Draper Police the first in Utah to use all-blue emergency lights

Soon, when a Draper officer pulls someone over, the car won’t be flashing red and blue lights.

It’s all blue from here on out, police spokesman Sgt. Scott Adams said.

The department announced its transition from the standard red and blue to just blue on Thursday, saying officials decided on the new approach because monochromatic blue is more visible.

“Several studies have been conducted over the years that show blue lights are more conspicuous than red especially at night. Being more visible is a significant safety enhancement for our officers,” the announcement read.

A 2019 study by the Justice Technology Information Center, and funded by the U.S Department of Justice, notes that while blue lights are more visible at night, red is more easily seen during the day. It recommends police use both.

A 2010 National Institute of Justice guide to police roadside safety and visibility says that in studies, blue was the easier color for people to see — no matter time of day.

In its announcement, Draper police cited a 2012 Federal Signal Safety and Security Systems report that touts the benefits of blue lights.

Draper will receive its first blue-light-only police vehicle Friday: a Ford F-150.

Four other trucks with blue lights will follow this year, Adams said, then the department will begin equipping its remaining vehicles with all-blue lights.

Adams said there are already numerous departments nationwide that have made the switch, including Chicago police, and he believes Draper won’t be the last to do it in Utah.

“We anticipate there will be a learning curve for motorists as they become accustomed to all blue lights,” Draper police said. “Whether an emergency vehicle has all blue lights or red and blue lights, the legal obligation to pull over is the same.”

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