• NC lawmakers introduce bill to allow members of Congress to use blue lights like police

    By: Allison Latos

    Updated:

    NORTH CAROLINA - When you see those familiar blue lights in your rear view mirror, you immediately know it's a police officer. 

    But, if a new bill becomes law in North Carolina, it could one day be a member of Congress sporting the emergency lights. 

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    Right now, no one except law enforcement is allowed to have blue lights in their cars. It is considered a misdemeanor if you do. 

    Two North Carolina lawmakers want to change the law, but just for members of the U.S. House and Senate. 

    "There are frequently times when they're trying to meet deadlines," sponsoring Sen. Floyd McKissick, D-Durham, said Thursday.

    McKissick said Democratic Congressman G.K. Butterfield asked for the bill. McKissick lined up a Republican co-sponsor: Sen. Danny Britt, R-Robeson.

    The bill edits the current law to say that it is illegal for anyone to have a blue light in a vehicle except law enforcement and a "member of Congress with a special U.S. Representative or U.S. Senator registration plate."

    The bill goes on to specify that members of Congress could only use those lights for their "official duties." 

    Sponsors said this means when Congress members are trying to meet deadlines or so they can get out of situations where their life is at risk. 

    Channel 9 reached out to law enforcement attorney Scott MacLatchie, who said he felt the bill would be confusing for drivers. 

    "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."

    The bill was filed Wednesday. It is not being referred to the Senate Rules Committee. 

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