As of April 1, 2021, the Flashing Green Light Regulation is in force in Québec. The Regulation allows firefighters who use their personal vehicles to install a courtesy light to make them more visible on the road in emergency situations. It follows the pilot project conducted by the Ministère de la Sécurité publique from 2015 to 2020.
When called by a fire safety service, firefighters authorized to use a flashing green light may activate it when going to the fire station or the location of an intervention using their personal vehicle. The flashing green light helps other road users identify firefighters and encourages them to behave with courtesy. In addition, when it is safe to do so and when the situation so requires, firefighters who have activated this light are authorized to drive on the shoulder and stop their vehicle in any location as long as it does not compromise the safety of other road users.
Personal vehicles equipped with a flashing green light are not considered emergency vehicles. At all times, firefighters must comply with the provisions of the Code, such as speed limits and traffic signs and signals. Otherwise, they will be subject to the applicable penalties.
Firefighters must have their certificate with them every time they activate the flashing green light. Certificates are associated with an individual. As such, a flashing green light may be activated in a vehicle that is not registered in the firefighter’s name. However, a firefighter must remain employed with the fire safety service to keep the certificate.
Firefighters who use a flashing green light outside of an emergency situation are liable to a fine of $200 to $300.
Firefighters may be authorized by the SAAQ to use a flashing green light only if they meet all the criteria set out in the Regulation.
If all eligibility criteria are met, the firefighter may file an application with the SAAQ to obtain a certificate of authorization.
After one year, the certificate can be renewed on the firefighter’s next birthday. Afterwards, applications for renewal should be made every 2 years. The SAAQ will send out a renewal notice.
While it is processing your application, the SAAQ could ask you for a copy of the recommendation letter and the municipality’s resolution. Make sure to have these documents on hand before submitting your form to the SAAQ.
If the firefighter no longer works for the fire safety service or if the municipality no longer authorizes the use of a flashing green light, the firefighter must notify the SAAQ to have his or her certificate cancelled.
The SAAQ can also replace your certificate if it has been lost, stolen or damaged.
For more information and to learn about the technical standards applicable to the purchase and installation of a flashing green light, see the frequently asked questions.
The flashing green light is a courtesy light. Firefighters who receive an emergency call from a fire safety service may activate a flashing green light when travelling to the fire station or to the location of the intervention. The flashing green light helps other road users identify firefighters travelling to an emergency situation and encourages them to behave with courtesy. In addition, when it is safe to do so and when the situation so requires, firefighters who have activated this light are authorized to drive on the shoulder and stop their vehicle in any location as long as it does not compromise the safety of other road users. Firefighters must act in a way that does not endanger the lives or safety of others.
The flashing green light does not exempt firefighters from the provisions of the Highway Safety Code. They must obey all the rules, including speed limits and traffic signs and signals.
Municipal authorities are not required to provide flashing green lights to firefighters; they decide this matter.
Once the municipality has adopted a resolution authorizing the use of flashing green lights by the firefighters of its fire safety service, each firefighter’s application must be analyzed individually. For this purpose, a manager could be assigned by the council to carry out the various verifications and sign the recommendation letters.
No. The format and contents of resolutions are the responsibility of each municipal council and its clerk.
The Québec regulation does make any provisions regarding the cost of training or the cost to purchase a flashing green light. The expenses related to the flashing green light may be covered in part or in whole by the municipal authority or the firefighter.
No. The municipal authority must inform the SAAQ, which will then cancel the firefighter’s authorization.
In the case of a first application, the certificate of authorization is valid for one year, plus the number of days until the firefighter’s next birthday.
For example, the certificate of a firefighter who obtained an authorization on December 1, 2021 and whose birthday is March 7 will be valid until March 7, 2023.
Subsequent authorizations will be issued every two years on the firefighter’s birthday, as long as the eligibility criteria are still met.
For each renewal, the form Demande d’autorisation pour l’utilisation d’un feu vert clignotant (available in French only) must be filled out.
Yes, all firefighters may be authorized to use a flashing green light as long as they meet all the conditions listed below:
Firefighters who do not obey the Highway Safety Code are subject to the same penalties applicable to other drivers.
Québec laws and regulations apply throughout the province. A firefighter who meets the criteria set out in the Regulation, who is authorized by the SAAQ and complies with the applicable conditions may use a flashing green light everywhere in Québec when responding to an emergency call from a fire safety service. A municipality may deny the use of the flashing green light to its firefighters, but it cannot prohibit its use by other authorized firefighters on its territory.
The Highway Safety Code applies and the firefighter faces a fine (section 283.2).
No, a vehicle equipped with a flashing green light is not considered an emergency vehicle. The flashing green light is a courtesy light, and a valid licence of the appropriate class is sufficient for firefighters to activate a flashing green light in their personal vehicles when going to a fire station or the location of an intervention in an emergency situation.
The flashing green light is meant to encourage courtesy. Thus, road users are not required to yield the right of way, but they can identify a firefighter when they see a vehicle equipped with a flashing green light behind them or at an intersection. This way, they can facilitate the firefighter’s travel.
The light should be removed from the vehicle. If it remains in the vehicle, it must not be activated or plugged into an electrical power source (the light’s power cord must not be plugged into the outlet).
No. To be authorized to use a flashing green light, firefighters must be employed by a fire safety service established by a municipal authority and respond to an emergency call from a fire safety service.
Pursuant to the applicable regulation, the SAAQ has been issuing certificates of authorization as of April 1, 2021.
The flashing green light must be installed:
It is important to choose the right place to install the flashing green light and attach it securely.
No. The vehicle must be equipped with a single green flashing light installed on the inside of the windshield. A flashing green light may not be installed anywhere else inside or outside the vehicle (front grill).
The device must meet either one of the following conditions:
The device must have the following characteristics:
Yes, because the certificate of authorization issued by the SAAQ is associated with an individual, not a vehicle. However, firefighters must always have their certificate issued by the SAAQ with them when they respond to an emergency call while using a flashing green light.
There are no applicable conditions, because the certificate of authorization issued by the SAAQ is associated with an individual, not a vehicle. However, firefighters must always have their certificate of authorization with them when responding to an emergency call while using a flashing green light.
Firefighters are responsible for checking with their vehicle’s insurer to see the impact that using a flashing green light could have on their insurance.
The École nationale des pompiers du Québec (ENPQ) is responsible for developing and administering the training in partnership with Québec’s Ministère de la Sécurité publique, the SAAQ and the Ministère des Transports. Visit the ENPQ’s website to register.
Yes, the training is a prerequisite for obtaining the certificate of authorization issued by the SAAQ.
The training lasts approximately 3 hours.
The training is offered through distance learning on the website of the École nationale des pompiers du Québec. At the end of the training, the institution will issue an attestation to participants.
Last update: April 6, 2021