Lawmaker Pushes Law To Let Members Of Congress Drive With Flashing Blue Lights

North Carolina State Sen. Floyd McKissick said U.S. Rep. G.K. Butterfield asked him to introduce the legislation.

Raleigh, NC – A North Carolina lawmaker has proposed legislation that would allow the state’s members of Congress to drive with blue emergency lights flashing on top of their cars.

“There are frequently times when they're trying to meet deadlines," Democratic North Carolina State Senator Floyd McKissick explained, according to WRAL.

North Carolina State Senate Bill 618 includes only current members of the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate.

And, under the new law, those members of Congress could only run the blue lights on their officially-registered vehicles – with a designated license plate - and only "in the performance of the member's official duties."

Current North Carolina law prohibits anyone who is not law enforcement from having a blue light on the roof of their vehicle. Doing so is a misdemeanor, WRAL reported.

SB 618 was co-sponsored by Republican State Senator Danny Britt

McKissick said it was his understanding that members of Congress were allowed to drive with blue lights in other states, WRAL reported.

However, Blue Lives Matter was unable to identify any states that allowed representatives and senators to utilize emergency lights on their personal vehicles.

McKissick said the request for the privilege of driving with blue lights on his personal vehicle had come from 1st District U.S. Representative G.K. Butterfield (D-North Carolina), WRAL reported.

"So they could get out of situations where their life would be at risk," the bill’s sponsor explained.

But Retired Washington Metro Transit Police Captain William Malone said putting elected officials behind the wheel during a crisis could be very dangerous.

Capt. Malone said law enforcement officers take an Emergency Vehicle Operator Course (EVOC) that teaches them how to safely navigate a vehicle during an emergency.

“If it’s that urgent for a politician to get somewhere, why not put them in the closest police car for the ride to the airport? Or have a state trooper detailed as their driver,” he proposed. “That way we don’t have to worry about whether the decision to use the lights is purely an ego thing.”

Cpt. Malone pointed out that other vehicles have a reaction to the lights as well – whether it be to slow down or move over – seeing those lights in the rear view mirror conveys a message to the drivers of the vehicles they get behind.

Scott MacLatchie, a law enforcement attorney, told WRAL that it would be too confusing for other drivers on the roads.

"It likely may confuse motorists," MacLatchie said. "Obviously if they're driving in the fast lane with a blue light on I'm assuming vehicles will pull over and get out of the way and maybe that's the intent of it but legally, they'd have to be operating within the speed limit."

Former Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt suffered a bi-partisan mocking by members of Congress in April of 2018 after it was revealed he repeatedly asked his detail to use lights and sirens to move him through traffic in the nation’s capital.

The New York Times reported that the then-EPA boss wanted to “use flashing lights and sirens in his motorcade... to expedite local trips in Washington to the airport or to dinner, including at least one trip to Le Diplomate, a trendy French restaurant that he frequented.”

The use of lights and sirens to bypass traffic was only one of the 23 ethics violations Pruitt was facing when he resigned in June of 2018.

Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle were amused and confused when they were asked if they would want to be able to use lights and sirens on their own vehicles, the Huffington Post reported.

“I didn’t know they stopped traffic for members or senators,” U.S. Senator Richard Shelby (R-Alabama) said. “I thought they stopped traffic for the President, foreign leaders and the Vice President.”

U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) laughed out loud when the question was posed, according to the Huffington Post.

Schatz said his driver used lights “based on the security circumstances, not your dinner schedule.”

“The only time they used blue lights was in case of emergency or real safety concerns,” he continued. “You never used it for convenience. It was not at your discretion as the protectee; it was the head of the detail that made a determination.”

Comments (56)
No. 1-50
jimmer1
jimmer1

They do realize that emergency vehicles don’t use flashing lights to ‘meet deadlines’ right?

Code911
Code911

These privileged "do nothings" have enough people working for them that they should be able to leave whatever it is they aren't doing to make the next session of "do nothing." The blue lights on police vehicles and other public safety vehicles are to enable the police to protect our citizens and our property. These lackluster politicians have ABSOLUTELY NO NEED NOR COMMON SENSE REASON that requires them to operate under emergency conditions unless we are being confronted with nuclear annihilation. Even then they would be operating emergency lights to get to a secure and safe bomb proof location to save their own worthless hides. The rest of the general public will be reduced to radioactive dust without a second thought from these pampered bureaucrats.

