Three ambulances in Prescott-Russell’s fleet are now flashing blue and red lights instead of the red and white.
Michel Chrétien, the director of emergency services, says the plan is to change over all emergency vehicles to blue and red lights by the end of next year. That’s 20 vehicles total, 15 ambulances and five cars.
The changeover comes with a hefty price tag between $80,000 to $100,000. For the rest of 2018, the department will see if there’s any money available in the maintenance budget, otherwise it will allocate the appropriate funds next year.
As of July 1, the Highway Traffic Act allows ambulances and firetrucks to flash blue lights; police have been doing so since 2007.
Asked why to go ahead with the change if it isn’t mandatory, Chrétien says it’s all about safety. Studies have shown that blue lights are more visible, he adds
He doesn’t think the change will confuse fellow motorists either.
“There’s no emergency vehicle that owns a certain colour,” he said.
Regardless of what colours are flashing in your rear view mirror, you’re better to just pull over.