Cyprus Mail
Opinion

Baffling use of police emergency lights

I am a retired police sergeant from Ireland, and I spend a lot of my time here in Cyprus. I am currently living in Oroklini but I previously lived in Dherynia in 2014 while I was serving here with the United Nations.

I have noticed that police cars and ambulances always keep their blue lights flashing and I was told, that this is to signify that they are available for duty. If that’s true, it doesn’t make a lot of sense to me.

I have travelled extensively, and I haven’t seen this in any other country and in my opinion, it’s not achieving anything apart from creating business for the company responsible for supplying bulbs to the police force.

It is assumed in most jurisdictions, that if a police car is on the street, then it is available to deal with an incident. If for some reason, it happens to arrive at an incident and the personnel are not available to deal with that incident, then they simply call on another unit to respond.

The main problem with keeping the lights on at all times is that it creates complacency among the general population and they eventually don’t take any notice of the blue lights which kind of defeats their purpose.

The idea behind the blue lights and siren is that they can be used in an emergency situation to advise other road users that they need to make way for the emergency services to allow them to get to the call as quickly and as safely as possible.

With modern cars being so well insulated these days, it is more likely that the flashing blue lights will attract the attention of another motorist before the siren will. Especially at night, but if these lights are going to be used constantly, then they lose their impact.

It just makes no sense to me and I’m curious to know if there is a specific reason for it or at this stage, is it something that has just become a habit?

Trevor Laffan, Oroklini.


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