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347.25(1) (1) Except as provided in subs. (1m) (a), (1n), (1r), and (1s), an authorized emergency vehicle may be equipped with one or more flashing, oscillating, or rotating red lights, except that ambulances, fire department equipment, privately owned motor vehicles under s. 340.01 (3) (d), (dg), or (dm) being used by personnel of a full-time or part-time fire department, by members of a volunteer fire department or rescue squad, or by an organ procurement organization or any person under an agreement with an organ procurement organization, and privately owned motor vehicles under s. 340.01 (3) (dh) being used to transport or pick up medical devices or equipment, may be equipped with red or red and white lights, and shall be so equipped when the operator thereof is exercising the privileges granted by s. 346.03 or 346.215 (2) (a). The lights shall be so designed and mounted as to be plainly visible and understandable from a distance of 500 feet both during normal sunlight and during hours of darkness. No operator of an authorized emergency vehicle may use the warning lights except when responding to an emergency call or when in pursuit of an actual or suspected violator of the law, when responding to but not upon returning from a fire alarm, when transporting an organ for human transplantation, when transporting medical personnel for the purpose of performing human organ harvesting or transplantation immediately after the transportation, when necessarily parked in a position which is likely to be hazardous to traffic, or as authorized under s. 346.215 (2) (a).
347.25(1m) (1m)
347.25(1m)(a)(a) A police vehicle under s. 340.01 (3) (a) may be equipped with a blue light and a red light which are flashing, oscillating or rotating.
347.25(1m)(b) (b) If the vehicle is so equipped, the lights shall be illuminated as required under s. 346.03 or 346.215 (2) (a) when the operator of the police vehicle is exercising the privileges granted under s. 346.03 or 346.215 (2) (a). On a marked police vehicle, the blue light shall be mounted on the passenger side of the vehicle and the red light shall be mounted on the driver side of the vehicle. When in use on an unmarked police vehicle, the blue light shall be displayed on the passenger side of the vehicle and the red light shall be displayed on the driver side of the vehicle. The lights shall be designed and displayed so as to be plainly visible and understandable from a distance of 500 feet during normal sunlight and during hours of darkness. No operator of a police vehicle may use the warning lights except when responding to an emergency call or when in pursuit of an actual or suspected violator of the law, when responding to but not upon returning from a fire alarm, when necessarily parked on a highway in a position which is likely to be hazardous to traffic using the highway, or as authorized under s. 346.215 (2) (a).
347.25(1m)(c) (c) If the state or any local authority intends to equip its police vehicles as authorized under par. (a), the state or the local authority shall give notice of its intent as a class 2 notice under ch. 985 at least 90 days before so equipping the first vehicle.
347.25(1n) (1n) A police vehicle under s. 340.01 (3) (a) may be equipped with one or more flashing white lights. The lights shall be designed and displayed so as to be plainly visible and understandable from a distance of 500 feet both during normal sunlight and during hours of darkness. The lights may be used only when the warning lamps authorized under sub. (1) or (1m) are in use.
347.25(1r) (1r)
347.25(1r)(a)1.1. A police vehicle under s. 340.01 (3) (a) may be equipped so that the high beams of its headlamps pulsate or flash alternately at a rate of 70 to 90 pulses or flashes per minute. The pulsating or flashing headlamps may be used only when the warning lamps authorized under sub. (1) or (1m) are in use.
347.25(1r)(a)2. 2. If the state or any local authority intends to equip its police vehicles as authorized under subd. 1., the state or the local authority shall give notice of its intent as a class 2 notice under ch. 985 at least 90 days before so equipping the first vehicle.
347.25(1r)(b)1.a.a. A vehicle of a fire department under s. 340.01 (3) (c) or an ambulance under s. 340.01 (3) (g) may be equipped so that the high beams of its headlamps pulsate or flash alternately at a rate of 70 to 90 pulses or flashes per minute. The pulsating or flashing headlamps may be used only when the warning lamps authorized under sub. (1) are in use.
