🚗 An approved piece of legislation would expand New Jersey's Move Over law

🚗 It's now up to Gov. Murphy to approve or deny the proposed law

🚗 A violation could result in a fine of up to $500

There may soon be another group of vehicles on the side of the road that you'll have to accommodate or pay a fine.

A bill that's now been approved by both houses of the New Jersey Legislature and is being sent to Gov. Phil Murphy for a decision would create an expansion of a state law that's been in place for 15 years.

New Jersey's Move Over law

You're already required to either move over a lane or slow down when you see certain vehicles on or along the roadway with their lights flashing. The New Jersey law encompasses emergency vehicles, tow trucks, garbage trucks, highway maintenance vehicles, and more.

Failure to do so can result in a fine ranging from $100 to $500.

Under a bill approved by the full Senate on Monday, these rules would be expanded to include disabled vehicles that have their hazard lights flashing or are utilizing flares or reflective triangles.

If you can't safely move to another lane or you're on a one-lane road, you'd have to slow down below the posted speed limit and be prepared to stop.

Dangers of pulling over

"The amount of vehicles that have complete disregard for a disabled motorist ... It's dangerous," Tracy Noble, a spokesperson for AAA, told lawmakers in December. "You're on the shoulder and you're as far over as you can be, and yet your car is still shaking because you've got people coming by you at 60, 75 miles an hour."

According to Noble, 20 states in the U.S. have a law on the books for drivers who are approaching a disabled vehicle. When legislators first introduced a proposal for New Jersey, there were 15 states with such laws.

"So it's something that has been moving quickly throughout the country to expand safety," she said.

AAA's analysis of data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System found that more than 1,700 people were fatally struck while outside of a disabled vehicle in the U.S. from 2016 to 2020. Thirty-seven of those fatalities occurred in New Jersey.

Violation of the proposed law comes with the same potential fine of up to $500. A driver can be assessed points on their license if they violate the law more than twice in 12 months. A driver can only be faulted if the broken-down motorist is actively trying to signal motorists via hazards or other tools.

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