By Sarah Cassi
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WARREN COUNTY, N.J. — Shocking video of a crash last month on Interstate 80 in Warren County shows what happens when drivers fail to “Move Over” for emergency responders.
New Jersey State Police, Allamuchy-Green First Aid Squad and the Allamuchy Fire Department responded to a crash the night of Feb. 23 on I-80 at mile 17.6 in Allamuchy Township, Warren County.
The left and center lanes were closed with flares and New Jersey State Police vehicles as emergency crews worked, but a tow truck towing a box truck traveled into the scene, crashing into three NJSP vehicles, an ambulance and a firetruck.
The responding troopers were outside of the three vehicles that were struck and were unhurt, but an EMT inside the Allamuchy-Green First Aid Squad ambulance reported a minor injury, state police previously said.
The video above shows the shocking crash and aftermath, with footage from a NJSP vehicle and a body cameras worn by a responding trooper.
A trooper who was directing traffic with a flashlight and his hand is seen running to the side of the highway as the tow truck comes barreling toward him and an NJSP SUV. The tow truck crashes into the first state police SUV and pushes it before crashing into the back of the recording NJSP vehicle.
The body camera footage shows the aftermath, including a crushed state police SUV.
State police Sgt. Philip Curry said the crash remains under investigation, and that the tow truck driver was a 53-year-old man from Carteret, New Jersey.
“We lucked out,” one person says in the crash footage, but New Jersey lawmakers behind the state’s “Move Over” law want police, fire, emergency medical services, road crew or tow truck drivers to have more than luck when they’re responding on area roads and highways.
Drivers are required to move over or slow down for stopped emergency vehicles on the side of the road.
Fines range between $100 and $500 for for failing to move over one lane or slow down. Drivers can get two motor vehicle points for a third violation.
In Pennsylvania, the Steer Clear law requires drivers to move over for all emergency responders, including PennDOT personnel and roadside assistance vehicles.
If a driver can’t safely change lanes, they must slow down to no more than 20 mph below the posted speed limit. In 2020 Pennsylvania increased the law’s penalties. Fines range from $500 for a first offense up to $2,000 for a third offense, and a violation would add two points to a person’s driving record. The changes mirror penalties for construction zone violations.
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