Preventing Car Accidents: New Jersey Reminds Motorists to Move Over

For drivers in New Jersey, moving over for emergency vehicles and roadside workers is more than just a good idea – it’s the law. Drivers who fail to do so face fines, and those who cause accidents and injuries by failing to move over can expect to face greater legal repercussions. Unfortunately, too many New Jersey drivers have failed to make room for workers on the side of the road and thousands of crashes have resulted. In response, New Jersey’s Division of Highway Traffic Safety has started a campaign to remind drivers to move over for roadside workers and emergency vehicles.

According to the state Attorney General’s office, there have been nearly 30,000 car accidents in roadside work zones since 2007, resulting in 70 deaths. To reduce the number of roadside accidents on New Jersey’s roads and highways, the state enacted a law referred to as the “Move Over Law” that imposes penalties to encourage drivers to move over for workers on the side of the road.

The law requires drivers to reduce their speed and change lanes when approaching authorized vehicles that display flashing lights, or to slow down when changing lanes is not safe. Vehicles that motorists must move over for include:

• Police vehicles
• Ambulances
• Fire trucks
• Tow trucks
• Highway maintenance vehicles
• Motorist aid vehicles displaying flashing lights

The purpose of the law is to provide sufficient space for emergency workers to safely complete their work. Drivers who fail to follow the law face penalties of $100 to $500.

While the Move Over Law has been on the books for more than two years, many motorists in New Jersey still fail to follow the law. As a result, the Division of Highway Traffic Safety created an advertisement campaign to remind drivers of the importance of making space. A New Jersey State Police Major interviewed by The Record said drivers need to realize that emergency workers on the side of the road are focused on providing aid, not watching traffic, and that in one second “life can change.”

The safety campaign, titled “Make the Move,” remind drivers that “if you make the move, others will follow” to prevent injuries and tragedies. The campaign features four 30-second public service announcements for television, one for radio and one five-minute web video.

If you or a loved one has been hurt in a roadside accident, contact an experienced personal injury attorney to review your legal rights.

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