DRAPER — There’s no mistaking the red-and-blue flashing lights of a police vehicle, whether in your rearview mirror or speeding to the scene of a crime. But one Utah law enforcement agency is moving on from that iconic look toward lights it says will be more visible and safer for its officers and the community.
The Draper City Police Department is moving to all blue lights on its police vehicles starting later this month, according to a department news release. It says Draper will be the state’s first police force to go all blue.
Draper police say aesthetics, department branding and safety were all factors in the decision.
“Several studies have been conducted over the years that show blue lights are more conspicuous than red,” the release says, “especially at night. Being more visible is a safety enhancement for our officers.”
The department anticipates a “learning curve” among the public as it rolls out the new lights, so it will be phasing in the lights over time. Five department vehicles will be equipped with the new lights this year, according to the release.
“Whether an emergency vehicle has all blue lights or red and blue lights,” the release says, “the legal obligation to pull over is the same.”
Draper Police Chief John Eining said Friday that officer safety is the driving force behind the move. “For me, being the chief of police, especially at night I want our officers to be seen just about as good as they can be seen.”
Eining said there “is some movement around the country to move to the all-blue lights.”
He said a secondary benefit will be the look of the vehicles that will set Draper police apart from other agencies. “I want a physical reminder to our officers, when they see the blue lights … that we treat our citizens differently than, maybe, other agencies; that we do it the very best that we possibly can.”
All-blue lighting is common on police vehicles in some other countries. Eining also said some police departments in other states, especially in the Southeast, are using all-blue lights.
Contributing: Stuart Johnson, KSL TV