Police to drivers in NJ: Move Over!

December 8, 2011 3:16:06 PM PST
It's been on the books for more than two years, but a lot of drivers have no idea that New Jersey's "Move Over" law even exists.

That's why one community is trying to raise awareness.

Ptl. Gene Rickle is one of several South Brunswick Police officers working a special detail pulling over cars that violate the Move Over law. It requires drivers to do just that when they see emergency vehicles on the side of the road.

"Any time they're on a multiple lane highway they're to move over to the lane, next lane overif they can, if there's a police, fire, ambulance vehicle on the side, any tow truck, maintenance vehicles," Chief Ray Hayducka said.

If you can't move over because there's traffic next to you, you must slow down.

Cops set up a scene with a police car, a disabled vehicle and a tow truck - and the results were disappointing. That led to the handing out of more than 600 warnings in a week to drivers who didn't move over.

"I never heard of the Move Over law at all. I do know that you should move over," said Giovanna Cosentino of East Brunswick.

"I think it will make people more aware of the fact that you should move over if, in fact, you can," said Diane Bittings of Robbinsville.

The Move Over law was passed in 2009 after the death of NJ State Trooper Marc Castellano. He was killed by a car along Interstate 195 in Monmouth County.

Officers who've been pulling over one car after another say the drivers' failure to move over puts them all in danger.

"Sometimes the vacuum created from a truck driving by at a high rate of speed on these highways you can actually feel it pull you out into the lane of travel," said Ptl. Gary Holsent of the South Brunswick Police.

For their own protection police will continue to try to get the word out about the Move Over law. They say the Kevlar vests they wear may stop a speeding bullet - but they can't stop a speeding car.

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