347.25(1r)(b)1.b. b. If any local authority intends to equip its vehicles as authorized under subd. 1. a., the local authority shall give notice of its intent as a class 2 notice under ch. 985 at least 90 days before so equipping the first vehicle.
347.25(1r)(b)2.a.a. A sheriff or others designated by the county board may authorize that an ambulance under s. 340.01 (3) (i) be equipped so that the high beams of its headlamps pulsate or flash alternately at a rate of 70 to 90 pulses or flashes per minute. The pulsating or flashing headlamps may be used only when the warning lamps authorized under sub. (1) are in use.
347.25(1r)(b)2.b. b. If the sheriff or others designated by the county board intend to authorize any ambulance under s. 340.01 (3) (i) to be equipped as authorized under subd. 2. a., the local authority shall give notice of its intent as a class 2 notice under ch. 985 at least 90 days before authorizing the first vehicle to be so equipped.
347.25(1r)(c)1.a.a. The state fire marshal may authorize that a privately owned motor vehicle under s. 340.01 (3) (d) that is being used by a deputy state fire marshal be equipped so that the high beams of its headlamps pulsate or flash alternately at a rate of 70 to 90 pulses or flashes per minute. The pulsating or flashing headlamps may be used only when the warning lamps authorized under sub. (1) are in use.
347.25(1r)(c)1.b. b. If the state fire marshal intends to authorize any privately owned motor vehicle under s. 340.01 (3) (d) that is being used by a deputy state fire marshal to be equipped as authorized under subd. 1. a., the state shall give notice of its intent as a class 2 notice under ch. 985 at least 90 days before authorizing the first vehicle to be so equipped.
347.25(1r)(c)2.a.a. A fire chief may authorize that a privately owned motor vehicle under s. 340.01 (3) (d) that is being used by an employee of the fire department or, if applicable, a member of the volunteer fire department be equipped so that the high beams of its headlamps pulsate or flash alternately at a rate of 70 to 90 pulses or flashes per minute. The pulsating or flashing headlamps may be used only when the warning lamps authorized under sub. (1) are in use.
347.25(1r)(c)2.b. b. If the fire chief intends to authorize any privately owned motor vehicle under s. 340.01 (3) (d) that is being used by an employee of the fire department or, if applicable, a member of the volunteer fire department to be equipped as authorized under subd. 2. a., the local authority shall give notice of its intent as a class 2 notice under ch. 985 at least 90 days before authorizing the first vehicle to be so equipped.
347.25(1s) (1s) A vehicle in use by a fire department as a command post at the site of an emergency call may be equipped with a blue or green light which is flashing, oscillating or rotating.
347.25(2) (2) No person may operate a school bus which is painted as provided in s. 347.44 unless it is equipped with a 360-degree flashing white strobe light having a flashrate of 60 to 120 per minute and either flashing red warning lights or flashing red and amber warning lights. The secretary shall prescribe rules for the type, installation, operation and light output brilliance of the lights required under this subsection. No vehicle may be equipped with the warning and strobe lights required under this subsection unless it also is painted as provided in s. 347.44.
347.25 Cross-reference Cross-reference: See also ch. Trans 300, Wis. adm. code.
347.25(2g) (2g) No person may operate on a highway any self-propelled implement of husbandry manufactured before January 1, 2014, and having a total width in excess of 12 feet, unless it is equipped with a 360-degree yellow or amber rotating strobe or beacon light, mounted at the highest practicable point, or 2 flashing amber lights visible to the front and rear, and the light or lights are activated.
Effective date note NOTE: Sub. (2g) is created eff. 11-1-15 by 2013 Wis. Act 377.
347.25(2m) (2m) A human service vehicle may be equipped with a 360-degree flashing strobe light with a flashrate of 60 to 120 per minute. Notwithstanding s. 110.05 (1), the secretary shall prescribe rules for the type, color, installation, operation and light output brilliance of the lights permitted under this subsection.
