It’s The Law: Move Over For Emergency Vehicles

VIDEO: Following last week’s multi-vehicle accident involving an Emergency Vehicle from MONOC/Hatzolah, TLS would like to remind motorists of the ‘Move Over Law’ in NJ, which carries hefty fines. The New Jersey law requires all motorists to yield to emergency vehicles sounding sirens or flashing red and/or blue emergency lights. Motorists must move over one lane, or, if not safe to move over, then slow down below the posted speed limit.

Such vehicles include police, fire and medical services vehicles, and also highway maintenance, tow trucks and official motorist aid vehicles.

Fines for violating this law run from $100 to $500 and will be determined by the municipal court in which the violator is charged. 

Also, upon seeing lights or hearing sirens, motorists are required to steer to the extreme right of the roadway and stop. You must then wait for the emergency vehicle to pass and then keep at least 300 feet behind an emergency vehicle responding to an emergency call.

The following is the NJ Statue of the Move Over Law:

Procedure for motorist approaching stationary authorized emergency vehicle, tow truck, highway maintenance or emergency service vehicle.

1. a. The operator of a motor vehicle approaching a stationary authorized emergency vehicle as defined in R.S.39:1-1 that is displaying a flashing, blinking or alternating red or blue light or, any configuration of lights containing one of these colors, shall approach the authorized emergency vehicle with due caution and shall, absent any other direction by a law enforcement officer, proceed as follows:

(1) Make a lane change into a lane not adjacent to the authorized emergency vehicle if possible in the existing safety and traffic conditions; or

(2) If a lane change pursuant to paragraph (1) of subsection a. of this section would be impossible, prohibited by law or unsafe, reduce the speed of the motor vehicle to a reasonable and proper speed for the existing road and traffic conditions, which speed shall be less than the posted speed limit, and be prepared to stop.

b. The operator of a motor vehicle approaching a stationary tow truck as defined in section 1 of P.L.1999, c.396 (C.39:3-84.6) that is displaying a flashing amber light or a stationary highway maintenance or emergency service vehicle that is operated by the State, an authority or a county or municipality and displaying flashing yellow, amber, or red lights shall approach the vehicle with due caution and shall, absent any other direction by a law enforcement officer, proceed as follows:

(1) Make a lane change into a lane not adjacent to the tow truck or highway maintenance or emergency service vehicle if possible in the existing safety and traffic conditions; or

(2) If a lane change under paragraph (1) of subsection b. of this section would be impossible, prohibited by law or unsafe, reduce the speed of the motor vehicle to a reasonable and proper speed for the existing road and traffic conditions, which speed shall be less than the posted speed limit, and be prepared to stop.

c. A violation of this section shall be punished by a fine of not less than $100 and not more than $500. TLS.

 

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26 COMMENTS

  1. what a bad article:
    1. There`s no requirement to move3 out of the way for blue lights.
    2. Thhe statutes are for stationary vehicles not moving vehicles.

    Please redo the article.

  2. what a bad article:
    1. There`s no requirement to move3 out of the way for blue lights.
    2. Thhe statutes are for stationary vehicles not moving vehicles.

    Please redo the article. thnx

  3. if you have to move away from stationary vehicles kal v”chomer move out of the way for a moving vehicle with flashing lights!!! any1 driving knows that you pull over to the side when there is a vehicle with flashing lights behind you. the problem is that people are too busy dreaming while driving!! thus all the accidents and police giving out citations!

  4. Actually it is a law to pull over and yield to blue lights go to the police department and ask they WILL write you a ticket for not doing so. But it is also the law for drivers with blue lights to follow and obey ALL traffic laws(no speeding, no running red lights ect.) you should actually shut your blue light off at a red light.

  5. In this case:
    1) The Hatzolah member was driving an Official Paramedic Vehice – 450

    2) The Hatzolah vehicle had a green light – the other driver ran a red light

  6. What is the source for: “Also, upon seeing lights or hearing sirens, motorists are required to steer to the extreme right of the roadway and stop”? The requirement as described above is to move aside and continue at a safe speed and to be prepared to stop if necessary.

  7. Now as to the response by the general public:

    New Jersey law requires all motorists to yield to emergency vehicles sounding sirens (see next paragraph) or flashing red and/or blue emergency lights. Steer to the extreme right of the roadway and stop. Wait for the emergency vehicle to pass. After, keep at least 300 feet behind an emergency vehicle responding to an emergency call. Failure to do so can cost you up to $500 and 2 points on your license.

