What Is the NJ Move Over Law?

Dawn Pinnisi

June 26, 2024

New Jersey has launched a campaign through radio, television, and ads with a renewed emphasis on often ignored “move-over” traffic laws. Working on the roadside is a dangerous and sometimes fatal job.

That said, the Division of Highway Traffic Safety is asking road users to be considerate of any crew on the highway by moving over. When you see flashing lights on the side of the road, slow down, and if it is safe, move over—away from fire crews, service trucks, paramedics, or police.

Failure to comply may cost a driver between $100 to $500 in fines or result in the injury or death of an emergency worker.

Consult a trusted car accident attorney in New Jersey if you’ve sustained an injury involving a driver who violated the NJ move-over law. Or was otherwise negligent.

What Is the Move-Over Law in NJ and to Whom It Does Apply?

All 50 states, including New Jersey, have move-over laws to protect law enforcement officers and other first responders stopped on roadways.

When a vehicle has flashing lights and is stationary next to a roadway, the approaching drivers should:

  • Change into a lane not immediately adjacent to the stopped vehicle
  • Slow down to a reasonable speed if you’re unable to make a lane change safely

The New Jersey Statute 39:4-92-2 has details of the move-over law and includes the following requirements:

  • The driver of a motor vehicle approaching an authorized emergency truck with a flashing, blinking, or alternating light must approach the emergency vehicle with caution.
  • In such a situation, unless under direction from a law enforcement officer, drivers can only proceed by making a lane change that is not immediately adjacent to the stopped vehicle.
  • Drivers should only proceed when it is safe to make the lane change. If a lane change is impossible, the driver should move to a reasonable speed appropriate to existing road conditions and prepare to stop.

The operator of a motor vehicle should apply caution when approaching the following vehicles with caution, absent of any direction from a law enforcement officer:

  • A stationary tow truck displaying a flashing amber light
  • A stationary highway maintenance or emergency service vehicle operated by a state, county, or municipality authority and displaying blinking yellow, amber, or red lights
  • A stationary sanitation truck displaying a blinking amber warning

Then, they should proceed as follows:

According to existing traffic and safety conditions, change direction into the lane adjacent to the tow truck or sanitation vehicle.

If the lane change is impossible, unsafe, or prohibited by law, reduce the motor vehicle’s speed to a reasonable speed according to existing road and traffic conditions, less than the posted speed limit.

What Happens if You Don’t Comply With the Law?

What might seem like a minor violation can affect your finances. A driver violating New Jersey’s move-over laws may receive a $100 to $500 fine.

In addition to the above fines, a person convicted of three or more offenses within 12 months may receive motor vehicle penalty points.

Per (cf: P.L.2019, c.370, s.1), a motor vehicle operator shall not be imposed with motor vehicle penalty points unless the stationary vehicle displays blinking, flashing, or alternating lights at the time of the third or subsequent violation.

Nonetheless, violating the NJ move-over law doesn’t carry any points against your driver’s license. In addition, violating the move-over laws may lead to an insurance rate increase or even a car accident.

How Are Move-Over Laws Different Between NJ and Other States?

All states have move-over laws with slight variations to match each jurisdiction’s unique needs.

The original move-over law in New Jersey required drivers to move over a lane if police, first responders, or tow truck drivers were present at the scene of the incident. The new recently passed bill now applies to disabled vehicles.

The new bill imposes restrictions on motor vehicle drivers approaching disabled vehicles with warning signal lights, flashing hazard warnings, or utilizing reflective triangles or road flares.

Get Legal Advice from an Experienced Car Accident Attorney in New Jersey

If you suffered injuries because another driver violated traffic safety laws or was negligent in another way, you have legal rights. Never wait to seek representation from an experienced New Jersey car accident attorney from Varcadipane & Pinnisi, P.C. Our firm has a proven track record of representing injured victims and a reputation for commitment to our clients.

Contact us online or at (800) 616-2916 for a free consultation.

Dawn M. Pinnisi

Dawn M. Pinnisi is a distinguished attorney with a track record of excellence in advocating for victims of injury and negligence. Dawn is a Founding Partner of the Firm, a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, and has been awarded by the National Trial Lawyers.

University: J.D. Brooklyn Law School

Bar Number: 33771999

Locations: New Jersey and New York.

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This page has been written, edited, and reviewed by a team of legal writers following our comprehensive editorial guidelines. This page was approved by Founding Partners, Jeffrey W. Varcadipane & Dawn M. Pinnisi, with more than 40 years of combined legal experience as personal injury attorneys.

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