Assembly Members Eric Houghtaling and Joann Downey have introduced a bill amending the Move Over Law to strengthen penalties for drivers who violate the law.
The bill requires two motor vehicle penalty points to be assessed when a driver violates the Move Over Law.
“We had the pleasure of meeting Donna Setaro, the driving force behind the Move Over Law. Donna’s son, New Jersey State Trooper Marc Castellano, was fatally struck by a vehicle while standing on the shoulder of Interstate 195. Since her son’s tragic death, Donna has taught over 100,000 students the importance of moving over and slowing down when passing an emergency vehicle on the shoulder of a roadway,” said Assemblyman Eric Houghtaling.
“Too many drivers either don’t know about the Move Over Law or simply don’t adhere to it. By increasing the penalty for violating this important traffic law, we hope to encourage drivers to slow down and move over when passing emergency vehicles, highway maintenance, tow trucks or other vehicles and personnel on the side of the road. The loss of Trooper Castellano was tragic and needless. When drivers move over, they may be saving a life,” said Assemblywoman Joann Downey, the proud daughter of a retired State Police Officer.
The Move Over Law requires drivers to reduce the speed of their vehicle and change lanes when approaching an authorized emergency vehicle, tow truck, or highway maintenance, emergency service or sanitation vehicle that is displaying flashing, blinking or alternating emergency lights. Currently, violators are subject to a fine between $100 and $500.
"I am very happy to hear about the introduction of a bill to add points to a violation of the Move Over Law (NJSA 39:4 92.2). This is a step in the right direction to keep our first responders, tow truck operators and sanitation truck workers safe. By adding points it will exemplify the serious nature of this traffic offense and hopefully act as a greater deterrent to potential violators. Since it is the only Title 39 moving violation without points I am looking forward to it passing and helping to educate the public and ultimately safe lives,” said Ms. Setaro.
Last year, the Assembly Members’ bill, Michael Massey’s Law, was signed into law. The bill extends the Move Over Law to protect sanitation workers in response to the death of Ocean Township Public Works employee Michael Massey in 2013.