    Police cars, fire trucks and ambulances have sirens and red and/or blue emergency lights. Private vehicles operated by volunteer fire and rescue squad members (with emergency vehicle identification) responding to an emergency call use blue lights only

  8. it is a courtesy to yield to the Volunteers (or Bluelighters) they are considered an emergency vehicle when responding to a call for service. Most Volunteers in NJ have blue lights but not sirens. So you may see them coming but not hear them..but regardless if they are going to a call you should give them the right of way..they have to obey all traffic laws and not go through red lights at intersections.

  9. This is the proper statute applicable to the Hatzoloh accident last week involving a moving emergency vehicle:

    39:4-92. Authorized emergency vehicles; clearance for; following or parking near
    Upon the immediate approach of an authorized emergency vehicle giving audible signal, and equipped, as required by section 39:4-91 of this Title, and unless otherwise directed by a police or traffic officer,

    (a) The driver of every vehicle shall immediately drive to a position as near as possible and parallel to the right-hand edge or curb of the highway, clear of an intersection of highways, and shall stop and remain in that position until the authorized emergency vehicle has passed and

    (b) The driver or person in control of a street car shall immediately stop the car clear of an intersection of highways and keep it stationary until the authorized emergency vehicle has passed.

    No driver of any vehicle other than one on official business shall follow any authorized emergency vehicle, traveling in response to an emergency call, closer than 300 feet, or drive nearer to, or park the vehicle within 200 feet of, where any fire apparatus has stopped in answer to a fire alarm.

    Amended by L.1951, c. 23, p. 85, s. 50; L.1962, c. 148, s. 1.

  10. While in NY blue or green lights are courtesy only, NJ does require motorists to yeild to volunteers using blue lights. See the posts above for the applicable NJ law.
    Also the law requires you to pull over to the right and come to a complete stop! There is nothing more dangerous for an Emergency Vehicle operator than some idiot racing along on his right (blind spot) when he is trying to get back in lane.

  11. 39:3-54.12. Rights of motor vehicle with light in operation

    Nothing contained herein is intended to grant to any member of a volunteer fire company or volunteer first aid or rescue squad any privileges or exemptions denied to the drivers of other
    vehicles, and such members displaying emergency warning lights shall drive with due regard for the safety of all persons and shall obey all the traffic laws of this State, provided, however, that the drivers of non-emergency vehicles upon any highway shall yield the right of way to the vehicle of any member of a volunteer fire company or a volunteer first aid or rescue squad displaying emergency warning lights

    (see http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/2004/bills/a3000/2998_i1.pdf for more full description…& yes, they are referring to Blue lights. See pg. 2 line 33-41)

  12. Its also imperative for emergency vehicles and volunteers to not drive wrecklessly and endager other motorists while they respond to a call. They might be saving a life but endangering many on the way to get there.

  13. Lets say you didn’t have to yield to someone with a blue light does that mean you shouldn’t ? We as volunteers are trying to save a life, have a little Courtesy and move over. Who knows, we could be on the way to your house.

  14. #16

    As a former volly i can tell you that geting into a accident on the way to a call is one of the worst fears of any and all volly agencies . when a long standing volly with a clean record for many many years gets into a accident its safe to say that it was a ACCIDENT and if all accidents were avoidable then we wont have any ..

    so please you all that are reading this post . please move over , don’t cut them off , don’t think you can make the turn , no matter if it is or is not the law for blue , red , green flashing lights with or with out a siren because you never now if your actions will cause precious seconds to be lost in a emergency situation .

  15. If you see someone driving recklessly, it would be a great idea to pull over, and let him pass. Even if he doesn’t have any flashing lights at all.

    You may actually save your own life in the process.

  16. #16 if it was only an acident which it most probably was.. there is no need to blame drivers for not pulling ovet etc… most do pull over and yield for emergency vehicles its up to the volly to drive safe when he’s rushing to a call. Since he is the one who will be driving through intersections etc..

  17. one of the most important parts is, when you move over STOP!!!…it does not mean move over and continue to drive parallel to the emergency vehicle at the same speed!!!!. move over and STOP

  18. #21
    I don’t know if you are part of any agency (paid or volley) but from experience I could tell you that in Lakewood people are oblivous to whats going on around them and many times do not pull over.

    I have been in an ambulance with lights and siren on going down New Hampshire Ave and the car in front of me wouldnt move over. It was dark outside so it is even more obvious when the lights are flashing, the driver finally stopped when we go to a red light (thank god), not because there was an ambulance with flashing lights and siren / air horn on.

  19. To #19:

    Emergency lighting is a privilege. As with most privileges it comes with much responsibility. I agree. We must all do our due diligence to drive as safely as possible.

    To #22:

    the goal of my statement (which was a verbatim quote from the state website) was simply to clarify the law. It is not (nor will it ever be) my place to place blame on anyone.

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