SECAUCUS, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – It’s the law in New Jersey to move over for stopped emergency vehicles.
Those who don’t obey could soon face stiffer penalties, but CBS2’s Aundrea Cline-Thomas reports that a lot of drivers don’t even know about the “move over law.”
The current law requires drivers in the Garden State to change lanes or slow down when approaching a stopped emergency or highway maintenance vehicle with its lights flashing.
Not doing it could result in a $100 to $500 fine.
“I’m not sure that drivers know the law. I drive 15 to 16 hours a day and I didn’t know I was supposed to move over automatically. I do it for courtesy,” driver Ricky Whitfield said.
Dashcam video from Glen Rock police showed why it’s so important.
A car slammed into the back of a Department of Transportation truck while crews were out helping a driver on the side of Route 208.
The force sent the DOT employee into a lane of oncoming traffic. Thankfully, he was not injured.
A new proposal making its way through the New Jersey state legislature would stiffen the penalties for drivers who don’t move over. In addition to the fine, drivers would also get two points on their license.
In a statement by the bill’s co-sponsor, and Monmouth assemblyman, Eric Houghtaling said “violators of the ‘move over law’ are putting officers at serious risk of injury or death… they must understand the severity of their actions.”
“I think the fine is more than enough being that the fine is anywhere between 100 to 500 bucks. Nobody wants points,” driver Christine Pham argued.
“I don’t like the points, I don’t like the points on anybody’s license,” Sayid Wahidi added.
The proposal came at the request of the State Troopers Union. It’s also being done with trooper Marc Castellano in mind. He died after being struck on I-195 in 2010 – a year after the current “move over law” was created.
Sponsors of the proposal hope both houses of the New Jersey legislature can pass the measure by January of 2020.