The Cassidy Law Firm Blog

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

NJ Accident Should Remind Drivers to Move Over for Public Safety Vehicles

What is the penalty for failing to move over for emergency vehicles or tow trucks?

A horrific accident in New Jersey should remind all drivers of the importance of obeying the “Move Over” law.  The accident occurred in Glen Rock, New Jersey at about 1 a.m. when an SUV crashed into a Department of Transportation truck.  Video of the accident reveals the SUV slamming into the DOT truck, causing the worker to be flung onto the roadway. The worker then narrowly avoids being hit by another approaching car, but miraculously neither the DOT worker or occupants of the SUV were seriously injured in the crash.  In light of this terrifying close call, our Shrewsbury, New Jersey personal injury lawyers explain the Move Over law and why it is critical for the protection of state and local workers.

New Jersey’s Move Over Law

The Move Over law was enacted in 2009 by the New Jersey government in an attempt to reduce the rate of injuries and deaths to roadside workers, which include police officers, ambulance drivers, maintenance crews, tow truck operators, and other state, local, or federal employees performing their duties on or around the roadway.  New Jersey’s Move Over law mirrors laws in place in several other states which have successfully reduced roadside worker deaths.

Per the Move Over law, drivers who are approaching an emergency vehicle or another roadside worker with flashing lights should do so with extreme caution.  Drivers, whenever able, should make a lane change into the next lane over which is not adjacent to the emergency vehicle. If a lane change is not possible due to other vehicles in the lane or a like scenario, then the law requires that drivers reduce their speed to below the posted speed limit and be ready to stop as necessary.  New Jersey specifically includes tow trucks in the law and similarly requires drivers to move over when the tow truck’s lights are activated.

If you are found to have violated the Move Over law, you will face a fine of between $100 and $500.  Multiple infractions will increase the amount of your fine. Should you injure or kill a roadside employee due to your failure to move over, you could face prison time and other serious penalties. As such, New Jersey drivers should be on the alert for emergency vehicles and move over whenever possible.

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