How Do New Jersey Move Over Laws Affect Accident Claims?
Many states have implemented move over laws to protect police officers from getting hit by vehicles while stopped on the side of the road. Updated move over laws now also include other types of emergency vehicles, like tow trucks or other roadside services. In New Jersey, a new law has gone into effect that now requires drivers to move over for pedestrians, cyclists and others sharing the road.
Below, we discuss how this new law may affect car accident claims.
If you were injured by a negligent driver, call our New Jersey car accident lawyers today to schedule a free consultation. We can discuss your claim to see what legal options may be available.
What is the Move Over Law?
The Move Over Law in New Jersey went into effect in 2009 and requires drivers approaching a stationary vehicle on the side of the road to move over a lane. If the way is not clear to move over a lane, then the driver must reduce his or her speed by half of what the posted speed limit is.
Failure to move over or slow down may result in the driver being fined between $100 to $500. Since 2019, drivers who fail to move over may also have points added to their licenses.
What Vehicles Are Covered By Move Over Laws?
Under the Move Over Law, drivers are required to change lanes or slow down for the following vehicles:
- Emergency vehicles
- Tow trucks
- Other highway safety vehicles
Drivers should also be cautious when passing broken-down vehicles parked or stranded on the side of the road.
Is the Safe Passing Law the Same as Move Over Laws?
The Safe Passing Law was enacted in March 2022. In some ways, it is similar to the move over laws already enforced in the state. However, it goes further than the move over laws to protect pedestrians and others who share the road.
The law specifies that New Jersey drivers are required to approach and pass vulnerable road users with due caution.
Vulnerable road users include:
- Roller skaters
- Electric bike/scooter users
- People in wheelchairs
- And more
Motorcycle riders are not specified as vulnerable road users, even though they are not in a protected vehicle. The law only specifies low-speed vehicles.
The due caution drivers must take includes:
- Following all current no-passing, no speeding and move over laws in the state
- Allowing a 4-foot safety zone when passing a vulnerable road user
- Reducing speed to 25 miles per hour, if four feet is not possible on a section of road
- Being prepared to stop until it is safe to pass the vulnerable road user
If a driver violates the Safe Passing Law and it results in bodily injury, the driver will receive a $500 fine and two motor vehicle points. Even if the violation does not cause anyone to be injured, the driver will be assessed a $100 fine.
Who is Liable if a Crash Occurs?
A driver who violates either the Move Over or Safe Passing laws and causes a collision is most likely liable for any damages that result. A crash resulting from a driver who violates a New Jersey traffic law could be a case of negligence per se. It is important to note that you must still prove the person’s negligence directly resulted in your damages, though.
Fortunately, you should be able to get your medical bills covered by your Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance while you pursue compensation from the liable party. PIP should also cover some additional economic damages, like lost wages.
Once your PIP limit is exhausted, you can file a third-party claim with the liability insurance of the at-fault driver.
PIP also applies if you are a vulnerable road user with a motor vehicle insurance policy. Be aware the insurance company may try to deny your claim if you were not in your vehicle at the time of the collision.
If you are a vulnerable road user who does not have an insurance policy, then the liability insurance of the at-fault driver may be your primary option for pursuing compensation.
Every case has its own unique facts, so it is best to discuss your situation with a knowledgeable attorney.
Contact Us Today
Our attorneys have decades of experience helping injury victims pursue the compensation they need after an accident.
We offer a free legal consultation to discuss your claim, and there are no upfront fees if you choose to work with us. We only receive payment when you recover compensation.
Call (800) 518-0508 today to get started.