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Why Are Police Lights Red and Blue?

October 11, 2022

Why Are Police Lights Red and Blue?

We naturally associate red and blue lights with police vehicles. While we are so used to seeing red and blue used for police lights have we ever wondered why is it so? Nevertheless, in this blog post, we will be addressing this simple yet prominent question. Read on to know more.

The reason why police lights are red and blue

Humans tend to associate colours with certain things. Colour theory is a scientific field and police cars are somewhat reliant on this theory. The red colour often represents a warning. Additionally, it also symbolizes alertness, danger or caution. The natural response of humans to red colour is to stop and look around. This is what the police cars want us to follow, to slow down, be alert and cautious of the surroundings or simply stop, without causing any roadblocks. The red colour helps law enforcement personnel to warn civilians to be careful or steer clear during a pursuit or emergency transit. 

Now that we have learned the significance of red in police lights, it is time to address the role of blue lights. No matter how alerting the red light might be, it is not an exclusive colour used on the roads. You can see red used in traffic lights, brake lights and probably every sign that says "stop", "alert" or "warning". This is where blue lights stand out. No sign uses blue lights apart from emergency vehicles like police cars, ambulances or fire trucks.

Combined with red, these blue lights help achieve better visibility during the day and night. The red light provides better visibility during the day and the blue light during the night. These lights combined with the flash effect create a unique light output and help create the necessary awareness.

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