History of Police Lights and Sirens: The Terrifying Duo that Scares Away Criminals

We all have to deal with the long arm of the law some day, it's just a matter of time. Whether you're pulled over for speeding or an officer yells at you to wait on the side walk and let the president's car pass freely, there are two things usually noticed by each of us: the police lights and the adjacent siren.
Usually creating some sort of tension among the bystanders, this terrible duo is actually the easiest way to inform everyone that police officers are around and they will take care of everything. So just be a bit more cautious, not that you're a criminal or anything like that...

Of course, police lights and sirens may come in different forms and shapes in many countries around the world, sometimes because of the technology law enforcement agencies use or maybe because of the legislation.

For example, some countries use blue and red as the two main colors for the lights mounted on police cars, while others rely on blue to signal an emergency situation. In Asia on the other hand, the predominant color is red.

As for their shape, it depends on a number of factors.

While most of the countries have already adopted the well-known lightbars, there are some states around the world that still use the old-fashioned beacon, and you'll see on the next page why. Although it's pretty clear that a lightbar is a lot more effective that its traditional predecessor...

Now, it's pretty obvious that police lights and sirens are the two main things that help police officers set themselves apart from the crowd and thus let them to their job. Once upon a time, however, these two harmless “weapons” were a tad less effective, but only because the technology behind them was a lot different. So let's open the history book and see the way they improved as the time passed by.
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About the author: Bogdan Popa
Bogdan Popa profile photo

Bogdan keeps an eye on how technology is taking over the car world. His long-term goals are buying an 18-wheeler because he needs more space for his kid’s toys, and convincing Google and Apple that Android Auto and CarPlay deserve at least as much attention as their phones.
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