Here's why lights but not sirens are used during emergency calls

Trooper Steve answers viewer questions

ORLANDO, Fla. – News 6 traffic safety expert Trooper Steve Montiero answers viewer questions about the rules of the road every week, helping Orlando-area residents become better drivers by being better educated.

Keith recently asked, "Why do I see some emergency vehicles traveling in communities with lights on, but no siren?"

Trooper Steve said it's something you see from both fire rescue and law enforcement responders, but for different reasons.

"Emergency lights and sirens work separately from each other, giving the operator the choice of which ones to activate," Trooper Steve said. "When fire rescue is in a community during nighttime hours, you will tend to see that they will only have their emergency lights on. They usually aren't in contact with heavy traffic and will shut their sirens off to not disturb the community or draw unneeded attention to their situation."

Trooper Steve said law enforcement officers do it for the same reason and the type of call to which they are responding.

"Think about it: The goal of law enforcement is to stop a bad guy, right?" Trooper Steve said. "So, sometimes when responding to a house or business alarm they will deactivate their siren as to not warn the bad guy of their arrival." 

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