re looking notice that you’ve got it follows in sequence of these offenses, you’ve got:…DUI, illegal transportation of alcohol, reckless driving, draq racing and then screeking would be the next one. Are those in order of severity, or what was your thought?

Parcells: is called a reportable violation.

Homer: ‘It’s a what?

Parcells: Reportable violation.

Homer: ‘Reportable violation?

Parcells: Under 6201, and it’s the Secretary of State’s discretion….whether or not to assess points…

Homer: I see. So, if somebody…if somebody accelerated and squealed, screeched or made some other indescribable noise from the vehicle’s tires then that person could be fined up
to five hundred dollars and would receive points against the possible suspension of a drivers license by the Secretary of State.

Parcells: It is a traffic offense, but remember it always could have been punished as a Class A misdemeanor. So, this is a lessor…punishment, if you will, or a lessor offense to
make a petty offense in the Class A misdemeanor.

Homer: Well, what’s the thrust? I mean are you…do you feel that…the current penalties are too strong and your trying to make for lighter penalties for squealers?

Parcells: That’s part of it and the other part is, if the police

(This is the end of Page 238. Page 239.which is supposed to follow, was not included in the online PDF version)

3. (725 ILCS 5/111-3)    
Form of charge. 
    (a) A charge shall be in writing and allege the commission of an offense by: 
        (1) Stating the name of the offense; 
        (2) Citing the statutory provision alleged to have

    
been violated;
(3) Setting forth the nature and elements of the
    
offense charged;
        (4) Stating the date and county of the offense as
    
definitely as can be done; and
        (5) Stating the name of the accused, if known, and
    
if not known, designate the accused by any name or description by which he can be identified with reasonable certainty.
    (b) An indictment shall be signed by the foreman of the Grand Jury and an information shall be signed by the State’s Attorney and sworn to by him or another.
A complaint shall be sworn to and signed by the complainant; Provided, however, that when a citation is issued on a Uniform Traffic Ticket or Uniform Conservation
Ticket (in a form prescribed by the Conference of Chief Circuit Judges and filed with the Supreme Court), the copy of such Uniform Ticket which is filed with the circuit court
constitutes a complaint to which the defendant may plead, unless he specifically requests that a verified complaint be filed.

4. (625 ILCS 5/4-103.2)

(7) a person:
(A) who is the driver or operator of a vehicle and is not entitled to the possession of that vehicle and who knows the vehicle is stolen or converted, or
(B) who is the driver or operator of a vehicle being used to transport or haul a vehicle or essential part of a vehicle and is not entitled to the possession of that vehicle or essential part being transported or hauled and who knows the transported or hauled vehicle or essential part is stolen or converted, who has been given a signal by a peace officer directing
him to bring the vehicle to a stop, to willfully fail or refuse to obey such direction, increase his speed, extinguish his lights or otherwise flee or attempt to elude the officer. The signal given by the peace officer may be by hand, voice, siren, or red or blue light. The officer giving the signal, if driving a vehicle, shall display the vehicle’s illuminated, oscillating, rotating or flashing red or blue lights, which when used in conjunction with an audible horn or siren would indicate that the vehicle is an official police vehicle. Such requirement shall not preclude the use of amber or white oscillating, rotating or flashing lights in conjunction with red or blue oscillating, rotating or flashing lights as required in Section 12-215 of this Code; or

(625 ILCS 5/11-1301) (from Ch. 95 1/2, par. 11-1301)
Sec. 11-1301. Stopping, standing or parking outside of business or residence district. 

(d) Any second division vehicle used exclusively for the collection of garbage, refuse, or recyclable material may stop or stand on the road in a business, rural, or residential district for the sole purpose of collecting garbage, refuse, or recyclable material. The vehicle, in addition to having its hazard lights lighted at all times that it is engaged in stopping or standing, shall also use its amber oscillating, rotating, or flashing light or lights as authorized under paragraph 12 of subsection (b) of Section 12-215, if so equipped.
(Source: P.A. 91-869, eff. 1-1-01.)

(625 ILCS 5/11-1421) (from Ch. 95 1/2, par. 11-1421)
Sec. 11-1421. Conditions for operating ambulances and rescue vehicles. 

