New Jersey’s “Move Over” law went into effect in 2009 and has essentially the same requirements but carries 2 points and up to a $500 fine (!)
We have received many phone calls from clients that state that the police are using this new law to trap drivers, kind of like a “sting” operation. In the usual case, a police officer will park his car on the side of the road, turn his emergency lights on, and lie in wait for drivers who fail to slow down and/or move over. Drivers are then pulled over and slapped with a “move over” ticket.
It is a common misconception that police or emergency personnel need be in the process of law enforcement (e.g. effecting a traffic stop) or emergency response (e.g. assisting after an auto accident) in order for the driver who fails to move over to be in violation of the law. However, the NY Move Over law states:
Every operator of a motor vehicle shall exercise due care to avoid colliding with an authorized emergency vehicle which is parked, stopped or standing on the shoulder or any portion of such highway and such authorized emergency vehicle is displaying one or more red or combination red and white lights pursuant to the provisions of paragraph.….such due care shall include, but not be limited to, moving from a lane which contains or is immediately adjacent to the shoulder where such authorized emergency vehicle are parked.
New Jersey’s Move Over Law (39:4-92.2) contains similar language. As such, a driver who observes an emergency vehicle with its lights on and fails to move over is guilty. The only exception is if it is unsafe for the driver to move over. For example, if there is heavy traffic in the outside lane, it may be unsafe for the driver to move from the lane adjacent to the emergency vehicle into the outside lane. This would be a defense to a “Move Over” ticket.
Because this is a new law and many people are unaware of it and because of the common misconception discussed above, “move over” traps have been very effective in catching drivers who are in violation of the law. If you are ticketed for the “move over” law we recommend that you contact us immediately so we can advise you how to best handle the ticket and potentially avoid the points.
New York Traffic Violations Defense
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