Port aux Basques hopes to im­ple­ment green flash­ing lights sys­tem

Cour­tesy lights may be­come stan­dard equip­ment for vol­un­teer fire­fight­ers

The Gulf News (Port aux Basques) - - Editorial - BY MAR­TINE BLUE

Driv­ers across the prov­ince may see a new kind of emer­gency light flash­ing in their rear view mir­ror.

Green flash­ing lights, also known as cour­tesy lights, are used by vol­un­teer fire­fight­ers re­spond­ing to ur­gent sit­u­a­tions in their pri­vate ve­hi­cles. The new sys­tem is de­signed to warn other driv­ers to pull over and make way. Sim­i­lar cour­tesy lights are used in Que­bec and Al­berta.

Cour­tesy lights moved one step closer to be­com­ing leg­is­la­tion when 92 per cent of mu­nic­i­pal lead­ers gath­ered at the Mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties N.L. con­ven­tion Oct. 3-6, voted to turn it into a res­o­lu­tion. Cur­rently the prov­ince’s traf­fic act pro­hibits any use of cour­tesy lights for vol­un­teer fire­fight­ers.

Pasadena Coun­cil­lor Derek An­thony, who in­tro­duced the mo­tion, noted that there is no of­fence as­so­ci­ated with ig­nor­ing this light, as mov­ing over is an act of cour­tesy and it doesn’t re­quire any changes to traf­fic leg­is­la­tion.

Port aux Basques Fire Chief Jerry Musseau said al­though his de­part­ment hasn’t dis­cussed it, they will most likely em­brace the new sys­tem.

He thinks it may ef­fec­tively speed up his mem­bers’ re­sponse time. “Hope­fully when res­i­dents see a green light, they know it’s an emer­gency re­spon­der try­ing to get to an emer­gency,” Musseau com­mented. “I think it will help them to re­spond a lit­tle bit faster, yes.”

Musseau notes that a provincewide pub­lic aware­ness cam­paign would have to be im­ple­mented to make divers aware they should pull over to the shoul­der of the road or high­way, just as they would for red flash­ing lights. “When 911 went into ser­vice we had to have a pub­lic ed­u­ca­tion blitz right across the prov­ince,” Musseau stated. “That will have to hap­pen if fire­fight­ers are ap­proved for get­ting green lights.”

The move to­ward cour­tesy lights is not new, ac­cord­ing to Musseau.

“It’s been pushed in the prov­ince for years,” he said. “I think it’s get­ting closer then it ever was.”

Burnt Is­lands Fire Chief Blaine Hod­der says his de­part­ment hasn’t dis­cussed it yet and is tak­ing a wait and see ap­proach.

“It’s all go­ing to come back to af­ford­abil­ity, what it’s go­ing to cost to get this stuff changed,” Hod­der said. “We need to wait to see what the leg­is­la­tion is go­ing to be, what the deal is go­ing to be, what we’re al­lowed to use it for.”

The res­o­lu­tion will now move up to the provin­cial de­part­ment of Trans­porta­tion and Work’s con­sid­er­a­tion for in­clu­sion into the High­way Traf­fic Act.


Port aux Basques Vol­un­teer Fire De­part­ment Fire Chief Jerry Musseau.

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