347.25(3) (3) The lead vehicle in a funeral procession may be equipped, or any vehicle in the procession may be equipped if all vehicles in the procession are so equipped, with a flashing amber light that may be used only in the procession.
347.25(4) (4) No vehicle may be equipped with or display any blue colored light or lamp unless the vehicle is used in police work authorized by the state or a political subdivision of the state or is used by a fire department as authorized under sub. (1s).
347.25(5) (5) Notwithstanding s. 347.26 (11), whenever flashing warning lamps on an authorized emergency vehicle are designed and being used to exhibit a directional arrow at the scene of an emergency, the lamps exhibiting the directional arrow may be flashing simultaneously or sequentially. If the use of flashing warning lamps to exhibit a directional arrow would likely direct approaching traffic into a lane of traffic moving in the opposite direction, only the flashing warning lamps that exhibit the horizontal bar of a directional arrow may be used and such lamps shall be flashing simultaneously.
347.25 Annotation The burden is on the operator of an emergency vehicle to prove that the warning light met the requirements. A light showing only to the front would not provide the operator with emergency privileges for stopping, parking, or turning as to vehicles approaching from the rear. Pittman v. Lieffring, 59 Wis. 2d 52, 207 N.W.2d 610 (1973).
347.26 347.26 Restrictions on certain optional lighting equipment.
347.26(1)(1) General restrictions. A vehicle need not be equipped with the lamps specified in this section, but if a vehicle is equipped with any such lamps, no person shall operate such vehicle on a highway during hours of darkness unless such lamps comply with the requirements of this section and no person shall use such lamps in a manner inconsistent with this section.
347.26(2) (2)Spotlamps.
347.26(2)(a)(a) Any motor vehicle may be equipped with not more than 2 spotlamps.
347.26(2)(b) (b) No spotlamp shall be used as a substitute for headlamps. No spotlamp shall be used as an auxiliary driving light on any motor vehicle except when such spotlamp is set or adjusted so that the rays of light are projected directly upon the road surface at a distance not exceeding 150 feet directly in front of the vehicle and to the right of the center of the traveled roadway. No spotlamp shall project any glaring light into the eyes of an approaching driver.
347.26(3) (3)Adverse weather lamps.
347.26(3)(a)(a) Any motor vehicle may be equipped with not more than 2 adverse weather lamps which shall be mounted on the front of the vehicle below the level of the centers of the headlamps.
347.26(3)(b) (b) Adverse weather lamps shall not be used in lieu of headlamps unless absolutely necessary in case of rain, snow, dust or fog and then only when a vehicle is equipped with 2 adverse weather lamps mounted on opposite sides of the front of the vehicle and when both such adverse weather lamps are lighted. Whenever any vehicle is equipped with only one adverse weather lamp, both headlamps of such vehicle shall be lighted at all times when such adverse weather lamp is lighted.
347.26(4) (4)Back-up lamps.
347.26(4)(a)(a) Any motor vehicle may be equipped with not more than 2 back-up lamps which shall be so directed as to project a white or amber light illuminating the roadway to the rear of such vehicle for a distance not to exceed 75 feet.
347.26(4)(b) (b) No lighted back-up lamp shall be displayed on any vehicle upon a highway except when such vehicle is about to be or is being driven backward. Whenever a back-up lamp is lighted during hours of darkness, the tail lamp or tail lamps on the vehicle displaying such lighted back-up lamp also shall be lighted.
347.26(5) (5)Identification lamps on taxicabs and buses. No person shall operate a motor vehicle regularly used for transporting passengers for hire displaying any lighting device for identification purposes other than a single illuminated sign or lighted lamp mounted above the top line of the windshield, colored white, amber or green. Such illuminated sign or lamp shall be so constructed as to emit a steady or flashing nonglaring light.
347.26(6) (6)Warning lamps on tow trucks and service vehicles.
