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Lakewood Emergency responder: If you see my lights, it means pull over

Dear TLS, I want to bring to the attention of the community a seemingly-common-sense but urgent matter.

More than once, I’ve been responding to an emergency in town both with my personal vehicle as well as with an ambulance, and have had driver’s completely disregard my lights and blaring sirens.

I understand traffic can be an issue sometimes, but sometimes it appears the drivers are just too distracted or just don’t care to pull over, and continue chugging along in the left lane as if they have no clue.

To the drivers: We could be rushing to save one of YOUR family members.

Please pay attention and move over promptly.

Thank you.

A longtime first responder in Lakewood.

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There are 15 Comments to "Lakewood Emergency responder: If you see my lights, it means pull over"

  • Dave says:

    Actaully blue lights DO NOT mean pull over, they are Just courtesy lights.
    Yes, I am a first responder as well.

  • Moshe says:

    Well said, just to add thats not in the article is that you should MOVE OVER TO THE RIGHT- not to left

  • H Korkiner says:

    This happen the other day I pulled over to let the responder go by and the car behind be went around me and just did not care that there a flashing lights and sirens going and kept on going. Were is the respect ……….

  • Yanke says:

    Wow finally!!! I’ve seen this so many times hatzalah or emt are rushing to possibly save a life and people just don’t pull over I just don’t get it if you see lights or hear Sirens pull over instantly !!

  • Anon says:

    Dave you’re right. It’s not the law to move for certain vehicles but they are going to help someone in need and you should rush to the side of the road! There are many times I see fire trucks with lights flashing and sirens going – and that is the law – and cars don’t move!!

  • Know your Facts says:

    FYI Please know your facts before you post such ignorance. I will directly quote this off the the State of NJ website
    “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 in the same manner as is provided for authorized emergency vehicles pursuant to R.S. 39:4-92.

  • Bob Kaufman says:

    Dave you’re right. It’s not the law to move for certain vehicles but they are going to help someone in need and you should rush to the side of the road! There are many times I see fire trucks with lights flashing and sirens going – and that is the law – and cars don’t move!!

  • Moshe says:

    Dave, what a shame! Finally someone is speaking out to help the first responders (& most times there volunteers taking their personal time to help you/ family/neighbor) and that’s what you say to knock it. Yes it is only a courtesy lights, but people should learn to have the courtesy to move over to the right)

  • Jbw says:

    To Dave and others who may be unaware,

    NJ Title 39:3-54.12 gives the right of way to emergency volunteer responders using blue lights in their private vehicles. Non emergency vehicles MUST yield to the first responder the same as for official department vehicles. Look it up for yourself instead of debating it here. Unlike other states, in New Jersey it is not a courtesy rather an actual law requiring non emergency vehicles to yield the right of way.

    Be that as it may, as Anon pointed out, not to mention it’s common sense and basic human decency, you should yield for no other reason than the concern and care for the well being of another human being who might be in a life threatening situation. That could be you or your loved ones.

  • Shmigeggy says:

    Uh Dave, wrong state. In Jersey,there are no such thing as courtesy lights.

  • Anon says:

    Always wondered- what is the law regarding an emergency vehicle coming from the opposite way? Am I required to pull over as well if he has room to get through in his lane?

    • Jbw says:

      Yes. You should pull over. You don’t know where they need to go, perhaps make a turn, avoid a vehicle coming from a side street at the last minute or not paying attention (that actually happens), etc.
      Another point, some people feel that if oncoming traffic is clear then the emergency vehicle coming from behind will just go around them and they don’t need to pull over. This is incorrect and unsafe. We don’t want to go into oncoming traffic unnecessarily, that always poses a greater risk.
      Both directions of traffic pulling over makes it that much more safe for all vehicles on the road.

  • Shmigeggy says:

    The law is very specific. As soon as you see warning lights or hear a siren, you are required to pull over as far to the right as possible and come to a complete stop. Makes no difference where the emergency vehicle is. Obey the law and don’t make cheshbonos if they have enough room.
    On another note, many vehicles pull over to the right and continue driving- making it impossible for the emergency vehicle to get back in lane. Especially since most emergency vehicles have large blind spots.
    As an emergency responder, I cannot tell you how incredibly dangerous it is when you are trying to get back in lane with oncoming vehicles coming right at you and some moron racing along in your blind spot.

  • Moshe says:

    Maybe we get the chief of police to give a run down what’s the law and what’s just for courtesy for the responder with the blue light & for the driver on the road what’s he spoosoe todo
    Tls can you ask the chief ?

  • Avraham says:

    To all the Emegency Responders:
    Thank you so much for all your precious time and effort.
    The Emergency responders are giving to the public so much of their precious time. Why can’t people move over, it will only cost you 5 or 6 seconds? Isn’t that a bargain, plus you don’t have to pay for shipping.

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