Yes, There Really is a “Move Over” Law in New Jersey
You might initially be a bit perplexed by the title of the law. After all, the term “move over” sounds almost a bit impolite. That said, New Jersey really does have a “Move Over” law, and it’s something every motorist should worry about – or face the consequences that come with any traffic ticket.
Could this part of New Jersey’s motor vehicle statutes apply to you? Consider this. As you are driving in the downtown area, you come upon a tow truck with flashing lights parked in the right shoulder. You feel more than a little inconvenienced as the vehicles are impeding traffic.
In the meantime, you stay in your lane and even speed up with traffic in the left lane. Why should you move over after all? A few seconds later, you see a new set of flashing blue lights approaching in your rear-view mirror. This time it’s a police car, whose driver signals you to pull over to the shoulder.
The police officer notifies you that you are being ticketed for failure to move over under the New Jersey Move Over Law. You find it perplexing. What does it mean? Why were you ticketed?
Move Over or Face the Consequences
The particulars of the Move Over law are found in NJSA 39:4-92.2 and apply to passing certain stationary vehicles. These include: include police cars, fire trucks, ambulances, tow trucks, highway maintenance or emergency service vehicles, and sanitation vehicles.
What are your obligations under the law? There are a few. First, you should consider your options. If you pass a stationary authorized emergency vehicle with flashing lights that is pulled over on the shoulder, you should either attempt to change lanes or, if that’s impossible and unsafe, slow down.
The statute states that “the operator of a motor vehicle approaching a stationary authorized emergency vehicle…displaying a flashing, blinking or alternating red or blue light or, any configuration of lights containing one of these colors, shall approach the authorized emergency vehicle with due caution and shall, absent any other direction by a law enforcement officer, ….make a lane change into a lane not adjacent to the authorized emergency vehicle if possible.…”
The law is designed to save lives and prevent injuries. It is especially meant to mitigate the risk to the law enforcement officer or others when a car comes too close and creates a hazardous condition.
This seemingly small violation can actually take a bite out of your wallet. A driver found guilty of violating New Jersey’s Move Over law faces a $100 to $500 fine. However, the New Jersey Move Over Law does not carry any points against your driver’s license. Meanwhile, it is possible that your insurance rates will go up.
Contact a New Jersey Ticket Lawyer
If you have been ticketed for failure to move over, an experienced New Jersey traffic lawyer might be able to get this violation reduced or dismissed. Call the Law Offices of Beninato & Matrafaljo now for a free consultation.