Every Tuesday around 5:00 p.m. my children listen for the ice cream truck coming down the street. You know, those annoying but catchy versions of "Fur Elise" or "Do Your Ears Hang Low"...

Some ice cream trucks, if not all, have "stop arms" that light up to let oncoming traffic know that the truck is serving kids and/or other patrons.

New Jersey and New York require ice cream trucks to have signal arms that can be extended from the left side of the truck when it is stopped to vend ice cream, similar to school bus “stop arms.” cga.ct.gov

Similar to that of of a school bus shown below.

Ingram Publishing
Ingram Publishing

I mean, we all know or should know that passing a school bus when it's stopped and has flashing lights is illegal in Massachusetts, but what about an ice cream truck? Isn't the danger or risk similar?



New Jersey imposes restrictions on drivers passing ice cream trucks. It requires drivers, when approaching an ice cream truck with its stop arm extended and flashing lights activated, to stop before reaching the truck. After stopping, the driver may pass the truck at a reasonable speed, but not exceeding 15 miles per hour. -cga.ct.gov

I Massachusetts, besides a few towns with unique bylaws, it is, in fact not illegal to pass an ice cream truck. Although I bet some parents out there wish it was.

Maybe the fact that ice cream trucks usually frequent side streets which aren't heavily travelled is the reason?

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