by Captain Steve Laskiewicz, JPD
In an effort to bring further awareness to New Jersey’s “Move Over” Law, the Jackson Police Department Traffic Safety Unit recently conducted a number of concerted traffic enforcement details specifically targeting violations of this law.
New Jersey Law mandates that motorists approaching emergency vehicles that have their warning lights flashing (red, blue, amber, or any combinations there of) move into another lane if safe to do so. If switching lanes is not practical or safe to do (as in the case of non-divided roadways), motorists must reduce their speed to below the posted speed limit. Emergency vehicles include Police Vehicles, Ambulances, Tow Trucks, Fire Apparatus, and Highway Maintenance Vehicles. New Jersey’s MOVE OVER Law mimics several similar laws from across the country, and is designed to protect First Responders, Police Officers, and other Highway Workers from the dangers of passing traffic.
On May 17th, Jackson Officers worked in conjunction with the Jackson Mills Fire Company in conducting a MOVE OVER operation along North County Line Road. This particular date was chosen in honor of fallen Manchester Township Police Officer Robert Tobias who was killed by a passing vehicle while he was conducting a traffic stop along SR 70 on May 17th, 1975. Patrolman Tobias was just 23 years old at the time of his death.
On June 6th, Jackson Officers worked in conjunction with the Ocean County Road Department in conducting a MOVE OVER operation along North County Line Road. This particular date was chosen in honor of New Jersey State Trooper Marc Castellano who was killed by a passing motorist while assisting in the search for a suspect along I-195 in neighboring Howell Township on June 6th, 2010. Trooper Castellano was only 29 years old at the time of his death.
As a result of those operations, as well as Roving Patrol details targeting MOVE OVER violations on these two dates alone, a total of 105 vehicles were stopped. While most drivers received warnings along with educational handouts explaining the law itself, a number of summonses were issued for more blatant violations.
The Jackson Police Department would like to thank our partners with the Jackson Mills Fire Company, Fire District 4, and the Ocean County Road Department for their assistance with these details and their commitment to public safety.
Along with DWI Patrols, speed enforcement details, and other coordinated traffic safety efforts, operations like these will continue as summer starts and throughout the year.