347.26(6)(a)(a) Any vehicle which by reason of its use upon a highway creates a vehicular traffic hazard requiring the exercise of unusual care in approaching, overtaking or passing shall be equipped with a flashing or rotating amber lamp of the dome type at the highest practicable point, visible from a distance of 500 feet, or 2 flashing amber lamps, one showing to the front and one showing to the rear, visible from a distance of 500 feet and mounted approximately midway between the extremities of the width of the vehicle and at the highest practicable point. Such amber lamp or lamps shall be lighted when such vehicle is moving a disabled vehicle along or upon a public highway at a speed below the average speed of motor vehicle traffic on such street or highway and may not be lit at other times.
347.26(6)(b) (b) Operators of tow trucks or towing vehicles shall equip each tow truck or towing vehicle with a flashing or rotating red lamp, in addition to flashing type amber lamps. Such lamp shall be placed on the dome of the vehicle at the highest practicable point visible from a distance of 500 feet. This flashing red lamp shall be used only when such vehicle is standing on or near the traveled portion of a highway preparatory to towing or servicing the disabled vehicle.
347.26(7) (7)Warning lamps on certain highway vehicles. Any vehicle of the department or a county or municipal highway department which by reason of its use upon a highway creates a vehicular traffic hazard requiring the exercise of unusual care in approaching, overtaking or passing may be equipped with a flashing red or amber lamp of the dome-light type or with 2 flashing red or amber lamps, one showing to the front and one showing to the rear. Such lamp or lamps shall be mounted approximately midway between the extremities of the width of the vehicle and at the highest practicable point and shall be used only for the purpose of warning operators of other vehicles of the presence of the traffic hazard.
347.26(8) (8)Warning lamps for mail delivery vehicles. Any vehicle used for mail delivery may be equipped with a flashing amber lamp or strobe light mounted at the highest practicable point and showing to the front and rear that may be used only to warn other motorists of the presence of a vehicular traffic hazard requiring the exercise of unusual care in approaching, overtaking or passing when the vehicle is being used to deliver mail.
347.26(9) (9)Warning lamps on public utility and cooperative vehicles. Any vehicle of a public utility as defined in s. 196.01 (5), of a telecommunications carrier, as defined in s. 196.01 (8m), or of a cooperative association organized under ch. 185 for the purpose of producing or furnishing heat, light, power or water to its members, which by reason of its use upon a highway creates a vehicular traffic hazard requiring the exercise of unusual care in approaching, overtaking or passing may be equipped with a flashing amber lamp of the dome type or with 2 flashing amber lamps, one showing to the front and one showing to the rear. Such lamps shall be mounted approximately midway between the extremities of the width of the vehicle and at the highest practicable point and shall be used only for the purpose of warning operators of other vehicles of the presence of the traffic hazard. Should such vehicle be of a type so as to make impractical the mounting of such lamps midway between the extremities of the width of the vehicle then such mountings shall be made at or near the upper left front and rear corners of such vehicle.
347.26(10) (10)Flashing amber light on oversize vehicle. Any vehicle moving on the highway pursuant to an oversize permit issued under s. 348.25, 348.26 or 348.27 may be equipped with a flashing amber dome light upon the cab of such vehicle or with double faced flashing amber light mounted along the sides of such vehicle mounted and used when the movement is oversize.
347.26(11) (11)Flashing warning lamps.
347.26(11)(a)(a) Any vehicle may be equipped with lamps which may be used for the purpose of warning the operators of other vehicles of the presence of a vehicular traffic hazard requiring the exercise of unusual care in approaching, overtaking or passing, and when so equipped may display such warning in addition to any other warning signals required by this section. The lamps used to display such warning to the front shall be mounted at the same level and as widely spaced laterally as practicable, and shall display simultaneously flashing white or amber lights, or any shade of color between white and amber. The lamps used to display such warning to the rear shall be mounted at the same level and as widely spaced laterally as practicable, and shall show simultaneously flashing amber or red lights, or any shade of color between amber and red. These warning lights shall be visible from a distance of not less than 500 feet under normal atmospheric conditions at night. Directional signals meeting the requirements of this chapter shall be used or lamps meeting these requirements, mounted so as to comply with turn signal installation.
