The Move Over Law, enacted in 2009, helps drivers understand what to do when passing a stopped emergency vehicle, such as an ambulance, tow truck, or police car, that has its lights flashing. According to the Move Over Law, drivers in the lane adjacent to a stopped emergency vehicle with its lights alternating or blinking must switch to another lane immediately. If a lane change is not feasible, the driver should slow down and be prepared to brake.
On a three-lane highway, someone driving in the far left passing lane might notice that a tow truck is pulled to the left side of the road ahead. The tow truck has flashing lights to make drivers aware of its presence. In this case, the driver would try to move to the middle lane to get out of the way. All drivers must give the tow truck a wide berth to reduce the risk of hitting either the vehicle or an emerging driver or passenger. Drivers who violate the Move Over Law can be fined up to $500. If lawmakers have their way, though, this penalty might be increased soon.
Proposed Updates to the Move Over Law
In April 2018, legislators introduced New Jersey Senate Bill 2501 to punish drivers further if they were caught violating the Move Over Law. The proposed bipartisan bill adds two points to the driver’s license in addition to the fine. Two points could have serious ramifications for drivers who already have points on their licenses. Plus, additional points can affect insurance carrier rates.
Senate Bill 2501 has not yet been signed into law by the governor, although many politicians support putting more pressure on drivers who refuse to pull over. Sources indicate that many emergency responders are injured each year because of drivers who do not move out of their way. In fact, just one year after the Move Over Law was put into place, a state trooper was killed in the line of duty. The fatality occurred because a driver stayed in the adjacent lane rather than moving to a different lane and allowing the trooper to do his duty safely.
South Jersey Personal Injury Lawyers at the D’Amato Law Firm Advocate for Victims of Car Accidents
Emergency vehicle operators and responders spend their working hours helping the public. If you were hurt in an accident related to the Move Over Law, please contact a South Jersey personal injury lawyer at the D’Amato Law Firm to talk about your case. We welcome the opportunity to determine if you may be entitled to damages. For a free consultation, call us at 609-926-3300 or contact us online. Located in Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey, we represent clients throughout South Jersey, including Atlantic City, Linwood, Galloway Township, Cape May, Vineland, Millville, Bridgeton, Ocean City, and Woodbury.