Earlier today, a Lanoka Harbor EMS ambulance was involved in a very minor motor vehicle accident. Thankfully, no one was injured (there was no patient on board) and there was no damage incurred by our vehicle. The incident occurred when the driver of another vehicle pulled over, slowed (but did not stop), and did not allow the responding ambulance enough time nor room to execute a right turn prior to accelerating and steering back into their previous lane of travel.
As an agency, LHEMS believes every incident, regardless of severity, is an opportunity to educate. LHEMS would like to use this opportunity to remind the general public that in accordance with NJ traffic code, specifically 39:4-91, it is a violation to fail to yield to an emergency vehicle.
While this outcome was about as ideal as one could hope after a motor vehicle accident, agencies across the country in recent history have not been as lucky – suffering severe damage as well as crew members sustaining sometimes severe injuries.
Additionally, LHEMS urges all reading this to take a few minutes and visit The NJ Move Over Law Webpage. The New Jersey “Move Over” Law dictates that “motor vehicles approaching a stationary authorized emergency vehicle, tow truck, highway maintenance or emergency service vehicle displaying flashing lights and traveling in the same direction must move over to a non-adjacent lane if possible, or slow down.”
Please take time and familiarize yourself with the above mentioned regulations, and help prevent damage and/or injury or the loss of a life.