The Blue Red & Amber Law In New Hampshire

Amber-colored lights now require the same respect as red or blue for New Hampshire drivers.

Often referred to as the “Move Over Law,” New Hampshire’s “Blue, Red and Amber Law” took effect Aug. 5, 2008. The law was put forth by Rep. Sherman Packard, a Republican legislator from Londonberry, and was backed by Republican Sen. Robert Letourneau of Derry. New Hampshire joins 44 other states with similar laws on the books. The new law impacts all drivers in New Hampshire and not adhering to this regulation can result in financial penalties.

History

The Blue, Red and Amber Law is an addendum to legislation that was passed in New Hampshire in 2005. That legislation, while attempting to serve the same purpose, was not as specific as the new regulation. Three years later, two legislators from New Hampshire proposed a more definitive version of what was originally referred to as the Move Over Law. As a result, the Blue, Red and Amber Law clearly indicates which vehicles must be given the right of way on New Hampshire roads and highways.

Objective

The goal of the Blue, Red and Amber Law is safety, specifically safety for operators of vehicles who, prior to the enacted law change, were not afforded the same legal requirements as police, fire and ambulance drivers. As drivers everywhere should be aware, you are required to slow down and pull to the side of the road if a police, fire or rescue vehicle is approaching. Failing to do so is grounds for a ticket and subsequent fine. However, this regulation did not apply to all emergency vehicles in New Hampshire until the new law was passed.

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Impact

The Blue, Red and Amber Law was specifically enacted for the safety of tow truck drivers and other roadside emergency vehicle operators. While these vehicles usually have overhead lights, drivers in New Hampshire were not legally required to slow down and move over to the side of the road, as is the case for other emergency vehicles. The amber lights often seen on tow trucks and other emergency vehicles are the reason for the law’s name.

Penalties

Rep. Sherman Packard, the chief backer of this legislation, clearly indicated the purpose of this legislation was not to generate revenue through fines; safety of New Hampshire motorists and emergency personnel was the primary concern. Not adhering to the Blue, Red and Amber Law may result in a fine, however. If you are cited for not slowing down and pulling over for a tow truck or other roadside emergency vehicle (in addition to police, fire and ambulance), you stand to receive a $150 fine.