NJ Cops to Motorists: Move Over!

Officers in New Jersey want you to move over.

That is, if you see an emergency vehicle on the side of the road with flashing lights.

Since January, the Move Over Law requires New Jersey motorists to do exactly that, which sounds like common sense, right?

Not if you're asking State Trooper Kristin Welch, who recently was side-swiped by a tractor-trailer during a routine traffic stop. 

"If I had been outside of the vehicle, I wouldn't be here today," Welch said.

"Since the late '90's, we've been seeing police officers and other emergency personnel killed on our roadways," Division of Highway Traffic and Safety Director Pam Fischer said.

In fact, since 1997, more than 150 law-enforcement personnel have lost their lives during routine traffic stops. The staggering numbers prompted New Jersey to join 44 other states in enforcing the Move Over law. Violators face a $100 to $500 fine.

"People are programmed to kind of be on auto pilot and will not be aware of it until awareness is made," motorist Shel Dosik said Wednesday on his way to the New Jersey Turnpike.

Added fellow motorist Judy Harkins: "I'm always amazed when I see people that don't slow down for emergency vehicles. What I'm doing is not that important compared to an emergency."

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