Rascal1966
Rascal1966

Give me a break!! You already have enough entitlements!! You don't need a flashing blue light on top of your private vehicle so you can now command the roads and highways! You already have way too much power as it is!! How about doing the job the tax payers are paying you for instead!! You sorry entitled piece of s--t!!

LPD133
LPD133

"Trying to meet deadlines..." How about leaving on time? Name another state..... These guys are morons. They are already think they are above the law and now they want to impersonate the law.

JES12
JES12

I'm absolutely against this it's not meant to meet deadlines, their not trained to drive in that manner and most don't have enough common sense to get in out of the rain much less drive a two ton vehicle at high speed.

Trueferblue
Trueferblue

Why? So you can lay your sorry ass in bed until you're running late? Or keep your dick in a place it shouldn't be for one or two more minutes?! FUCK YOU! If I can get a ticket for blowing my horn and it's not an emergency (unauthorized use of emergency equipment), then you don't get a pass for being too lazy or horny!

Trueferblue
Trueferblue

Start riding a mule to work with out getting paid for what you AREN'T doing and put a mouse bar on the mules head!

Tampicodan
Tampicodan

Absolutely not. If they cannot run a simple schedule of how to get somewhere on time, they probably shouldn't be in the position they hold. Both houses of Congress were supposed to represent the people, not become some sort of royalty, detatched from every day issues, with privileges above the common man.

walkintall
walkintall

I have a pal who delivers for FedEx. How lights and siren about him? He has deadlines too.

Jeff1245
Jeff1245

I have been all over this country and have never seen these on anything else other than a police car....They should try to be on time every day even if they are doing nothing except trying to make their own set of laws for themselves?

M4Defense
M4Defense

I see no legitimate purpose for anyone, who is not involved in a life or death situation, to display a blue or a red light on their vehicle.

DebraDT
DebraDT

America’s biggest mistake was creating a political class and then not setting term limits. These people become corrupt and are all about lining their pockets and power. Move over Venezuela here comes America

THEDUKE
THEDUKE

“There are frequently times when they're trying to meet deadlines," Democratic North Carolina State Senator Floyd McKissick explained, "

Well, Floyd now don't we all? No ,sorry not approved...Most of you already act like you are a class above other citizens . Just follow the traffic laws just like anyone else and BTW actually accomplish something while you are working for congress. That's what you are paid the big bucks to do. If that means having good time management so that you are not taking chances in traffic, then act as an educated adult and leave adequate time for your next appointment. ..........or maybe it doesn't really have anything to do with deadlines now does it "Flawed"?

gl1500rider
gl1500rider

Lawmakers are idiots. Yet 535 of them seem to get elected every few years

Jones24
Jones24

nope. Makes no sense.

wmc50
wmc50

As a North Carolinian and retired LEO, I am embarrassed that this Democrat idiot would dare to try to introduce a bill like this. The fact that a Republican lawmaker joined in to cosponsor the bill is just disgusting.

cspcapt
cspcapt

hey they need the lights to make their golf times

Wish505
Wish505

This is just plain stupid. There is no need for this. This guy has an ego/attention issue, what makes him think he is that important.

Woodbadgeowl
Woodbadgeowl

Flashing blue lights - EMERGENCY. How much dumber can congress be?

Baxter12
Baxter12

Oh hell NO they already use and abuse their rights already this is absolutely absurd!!!!! Most of thes “elected” officials don’t even do what their elected to do while in office so why in the world do they need flashing blue lights to kill someone, some have DUIs already, drug problems, domestic cases pending this is the most ridiculous thing I’ve heard all my life get back to what they where ELECTED to do and STOP this petty ass shit!!!! They already have enough privileges that “we” as tax payers are paying for while they sit on their damn asses and can’t make a decent decisions!!!!! Hell no most of them don’t deserve to even be in office!!!!!!

trainbuff
trainbuff

I don't even have to read this article fully to know this is an inherently bad idea from the start.

These people should budget their time better just like everyone else.

They don't need more power, we've already given them too much.

JohDia
JohDia

They are morons! Then they can respond to the same requests that LEO’s do. Blue lights represent law enforcement, red lights fire department, and yellow lights construction/road maintenance. Go ahead douche bags let’s see you do what police do. I’m sorry but your effing meetings ARE NOT AN EMERGENCY!!!!!

