Manchester police reminding drivers about ‘Move Over’ law
Police departments across Ocean County are reminding drivers to drive safely near emergency vehicles.
The “Move Over” law requires motorists to change lanes so that they are away from emergency vehicles that are pulled over on the side of the road. This is to protect police officers or other emergency personnel from being struck by vehicles while working.
Manchester police had a decoy police cruiser out of Route 70 Friday to remind drivers about that law. The department says that one of its officers now has the label of a Michelin tire branded onto his work pants due to almost getting struck by a car.
“Tt struck him, yeah. That's how close he came to getting run over, breaking his leg or something along those lines,” says Sgt. Antonio Ellis.
The officer was one of four injured when a drunken driver slammed into a vehicle they had stopped on Route 37.
“If there's an emergency vehicle, whether it be a fire truck, an ambulance a tow truck, or a police officer on the side of the road with their flashing lights activated, the motorist approaching that vehicle will slow down below the posted speed limit and if safe to do so, move into another lane,” Ellis says.
The “Move Over” law is personal for Donna Setaro. Her son, New Jersey State Trooper Marc Castellano, was killed eight years ago when he was hit by a car on the side of Route 195. The law was put into place following his death.
“It's something you never ever get over it. You just learn to live with it,” Setaro says.
Manchester police were pulling people over Friday afternoon who did not slow down or change lanes when they saw the decoy vehicle.
“People are in a hurry. I think time management's a big issue in New Jersey. People think they can get to where they're going in a lot less time than it really takes them because of our roadways and the traffic situation,” Setaro says.
Not everyone pulled over today received a ticket. Most were let off with a warning, and literature that will give them the chance to read up on the “Move Over” law.
“The goal of this is to promote safety,” Ellis says.
Currently the “Move Over” law is a moving violation. There are no points associated with it. But earlier this year, the state Assembly passed legislation making a ticket worth two points. The state Senate may soon follow suit. The law would then have to be signed by the Gov. Phil Murphy.