A common sight along our congested roads is the presence of emergency vehicles, tow trucks, and work trucks on the side of the road with their lights flashing while a police officer, tow truck driver, or other worker is performing his or her duties. This is an extremely hazardous situation for police officers and other workers because they have to work alongside fast moving vehicular traffic without any barriers to protect them from an errant driver. Too many workers have been killed or seriously injured as a result of being struck by a vehicle while carrying out their duties.
In order to protect these workers, New Jersey adopted the “move over” law in 2009. This law requires motorists who are approaching a stationary authorized emergency vehicle, tow truck, highway maintenance or emergency service vehicle with its overhead or hazard flashing lights activated to move over into a lane that is not adjacent to the vehicle if possible in the existing safety and traffic conditions or, if not possible, to reduce the speed of their vehicles and be prepared to stop. You can go to http://www.nj.gov/oag/hts/move-over-law/ to find out more information about the move over law. Failure to follow this law will not only result in a fine of $100 to $500, it may also result in the death of or serious injury to emergency personnel responding to an emergency or broken down vehicle on the side of the road.
The police, emergency responders, tow truck drivers, and highway maintenance works are there to assist us and make sure we are safe in our travels. Let’s do our part to make sure they are as safe as possible in performing their jobs by moving over and slowing down when approaching them working on the side of the road.