While you may not like seeing the red and blue lights of police vehicles in your rear-view mirror, it may interest you to know that the colors of these lights were not chosen randomly. In fact, the colors red and blue are very important for many reasons, which is why they are used on police vehicles and other emergency vehicles as well. If your curiosity is peaked and you want to know the reasons why police lights are red and blue, here are some facts you’re sure to find interesting.
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Day and Night Visibility
Since the tail lights on most of today’s vehicles are red, many early police vehicles found that their red lights could sometimes be overlooked by drivers at night. However, blue lights are found to be more visible at night than red lights. Thus, by having blue and red lights on their vehicles, police can be assured their vehicles will be visible 24/7.
If you are colorblind, chances are red is one of the colors you have the hardest time distinguishing. In fact, many people who are colorblind cannot see the color red much if any. However, few people who experience colorblindness have problems with the color blue. Knowing this, more and more police departments began to use both blue and red lights on their vehicles.
Easily Seen in Foggy Conditions
Since first responders such as police often respond to situations such as car accidents that occur in inclement weather, red and blue lights are used to ensure their emergency vehicles are easily seen by other motorists, especially in foggy conditions. In fact, red police lights have been found to have long wavelengths, meaning the light can be easily seen by most people’s eyes even in very thick fog.
Red Means Stop
Originally, early police cars were outfitted with red lights because motorists associated the color red with stopping, such as they do at stop signs. By keeping the red lights on their cars and then incorporating the blue lights, later on, you and other motorists know that seeing this combination of lights means you need to pull over as quickly as possible.
Since mere seconds can make all the difference when an emergency occurs, red and blue police lights let law enforcement officers get to a scene quickly, make their presence known, and keep others safe. Whether during the day or at night, this combination of colored lights is responsible for saving many lives each and every day.