2. The ambulance or rescue vehicle shall be equipped with a siren producing an audible signal of an intensity of 100 decibels at a distance of 50 feet from the siren, and with a lamp or lamps emitting an oscillating, rotating or flashing red beam directed in part toward the front of the vehicle, and these lamps shall have sufficient intensity to be visible at 500 feet in normal sunlight, and in addition to other lighting requirements, excluding those vehicles operated in counties with a population in excess of 2,000,000, may also operate with a lamp or lamps emitting an oscillating, rotating, or flashing green light;

(625 ILCS 5/12-215) (from Ch. 95 1/2, par. 12-215)
Sec. 12-215. Oscillating, rotating or flashing lights on motor vehicles. Except as otherwise provided in this Code: 

(a) The use of red or white oscillating, rotating or flashing lights, whether lighted or unlighted, is prohibited except on:
1. Law enforcement vehicles of State, Federal or local authorities;
2. A vehicle operated by a police officer or county coroner and designated or authorized by local authorities, in writing, as a law enforcement vehicle; however, such designation or authorization must be carried in the vehicle;
2.1. A vehicle operated by a fire chief who has completed an emergency vehicle operation training course approved by the Office of the State Fire Marshal and designated or authorized by local authorities, in writing, as a fire department, fire protection district, or township fire department vehicle; however, the designation or authorization must be carried in the vehicle, and the lights may be visible or activated only when responding to a bona fide emergency;
3. Vehicles of local fire departments and State or federal firefighting vehicles;
4. Vehicles which are designed and used exclusively as ambulances or rescue vehicles; furthermore, such lights shall not be lighted except when responding to an emergency call for and while actually conveying the sick or injured;
5. Tow trucks licensed in a state that requires such lights; furthermore, such lights shall not be lighted on any such tow truck while the tow truck is operating in the State of Illinois;
6. Vehicles of the Illinois Emergency Management Agency, vehicles of the Illinois Department of Public Health, and vehicles of the Department of Nuclear Safety;
7. Vehicles operated by a local or county emergency management services agency as defined in the Illinois Emergency Management Agency Act;
8. School buses operating alternately flashing head lamps as permitted under Section 12-805 of this Code; and
9. Vehicles that are equipped and used exclusively as organ transplant vehicles when used in combination with blue oscillating, rotating, or flashing lights; furthermore, these lights shall be lighted only when the transportation is declared an emergency by a member of the transplant team or a representative of the organ procurement organization.
(b) The use of amber oscillating, rotating or flashing lights, whether lighted or unlighted, is prohibited except on:
1. Second division vehicles designed and used for towing or hoisting vehicles; furthermore, such lights shall not be lighted except as required in this paragraph 1; such lights shall be lighted when such vehicles are actually being used at the scene of an accident or disablement; if the towing vehicle is equipped with a flat bed that supports all wheels of the vehicle being transported, the lights shall not be lighted while the vehicle is engaged in towing on a highway; if the towing vehicle is not equipped with a flat bed that supports all wheels of a vehicle being transported, the lights shall be lighted while the towing vehicle is engaged in towing on a highway during all times when the use of headlights is required under Section 12-201 of this Code;
2. Motor vehicles or equipment of the State of Illinois, local authorities and contractors; furthermore, such lights shall not be lighted except while such vehicles are engaged in maintenance or construction operations within the limits of construction projects;
3. Vehicles or equipment used by engineering or survey crews; furthermore, such lights shall not be lighted except while such vehicles are actually engaged in work on a highway;
4. Vehicles of public utilities, municipalities, or other construction, maintenance or automotive service vehicles except that such lights shall be lighted only as a means for indicating the presence of a vehicular traffic hazard requiring unusual care in approaching, overtaking or passing while such vehicles are engaged in maintenance, service or construction on a highway;
5. Oversized vehicle or load; however, such lights shall only be lighted when moving under permit issued by the Department under Section 15-301 of this Code;
6. The front and rear of motorized equipment owned and operated by the State of Illinois or any political subdivision thereof, which is designed and used for removal of snow and ice from highways;
(6.1) The front and rear of motorized equipment or vehicles that (i) are not owned by the State of Illinois or any political subdivision of the State, (ii) are designed and used for removal of snow and ice from highways and parking lots, and (iii) are equipped with a snow plow that is 12 feet in width; these lights may not be lighted except when the motorized equipment or vehicle is actually being used for those purposes on behalf of a unit of government;
7. Fleet safety vehicles registered in another state, furthermore, such lights shall not be lighted except as provided for in Section 12-212 of this Code;
8. Such other vehicles as may be authorized by local authorities;
9. Law enforcement vehicles of State or local authorities when used in combination with red oscillating, rotating or flashing lights;
9.5. Propane delivery trucks;
10. Vehicles used for collecting or delivering mail for the United States Postal Service provided that such lights shall not be lighted except when such vehicles are actually being used for such purposes;
11. Any vehicle displaying a slow-moving vehicle emblem as provided in Section 12-205.1;
12. All trucks equipped with self-compactors or roll-off hoists and roll-on containers for garbage or refuse hauling. Such lights shall not be lighted except when such vehicles are actually being used for such purposes;
13. Vehicles used by a security company, alarm responder, or control agency;