347.26(11)(am) (am) In addition to any other lamps authorized under this subsection, a motor truck having a gross vehicle weight rating of more than 26,000 pounds may be equipped with a 360-degree flashing or rotating amber light mounted at the highest practicable point. The flashing or rotating amber lamp may be lighted only when the motor truck is upon a highway having a maximum speed limit of more than 35 miles per hour and the motor truck is traveling 10 or more miles per hour below the maximum speed limit, is stopped, or is backing on such highway. The flashing or rotating amber lamp may not be lit at other times.
347.26(11)(b) (b) Whenever any vehicle other than an automobile, which is equipped as permitted in par. (a), is stopped for more than 10 minutes on the traveled portion of any highway, or shoulder thereof, during hours of darkness, the driver of such vehicle shall display warning signals as required by s. 347.29.
347.26 Cross-reference Cross-reference: See also ss. Trans 305.075, 305.08, 305.10, and 305.11, Wis. adm. code.
347.27 347.27 When lighted lamps required on parked vehicles.
347.27(1)(1) No person shall park or leave a vehicle standing, whether attended or unattended, upon a roadway or the shoulder immediately adjacent thereto during hours of darkness unless:
347.27(1)(a) (a) Such vehicle is parked or standing where there is sufficient artificial light to render it visible from a distance of 500 feet or is lawfully parked within the corporate limits of a city or village and in either case is equipped with at least one red reflector mounted on the rear thereof as near as practicable to the side of the vehicle which is closest to passing traffic and otherwise meeting the mounting and visibility requirements specified in ss. 347.18 and 347.19; or
347.27(1)(b) (b) Such vehicle displays one or more lighted lamps meeting the following requirements:
347.27(1)(b)1. 1. At least one lamp shall display a white or amber light visible from a distance of 500 feet to the front of the vehicle, and the same lamp or at least one other lamp shall display a red light visible from a distance of 500 feet to the rear of the vehicle.
347.27(1)(b)2. 2. The location of such lamp or lamps shall always be such that at least one lamp or combination of lamps meeting the requirements of this section is installed as near as practicable to the side of the vehicle which is closest to passing traffic.
347.27(1)(b)3. 3. If the vehicle is equipped with 2 parking lamps and 2 tail lamps, both parking lamps and both tail lamps shall be lighted.
347.27(2) (2) Any lighted headlamps on a vehicle parked on a highway shall be depressed or dimmed.
347.27(3) (3) In this section, "vehicle" includes farm tractors and self-propelled farm implements, implements of husbandry, animal-drawn vehicles, lightweight utility vehicles as defined in s. 346.94 (21) (a) 2., and road machinery.
347.27 History History: 2009 a. 157.
347.28 347.28 Certain vehicles to carry flares or other warning devices.
347.28(1)(1) No person shall operate a motor truck or motor bus more than 80 inches in width or a truck tractor or road tractor on any highway outside the corporate limits of a city or village during hours of darkness unless such vehicle carries in a place readily accessible to the driver the following warning devices:
347.28(1)(a) (a) At least 3 pot torches or 3 red electric lanterns or 3 red emergency reflectors, each of which shall be capable of being seen and distinguished at a distance of at least 600 feet under normal atmospheric conditions during hours of darkness. If pot torches are carried in lieu of red electric lanterns, at least 3 red-burning fusees shall be carried in addition to such pot torches; and
347.28(1)(b) (b) At least 2 red-cloth flags, not less than 12 inches square, with standards to support such flags.
347.28(2) (2) No person shall operate upon a highway outside the corporate limits of a city or village during hours of darkness any motor vehicle used for the transportation of explosives or any cargo tank truck used for the transportation of flammable liquids or compressed gases unless there is carried in such vehicle 3 red electric lanterns or 3 red emergency reflectors meeting the requirements of sub. (1). No pot torch or fusee or signal produced by flame shall be carried in any such vehicle. Such red emergency reflectors shall comply with the specifications for such reflectors as set forth in interstate commerce commission motor carrier safety regulations.
