Adding Flashing Blue and Amber Lights to Municipal Equipment

Res #: 20-19M
Number: 20
Year: 2019
Midterm: Yes
Expired: No
Responses Received: Yes
Departments: Saskatchewan Ministry of Highways and Infrastructure

WHEREAS rural municipalities maintain municipal roads which requires operating graders, mowers, and other large equipment, and requires working at slow speeds and taking up much of the road;

WHEREAS current laws allow for road construction equipment to have flashing amber lights which require drivers to exercise caution when passing;

WHEREAS amber lights can be difficult to see at certain times of the day and on some equipment, and some drivers do not exercise caution when meeting road construction equipment and pass recklessly;

WHEREAS tow trucks in Saskatchewan have flashing blue and amber lights which require drivers to slow down to 60 km/hr when passing;

BE IT RESOLVED that SARM lobby the provincial government to amend the current laws to add flashing blue and amber lights to road construction equipment to make the roads safer.

Responses From: The Ministry of Highways and Infrastructure, Minister Responsible for SGI

January 6, 2020

Although the resolution was directed to MHI, vehicle lighting is regulated through The Traffic Safety Act, which is administered by SGI. By copy of this letter, I am informing my colleague, the Honourable Joe Hargrave, Minister responsible for SGI. I trust you will hear from Minister Hargrave in the near future.

Greg Ottenbreit – Minister of Highways and Infrastructure

June 19, 2023

Currently highway maintenance vehicles are allowed one or more amber flashing lights or beacons. SGI is not considering changes to legislation to allow blue lights on more vehicle types at this time. The concern is that allowing blue lights on many different types of vehicles will desensitize the public to the emergency vehicles using blue lights and snowplows actively removing snow, tow trucks and service vehicles who are assisting people in need at roadside.

It may be important to note that the requirement for traffic to slow to 60 km/h does not change with the use of blue lights in combination with amber, or if they are amber alone. The intent of blue lights is for greater visibility of vehicles that are required to be out on the highways either while actively plowing snow or rendering assistance to vehicles at roadside in adverse weather conditions with very limited visibility.

I commend the members of SARM for their continuing dedication to keeping our roads safe and thank you for submitting the resolutions for consideration.

The Honourable Don Morgan – Minister Responsible for SGI, Government of Saskatchewan