🚔 NJ drivers must move over for more than just police vehicles

🚶‍♂️ A 2022 law protects walkers, bike riders, and people on scooters

🚗 Memorial Day to Labor Day are known as the "100 deadly days of summer"

You can save a life and avoid hundreds of dollars in fines all at the same time.

New Jersey is approaching its second full summer of having two laws on the books that require motorists to make certain adjustments when passing emergency vehicles and other road users such as pedestrians and bicyclists.

Traffic safety advocates fear New Jersey drivers are either unaware of these rules or don't fully understand them.

New Jersey's "move over" law

Police lights

"Every year, first responders, construction workers, roadside assistance providers, sanitation workers and more are killed and injured on the job due to motorists not abiding by the Slow Down, Move Over Law," said Shani Jarvis, public affairs manager for AAA Northeast.

Under the Move Over law, which has been in effect since 2009, drivers approaching certain vehicles with flashing lights must move over one lane or slow down below the posted speed limit if moving over isn't possible. The law aims to protect those who drive or ride in emergency vehicles, tow trucks, garbage trucks, and other highway safety vehicles.

"Failure to do so can result in fines of up to $500," Jarvis said. "Help protect those who help protect you."

AAA is advocating for legislation that would also require drivers to move over or slow down for disabled motorists who use flares or have their hazards flashing. A Senate committee is expected to consider this legislation on June 1.

Advocates are reminding motorists of the state's passing laws ahead of the summer season — the 100 days between Memorial Day and Labor Day are typically the deadliest on New Jersey's roads.

New Jersey's "safe passing" law

Nick Cooper - TSM Duluth
Nick Cooper - TSM Duluth

More recently, New Jersey implemented similar rules for drivers who are approaching a pedestrian or a person on a bike, skateboard, scooter, or wheelchair.

Under the Safe Passing Law, drivers must allow a four-foot safety zone for these road users when they pass, or slow down and be prepared to stop if moving over isn't possible.

The state law went into effect in March 2022. The default fine for a violation is $100, but the penalty can be $500 if the violation results in bodily harm.

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