New Jersey state law dictates the protocol for lights on emergency vehicles. State laws and regulations also determine how other vehicles on major roadways should respond to the emergency lights in a manner that is safe and lawful.
Fire Truck Lights
New Jersey state law dictates the fire trucks must use red flashing lights. These lights must be visible from a distance of 500 feet.
Volunteer Fire Fighter Lights
Blue Lights - As per 39:3-54.7, active members of the volunteer fire company that remain in good standing are able to operate blue emergency lights when responding to a fire or emergency call. Display of this light does not mean that drivers are exempt from normal traffic patterns and must abide to regular traffic laws and regulations. Drivers of civilian vehicles must lawfully yield to these lights.
Red Lights - Active volunteer fire chiefs or first assistant volunteer fire chiefs are able to display red lights in response to a fire or emergency call. Display of these lights do not change the traffic patterns that vehicles must legally follow, but civilian drivers must yield to the red lights.
Emergency lights may only be displayed when the vehicle is driving to an emergency or when transporting a patient that requires immediate medical care or is determined to be quickly in need of immediate medical assistance. Drivers must yield to allow ambulances to pass. Ambulances must use red, flashing lights.
Tow Truck Lights
In order to display a light, a tow truck must have the necessary permit. One flashing amber light must be visible from any direction on the vehicle. The flashing light can only be displayed when the vehicle is being used to tow.
Construction Vehicle Lights
New Jersey Law under 39A:LRS-1 allows construction workers to use lamps, reflectors and specialized lights for their safety and the safety of other drivers on the road. Lighted lamps are required to be used a half-hour after sunset, a half-hour before sunrise, and during weather conditions that limit visibility. Light must be able to be seen by drivers on the road from 500 feet. Under 39:3-54, it is stated that a permit is necessary for a vehicle to be able to legally display a flashing light of any kind. The permit given will be specific on the type and color of the light that will be able to be used. The color of the flashing lights that are able to be displayed at this time are a flashing of white and amber or a shade that is somewhere in-between the shades of white and amber. These lights are intended to be used to warn drivers of an upcoming construction hazard. The lights be on the same level and must be spaced in an amount that is wide.
Utility Vehicle Lights
Utility vehicles are legally able to display red warning lights within New Jersey state boundaries. If red lights are displayed, they must be visible from a distance of 500 feet. This is only when deemed necessary from New Jersey law enforcement.
Pilot Vehicle Lights
At this time, New Jersey has no stipulated laws for lighting on pilot vehicles. A pilot vehicle is defined as a vehicle that is being used to escort another vehicle carrying a wide load or oversized load.
Security Vehicle Lights
If a vehicle wishes to display a light of any kind, they must first acquire a permit through the state. Without a permit, a vehicle is unable to legally display any lights of any kind even if the vehicle is being used for security purposes.
Other Emergency Light Information
In the event of an emergency or road hazard, other strobe lighting sources may be approved by the Chief Administrator. This might be liquid burning flares or red electric lanterns. Portable red emergency reflectors might also be used in the event of an emergency. Before purchasing a light of any kind for your vehicle, it is important to refer back to state legislation and guidelines. Such guidelines identified in this article pertain only to the state of New Jersey and may not be the same as other states. When seeing an emergency light on the road, the safest choice is the yield and be mindful of the other vehicles around you.
For more information about what lights may be available to you, we suggest calling your State Highway Patrol office at: 609-882-2000
*Please note that these numbers are what we are currently able to find and the numbers may have changed since this listing.
Disclaimer: The emergency vehicle light state statute guide was created by Extreme Tactical Dynamics as a guide and reference. We make no claim to the accuracy or validity of this guide. This guide was written to the best of our knowledge and has been provided to our customers as a courtesy ONLY! The information in this guide is our interpretation of the law as we have read it. We cannot be held responsible for any errors as this is only our interpretation of the law and the laws are constantly changing. We cannot be held liable or responsible for any errors and recommend that our customers refer to their local authorities to confirm the particular statue that governs their use of emergency vehicle lights.