NY Hatzolah Ambulances Can Now Use Blue Lights For Added Safety

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New York ambulances – including Hatzolah vehicles – can now use rear-projecting blue lights in an effort to make them more visible to oncoming motorists and therefore safer.

The measure passed by the Legislature and signed this month by Gov. Andrew Cuomo gives ambulances the same option as fire and police vehicles for one or more blue lights in combination with red and white lights displayed for rear projection.

Legislative sponsors cite studies indicating oncoming drivers’ process of perception, decision and response favors blue lights over other colors, especially at night.

(Source: NBC NY)


11 COMMENTS

  1. Chein – No! In actuality the only lights they are allowed are green lights. Blue lights are for vol. firemen on their private vehicles. In Jersey both fire and first aid volleys use blue! For some reason the Hatzolah guys get away with breaking the law by having the red lights and sirens. Maybe this causes jealously and maybe this is the reason s/o would put a swatika on their vehicle.

  2. chein, i believe the answer is YES. the legislation states that it applies to: “police vehicle [and], fire vehicle, AMBULANCE, EMERGENCY AMBULANCE SERVICE VEHICLE, AND COUNTY EMERGENCY MEDICAL SERVICES VEHICLE.” (the words in CAPS are the new words added by the current bill.) i think hatzolah members’ vehicles are considered emergency ambulance service vehicles.

  3. Most posters on this topic are woefully misinformed, and it would be best to have your facts correct before commenting and stating opinions as fact.

    Here are the facts:
    A private vehicle owned and operated by a member of a Volunteer Ambulance Service, is classified as “Emergency Ambulance Service Vehicle” under Section 115-c of the NYS VTL.
    Am “Emergency Ambulance Service Vehicle” while engaged in emergency operation is afforded the same rights and privilidges as any other Emergency Vehicle with regard to Red/Blue lights, sirens, and traffic laws.

    Therefore, in NY (NJ does not have the same law) a member of a VAS (such as Hatzolah) may display red lights, and rear (only) facing blue lights, and sirens while engaged in emergency operation.
    There is no law allowing for any emergency lights other than amber, for Shomrim, who are a Security Patrol.

    I hope this has clarified the discussion.

  4. To clarify the definitions:

    Ambulance: A Vehicle used to transport sick or injured persons….. (Hint: If it looks like a duck)

    “Emergency Ambulance Service Vehicle” is clearly defined in the VTL as: “a vehicle used to transport emergency medical equipment and personnel to the scene of an emergency. (exact quote)

  5. YeshivaRodefKesef – Mr. Hatzolah – While everything you posted is correct, you failed to inform us if the private Hatzolah vehicles can come under these guidelines. I stand by my previous post. I’ve seen maybe one or two vehicles which actually comply. One is in BP.

    From the Bureau of EMS (NYS):
    “This policy is intended to clarify the requirements and procedures for utilizing personally owned vehicles (POV) as Emergency Ambulance Service Vehicles (EASV).
    Authorization as an EASV involves more than just the use of red lights and a siren on a vehicle. It is expected that every EASV is in compliance with all of the provisions of 10 NYCRR Part 800.21 & .26.”

    “Part 800.21(e)- display on the exterior of both sides and the back of all ambulances and emergency ambulance service vehicles the name of the service in letters not less than 3 inches in height and clearly legible. The logo provided by the department shall also be displayed on both sides and the back of every ambulance and shall be removed upon sale or transfer of the vehicle;”

    Almost none comply with the above!
    Also, there is an equipment requirement which includes either a short board or a KED. So far I haven’t seen any members with one in their POV’s; (perhaps there are a few).

  6. @Health, u have no idea what you’re talking about, Privately owned vehicles owned by certified EMT’s, may be fitted with red, white, and blue lights, as well as sirens, given that they’re authorized by their service to do so, this is according to section 115-C of the NYS VTL