Gramercy
Gramercy

Have to agree with BAXTER12....NO WAY! They already abuse the powers they have and many do nothing to even partake the position! No lights for them. NO more "extras" in their bags of goodies!

magnumforc
magnumforc

They just miss the K-Mart blue light specials.

IMO
IMO

Since when do these idiots care about deadlines?

MajScallywag
MajScallywag

A police wannabe? Or just wants to turn on the lights and blast through traffic?

CrybabyDemoLibTard
CrybabyDemoLibTard

Let em have their silly little blue lights. First intersection they get hit in will show them just how dangerous running hot really is. Lawsuit city! Of course, they’ll probably write the law to include they’ll have qualified immunity.

HonestC
HonestC

NO!!

Let me repeat that . . . NO!!

They do NOT have the training and experience that only those who do it for a living have. They would be a DANGER to anyone around them.

DR226
DR226

Miss deadlines, leave f___ing earlier to these appointments. Duh

ACSO-Charles-One
ACSO-Charles-One

This is exactly the kind of thing you would expect from a member of Congress or any State legislature for that matter. We are super special people and all you common people who make up the unwashed need to get the frick out of our way. You people make me sick!

AnnykaV
AnnykaV

Oh, hell no. Despite it just being absurd on the face, but we want to give 70+ year old drivers the ability to use blue lights in traffic? Just no. No. This is embarrassing for NC

DavidPeoria
DavidPeoria

Civil liability would be huge. Officer investigating auto accident....."Why were you running code 3 sir? I was late for my kids little league game".

Jim Landon
Jim Landon

This is a bunch of bull-manure. This happened in the country of South Africa, where every two-bit politician and bureaucrat had blue flashing lights on their vehicles. Then.... to make matters worse, the same politicos and bureaucrats hired private armed security to ENFORCE the lights. Many private citizens had their cars run off the road and/or were physically assaulted. There are already a plethora of privileges that Congress has, that we "ordinary people" do not. There's absolutely NO NEED for them to award themselves yet another 'Perc'.

61mouse
61mouse

Pink lights is much better color for them

Disillusioned61
Disillusioned61

smh...... geez. They just won’t stop trying to make sure everyone knows how much better they are than us little people.

Dc3
Dc3

Mixed feelings. In my state (AL) all legislators are immune to arrest when they're enroute to or from legislative sessions. But fear not - they NEVER take advantage!

DRTice
DRTice

Screw that idea. Just because they were elected it doesn't make them special.

spd522
spd522

What do you expect from Kmart politicians.

TwinWrangler
TwinWrangler

I’m embarrassed to say this ridiculous incident is coming out of our great State. I will be calling into their office to let them them know just how ridiculous and embarrassing they are.

Njaz
Njaz

What if, instead of writing a bill to have globes on their cars- they do what they were elected to do. This is nonsense.

NYPDhwyFuzz
NYPDhwyFuzz

Someone needs to tell them that they are part of the legislative branch, not the executive branch. If they have limited time and are on a deadline, opposed to buying lights, get a Timex. Idiots.

RPG156
RPG156

Politicians aren't above the law.... or maybe they are....

alicefae
alicefae

BS. That’s nonsense. Leave earlier.

checksix
checksix

Being elected to office doesn't make you, "Special".

JMK2244
JMK2244

This is absolutely ridiculous!

Nighthawk644
Nighthawk644

this is a REALLY bad idea....politicians make enough mistakes already without adding to the mix...

Chief Deputy
Chief Deputy

Dont do it. They would abuse it if approved.they aren't above the law. If they cause an accident using them, the State will be sued more times than you think.

Daughter
Daughter

THATS JUST RIDICULOUS!!!!!

IseeWhereThisIsGoing
IseeWhereThisIsGoing

As a current resident of NC (one who is not from NC, and one who is embarrassed that this was even suggested), this law will likely (hopefully) die in committee. It's a low priority, and quite honestly, is pretty stupid.

There is 0 reason for any elected official to have any emergency lights. Nothing they do is time critical (where minutes actually matter). Training and liability aside, it might seem like a good idea to a small minority, but in reality, it solves a problem that doesn't really exist.

vwiles34
vwiles34

Someone who is actually in a position to make huge decisions that can affect millions of peoples lives actually made such a suggestion? I guess next you'd have doctors, nurses, judges, airline pilots. Anyone who has a job where they might get called in in an emergency or who if late for work would affect a lot of people. I say if this guy wants to run blue lights he should become a police officer.