347.29 347.29 Display of warning devices for certain vehicles when standing on highway.
347.29(1) (1) Except as provided in s. 347.26 (11) (b), whenever any motor truck, motor bus, trailer or semitrailer more than 80 inches in width or truck tractor or road tractor is left standing, whether attended or unattended, during hours of darkness upon the traveled portion of any highway or the shoulder adjacent thereto outside the corporate limits of a city or village, the operator of such vehicle shall display the following warning devices upon the highway during the entire time the vehicle is so left standing and such devices shall be placed in the following order:
347.29(1)(a) (a) A lighted fusee or lighted red electric lantern or a red emergency reflector shall immediately be placed at the traffic side of the vehicle in the direction of the nearest approaching traffic. If a lighted fusee was so placed, the driver shall replace such fusee with a lighted pot torch or lighted red electric lantern or a red emergency reflector after the driver has placed the warning devices specified in pars. (b) and (c) and before the fusee burns out.
347.29(1)(b) (b) A lighted pot torch or lighted red electric lantern or a red emergency reflector shall be placed approximately 100 feet from the standing vehicle in the center of the lane occupied by such vehicle and toward traffic approaching in that lane.
347.29(1)(c) (c) One lighted pot torch or lighted red electric lantern or a red emergency reflector shall be placed approximately 100 feet from the standing vehicle in the center of the lane occupied by such vehicle and in the opposite direction from the warning device placed in accordance with par. (b).
347.29(2) (2) Whenever any vehicle referred to in this section is left standing, whether attended or unattended, within 500 feet of a curve, hillcrest or other obstruction to view, the warning signal in that direction shall be so placed as to afford ample warning to other users of the highway, but in no case less than 100 feet nor more than 500 feet from the standing vehicle.
347.29(3) (3) Whenever any vehicle of a type referred to in this section is left standing, whether attended or unattended, upon any roadway of a divided highway during hours of darkness, the appropriate warning devices prescribed in subs. (1) and (4) shall be placed as follows:
347.29(3)(a) (a) One shall be placed at a distance of approximately 200 feet from the vehicle in the center of the lane occupied by the standing vehicle and in the direction of traffic approaching in that lane;
347.29(3)(b) (b) One shall be placed at a distance of approximately 100 feet from the vehicle in the center of the lane occupied by the vehicle and in the direction of traffic approaching in that lane;
347.29(3)(c) (c) One shall be placed at the traffic side of the vehicle and approximately 10 feet from the vehicle in the direction of the nearest approaching traffic.
347.29(4) (4) No operator of a motor vehicle used in the transportation of explosives, or of a cargo tank truck used for the transportation of any flammable liquid or compressed flammable gas shall use any flame-producing emergency signal for protecting any such vehicle. In lieu thereof, red electric lanterns or red emergency reflectors shall be used, the placement of which shall be in the same order and manner as prescribed in subs. (1) to (3).
347.29(5) (5) Whenever any vehicle of a type referred to in this section is left standing at any place mentioned in this section at times other than during hours of darkness, the operator of the vehicle shall display 2 red flags upon the roadway in the lane of traffic occupied by the standing vehicle, one at a distance of approximately 100 feet in advance of the vehicle and one at a distance of approximately 100 feet to the rear of the vehicle.
347.29(6) (6) The flares, fusees, red electric lanterns, red emergency reflectors and flags to be displayed as required in this section shall conform with the requirements of s. 347.28.
347.29(7) (7) This section does not apply to vehicles standing on a highway in compliance with traffic regulations or the directions of a traffic officer or official traffic sign or signal.
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2011-12 Wisconsin Statutes updated though 2013 Wis. Act 380 and all Supreme Court Orders entered before June 30, 2014. Published and certified under s. 35.18. Changes effective after July 1, 2014 are designated by NOTES. (Published 7-1-14)