14. Security vehicles of the Department of Human Services; however, the lights shall not be lighted except when being used for security related purposes under the direction of the superintendent of the facility where the vehicle is located; and
15. Vehicles of union representatives, except that the lights shall be lighted only while the vehicle is within the limits of a construction project.
(c) The use of blue oscillating, rotating or flashing lights, whether lighted or unlighted, is prohibited except on:
1. Rescue squad vehicles not owned by a fire department and vehicles owned or operated by a:voluntary firefighter; paid firefighter; part-paid firefighter; call firefighter; member of the board of trustees of a fire protection district; paid or unpaid member of a rescue squad; paid or unpaid member of a voluntary ambulance unit; or paid or unpaid members of a local or county
emergency management services agency as defined in the Illinois Emergency Management Agency Act, designated or authorized by local authorities, in writing, and carrying that designation or authorization in the vehicle. However, such lights are not to be lighted except when responding to a bona fide emergency.
Any person using these lights in accordance with this subdivision (c)1 must carry on his or her person an identification card or letter identifying the bona fide member of a fire department, fire protection district, rescue squad, ambulance unit, or emergency management services agency that owns or operates that vehicle. The card or letter must include:
(A) the name of the fire department, fire protection district, rescue squad, ambulance unit, or emergency management services agency;
(B) the member’s position within the fire department, fire protection district, rescue squad, ambulance unit, or emergency management services agency;
(C) the member’s term of service; and
(D) the name of a person within the fire department, fire protection district, rescue squad, ambulance unit, or emergency management services agency to contact to verify the information provided.
2. Police department vehicles in cities having a population of 500,000 or more inhabitants.
3. Law enforcement vehicles of State or local authorities when used in combination with red oscillating, rotating or flashing lights.
4. Vehicles of local fire departments and State or federal firefighting vehicles when used in combination with red oscillating, rotating or flashing lights.
5. Vehicles which are designed and used exclusively as ambulances or rescue vehicles when used in combination with red oscillating, rotating or flashing lights; furthermore, such lights shall not be lighted except when responding to an emergency call.
6. Vehicles that are equipped and used exclusively as organ transport vehicles when used in combination with red oscillating, rotating, or flashing lights; furthermore, these lights shall only be lighted when the transportation is declared an emergency by a member of the transplant team or a representative of the organ procurement organization.
7. Vehicles of the Illinois Emergency Management Agency, vehicles of the Illinois Department of Public Health, and vehicles of the Department of Nuclear Safety, when used in combination with red oscillating, rotating, or flashing lights.
8. Vehicles operated by a local or county emergency management services agency as defined in the Illinois Emergency Management Agency Act, when used in combination with red oscillating, rotating, or flashing lights.
(c-1) In addition to the blue oscillating, rotating, or flashing lights permitted under subsection (c), and notwithstanding subsection (a), a vehicle operated by a voluntary firefighter, a voluntary member of a rescue squad, or a member of a voluntary ambulance unit may be equipped with flashing white headlights and blue grill lights, which may be used only in responding to an emergency call.
(c-2) In addition to the blue oscillating, rotating, or flashing lights permitted under subsection (c), and notwithstanding subsection (a), a vehicle operated by a paid or unpaid member of a local or county emergency management services agency as defined in the Illinois Emergency Management Agency Act, may be equipped with white oscillating, rotating, or flashing lights to be used in combination with blue oscillating, rotating, or flashing lights, if authorization by local authorities is in writing and carried in the vehicle.
(d) The use of a combination of amber and white oscillating, rotating or flashing lights, whether lighted or unlighted, is prohibited except motor vehicles or equipment of the State of Illinois, local authorities, contractors, and union representatives may be so equipped; furthermore, such lights shall not be lighted on vehicles of the State of Illinois, local authorities, and contractors except while such vehicles are engaged in highway maintenance or construction operations within the limits of highway construction projects, and shall not be lighted on the vehicles of union representatives except when those vehicles are within the limits of a construction project.
(e) All oscillating, rotating or flashing lights referred to in this Section shall be of sufficient intensity, when illuminated, to be visible at 500 feet in normal sunlight.
(f) Nothing in this Section shall prohibit a manufacturer of oscillating, rotating or flashing lights or his representative from temporarily mounting such lights on a vehicle for demonstration purposes only.
(g) Any person violating the provisions of subsections (a), (b), (c) or (d) of this Section who without lawful authority stops or detains or attempts to stop or detain another person shall be guilty of a Class 2 felony.
(h) Except as provided in subsection (g) above, any person violating the provisions of subsections (a) or (c) of this Section shall be guilty of a Class A misdemeanor.
(Source: P.A. 93-181, eff. 1-1-04; 93-725, eff. 1-1-05; 93-794, eff. 7-22-04; 93-829, eff. 7-28-04; 94-143, eff. 1-1-06; 94-270, eff. 1-1-06; 94-331, eff. 1-1-06; 94-730, eff. 4-17-06.)

(625 ILCS 5/12-216) (from Ch. 95 1/2, par. 12-216)
Sec. 12-216. Operation of oscillating, rotating or flashing lights. Oscillating, rotating or flashing lights located on or within police vehicles in this State shall be lighted whenever a police officer is in pursuit of a violator of a traffic law or regulation.
(Source: P.A. 85-830.)

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: