While you move your car aside to let an emergency vehicle fly past, how can you be sure that it isn't a used rig with a terrorist or a thief behind the wheel?

Concerned over amorphous state laws regarding identifying markings on repurposed police, fire and medical transport vehicles, shore Assemblyman Ron Dancer (R-30) has pushed a bill through the lower house to set clear guildelines.

Bill A-856 requires removal of all identifiers from emergency vehicles and equipment before they're resold or transferred. Emergency vehicles are defined as fire or police vehicles, ambulances, or other vehicles used for emergency response.

"The main purpose for sponsoring this bill is to prevent a terrorist from utilizing any vehicle resembling an emergency responder to potentially gain access to a targeted event or site," Dancer said in prepared remarks.

"There are also other unscrupulous folks who would try to take advantage for personal gain. It wouldn't be surprising for the new owner of a used police car to use its equipment or markings to impersonate a police officer, exceed any given speed limit or ride the shoulder of a jam-packed highway in an effort to get through traffic more quickly."

Equipment that would require dismantling or erasure include handheld spotlights on side mirrors, emergency communication antennas, mobile vision and mobile data terminals, sirens, strobes and lights with strop options, decals, insignia, and striping added by state or municipal agencies, or any government entity in law enforcement, fire response or emergency medical transportation.

The companion bill in the state Senate is sponsored by Turnersville Democrat Fred Madden (D-4). It's in the hands of the Law and Public Safety Committee.

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