It’s actually not that new- the legislature passed the law in 2009. Nevertheless, many people have never heard of a violation under NJSA 39:4-92.2. This law is being enforced vigorously – and it can be costly.
Pursuant to this section, a driver has an obligation to move to the left when passing an emergency vehicle on the right shoulder of a roadway. In other words, let’s say you’re driving in the right lane on a road that has two lanes in each direction. As you travel, you notice a police car on the right shoulder. Even if the officer’s car is fully in the shoulder, you must, if at all possible, completely move into the left lane (and don’t forget to signal). If you can’t move over, or if the roadway has only one lane, you have an obligation to “reduce the speed of the motor vehicle to a reasonable and proper speed for the existing road and traffic conditions, which speed shall be less than the posted speed limit, and be prepared to stop.”
This applies to any “authorized emergency vehicle…that is displaying a flashing, blinking or alternating red or blue light or, any configuration of lights containing one of these colors” as well as “a stationary tow truck…that is displaying a flashing amber light or a stationary highway maintenance or emergency service vehicle that is operated by the State, an authority or a county or municipality and displaying flashing yellow, amber, or red lights.”
Penalties for violating this section are hefty, ranging between $100 and $500. No motor vehicle points have been assigned to this offense, but some insurance companies are known to treat this violation in the same manner as careless driving, which can significantly increase your premiums.
At Pickus & Landsberg, we are happy to meet with you, discuss your circumstances and do our best to reduce your fines and avoid insurance cost hikes. Please call or email for a free consultation.