Colorado Emergency Vehicle Lighting Laws

Emergency vehicles must sometimes have the right of way in order to respond to potentially dangerous situations. In the state of Colorado, there are laws to ensure that emergency vehicles are visible, audible and distinguishable enough to ensure that they can fulfill their duties.

Standard Emergency Vehicles

Flashing, oscillating or rotating red-colored lights are mandatory for all emergency vehicles, excluding police vehicles.; however, nonpolice emergency vehicles may have combinations of red and blue, red and white or red, white and blue lights.

Volunteer Emergency Vehicles

Volunteer fire and ambulance vehicles do not require visible markings painted onto their chassis but do require, at a minimum, flashing, oscillating or rotating colored lights with at least one of the lights being red and sirens.

Command Post Vehicles

Green lights are used only on command vehicles at emergency or incident locations when a vehicle is designated as a moving command post to coordinate other emergency services.

Non-Emergency Service Vehicles

Non-emergency service vehicles, such as tow trucks, may have flashing, oscillating or rotating yellow lights.

Range of Visibility and Audibility

All emergency vehicles must be visible and audible due to their specific emergency equipment from a distance of no less than 500 feet.


Any violations of these laws are punishable by a Class B traffic infraction.

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