STATEHOUSE — Legislation authored by State Rep. Cindy Kirchhofer (R-Beech Grove) seeks to reduce confusion regarding emergency vehicles. House Enrolled Act (HEA) 1212, which further defines the colors of lights and markings that can be used by emergency vehicles, was signed into law today.
Currently, funeral escort vehicles are not included in the list of appropriate emergency vehicles, leading to unauthorized use of the lights or markings. This problem was creating public confusion as to the emergency escort situation.
“We looked at simplifying the identification for emergency vehicles,” Rep. Kirchhofer said. “Safety for the public as well as those operating the emergency vehicles is a high priority.”
HEA 1212 includes funeral escort vehicles in the list of vehicles that motorists should approach with caution similar to how school buses and snow-removal equipment are treated. Funeral escort vehicles are also permitted to use flashing red and white, red or amber lights.
If a law enforcement vehicle is used in a funeral procession, they are permitted to utilize the lights already mounted on the vehicle. If a non-law enforcement vehicle is used, it must adhere to the assigned lights unless directed by a police officer. Unauthorized use results in a Class C misdemeanor.
“Many of my constituents were concerned with the proper use of emergency lights and markings,” said Rep. Kirchhofer. “Hopefully, a clearer definition will make the roads safer in these emergency situations.”
HEA 1212 will be effective July 1, 2012.
Rep. Cindy Kirchhofer serves House District 89. She is the Vice Chair of the Statutory Committee on Interstate and International Cooperation and serves on the Veterans Affairs and Public Safety and Insurance Committees.