Vehicle Emergency Lighting and Markings

These Resources discuss high visibility markings on vehicles and apparatus deployed for traffic incident response, including police cruisers, fire trucks, command vehicles, ambulances, DOT vehicles, and tow trucks. Please note that a module on High Visibility Innovations will be released soon on the Responder Safety Learning Network (

"Marked and Seen"

This video shows examples high visibility markings on fire, EMS, and police vehicles, including products for retrofitting fire apparatus built before to the NFPA 1901 Standard for Automotive Fire Apparatus went into effect in 2009. The format available here is WMV for PC. For other versions, including QuickTime for Mac, please visit the "Marked and Seen" page:

Upload Date: 12/21/2012

Best Practices to Minimize Injuries and Deaths While Using a POV for Responses

To prevent injuries and deaths resulting from accidents involving POV responses.

Upload Date: 9/14/2015

Citizens’ Hose Company Struck By Case Study

Go inside the December 17, 2020 struck by incident that shook Citizens’ Hose Company (Smyrna, DE) to its core and hear from the firefighters involved what happened, how traffic control made the difference, and how the department has responded moving forward.

Upload Date: 8/17/2021

Effects of Emergency Vehicle Lighting on Drivers

“Effects of Emergency Vehicle Lighting Characteristics on Driver Perception and Behavior: Study Report” is an ERSI report of human factors research in cooperation with RPI and Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. The study investigates the impact of lighting color, intensity, modulation, flash rate, and presence of retroreflective chevron markings on driver behavior while traversing a simulated traffic incident scene at night. Findings cover the effects of lamp intensity, lamp color, and retroreflective markings on the visibility of a simulated responder at a test incident scene. Whether these factors create a “moth to flame” effect was also examined. The report describes the experiment design, the tasks researchers completed, and the results observed.

Upload Date: 1/5/2022

Emergency Vehicle Visibility and Conspicuity Study

This report, produced in partnership between the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) and the International Fire Service Training Association (IFSTA), analyzes emergency vehicle visibility and conspicuity with an eye toward expanding efforts in these areas to improve vehicle and roadway operations safety for all emergency responders. Emphasis in this report is placed on passive visibility/conspicuity treatments. Key finidings include additional research on emergency vehicle visibility and conspicuity in the United States, with particular emphasis on the interaction between civilian drivers and emergency vehicles during responses and on incident scenes.

Upload Date: 12/27/2012

Fire Apparatus Emergency Lighting Study Report

This report details the history of how the current fire apparatus lighting standards were developed, summarizes the last 20 years of research on emergency lighting, and has the results of a study done in May 2019 specifically addressing what changes should be made to fire apparatus lighting standards in response to the change to LED lighting.

Upload Date: 6/20/2019

Florida Highway Patrol Emergency Lighting Research & Prototype Evaluation

Beginning in 1998, the Florida Highway Patrol began to examine safety issues surrounding the roadside environment in which we do much of our work. This began with a holistic approach, looking into all aspects of the issue. This includes working with manufacturers to make the vehicles safer, the installation of aftermarket equipment, policies and procedures for making the stops and working outside the vehicle as a pedestrian.

Upload Date: 3/27/2013

Florida Highway Patrol Enhancing Rear - Approach Conspicuity of Police Vehicles

The nature of law enforcement work requires police vehicles be frequently stopped on or near roadways, exposing them to a risk of rear-end type collisions. Beyond emergency vehicle lighting, what treatments can enhance vehicle conspicuity to mitigate those risks?

Upload Date: 3/27/2013

Hardening Blocking Vehicles for Traffic Incidents and Planned Special Events

This report summarizes a workshop convened during the 2018 National Traffic Incident Response Awareness Week on how to harden blocking vehicles to protect responders and the public.

Upload Date: 4/2/2019

Impacts of Emergency Vehicle Marking Color, Patterns and Retroreflectivity on Safety-Related Driver Responses: Study Report

This ERSI study reports the results of a field experiment to investigate the impacts of emergency vehicle marking color, retroreflectivity level and spatial patterns on drivers’ ability to see emergency responders working near their vehicles was carried out. The study also examined the impacts of a wearable flashing LED light.

Upload Date: 12/7/2023

Law Enforcement Stops & Safety Subcommittee: Staff Study 2004.

This 2004 Staff Study Report documents the work to date of the Law Enforcement Stops and Safety Subcommittee. It includes technology, practices, and research related to improving officer safety and preventing police vehicle crashes. Recommendations are included at the end of each section of the re¬port as benchmarks against which to measure future successes to improve the safety of police vehicles, highway environment and design, and traffic stop practices.

Upload Date: 12/21/2012

New York State Emergency Traffic Control and Scene Management Guidelines

These guidelines were established to provide incident responders in the state of New York a uniform approach to emergency traffic control and scene management. The guidelines include incident response priorities, incident classification, responder safety, responder vehicles, establishing the traffic incident management area, staging, breakdown, and investigation.

Upload Date: 12/21/2012

Study of Protecting Emergency Responders on the Highways and Operation of Emergency Vehicles

A Review of First Responder Agencies Who Have Adopted Emergency Lighting and Vehicle Conspicuity Technology. *A new draft and been issued on June 12, 2019 with two corrections on page 27.*

Upload Date: 6/12/2019

The First 15 Minutes - Decision Making at Roadway Incidents

This Power Point program provides training for responders on the first arriving apparatus at a highway incident. The first 15 minutes of an incident often sets the tone for the entire response. Learn how practices such as “windshield size up” can make the scene safer.

Upload Date: 9/6/2013

Vehicle Marking and Technology for Increased Highway Visibility: A Reference Guide for Decision-Makers

This resource guide provides visual examples of high-visibility marking schemes applied to the rear and sides of a variety of vehicles, including automobiles, pickup trucks, utility truck vehicles, SUVs, vans, box-type trucks, and large service vehicles. This is the handicapped accessible version of the PDF format of this document.

Upload Date: 1/16/2013

Vehicle Marking and Technology for Increased Highway Visibility: A Reference Guide for Decision-Makers

This resource guide provides visual examples of high-visibility marking schemes applied to the rear and sides of a variety of vehicles, including automobiles, pickup trucks, utility truck vehicles, SUVs, vans, box-type trucks, and large service vehicles.

Upload Date: 1/16/2013

Watch Out Behind You!

A full operations level training program that may be taught in modules. Suggested presenters should be at least a level one instructor. Suggested teaching time is 4 hours total.

Upload Date: 9/6/2013

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