After Officer Nearly Struck, Department Reiterates Commitment to Enforce "Move Over" law

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JACKSON-The Jackson Police Department says it will be taking violations of New Jersey’s “Move Over” law very seriously.    Ocean County has recently installed warning signs along County Line Road in the township and the department says motorists should heed those warnings.

“The Law states that motorists approaching stationary emergency vehicles, tow trucks, or other highway safety vehicles such as maintenance trucks, that are displaying red, blue, or amber flashing lights, must move over one lane if safe to do so,” the department said in a statement. “If not safe to move over, drivers should slow down to below the posted speed limit.”

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The purpose of the law is to reduce the number of roadway fatalities and injuries to emergency workers, tow operators, and maintenance personnel operating statewide along our roadways. Several other states have similar versions of this law.

In 2016 alone, approximately 9 police officers nationwide were killed when third party vehicles struck them or their patrol vehicle from behind. That 9 includes NJSP Trooper Sean Cullen who was killed while investigating a separate motor vehicle crash in South Jersey in March of 2016.

The department takes the law seriously.  It was former Jackson Memorial High School Student and State Trooper Marc Castellano’s unfortunate death on Route 195 that brought light to the issue which led to the law’s creation.

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“Jackson officers have been, and will continue to take enforcement action with respect to this critical law,” the department said. “The Jackson Police Department would like to extend our appreciation to Donna Setaro, the mother of late State Trooper Marc Castellano, for her guidance in this process, and for her unrelenting commitment to this cause. Trooper Castellano, a graduate of Jackson Memorial High School, died after an incident along Interstate 195 in neighboring Howell Township on June 6th, 2010. Trooper Castellano had been assisting with the search for a suspect in an unrelated matter when a motorist accidentally left their lane of travel, and struck and killed him along the side of the highway.”

Jackson police said an inattentive driver last week crashed into one of the department’s patrol vehicles, nearly striking an officer.

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On January 16, 2017 at 11:15 pm, Police Officer Greenberger was involved in a road closure on Cedar Swamp Road at Diamond Road due to a previous motor vehicle crash. The officer had his patrol unit, with emergency lights activated, stationed at the intersection near an illuminated street light to block the lane which was also blocked with road flares.

The driver of a 2010 Ford Fusion approached the intersection, drove around the flares in the road and then disregarded the officer who was wearing a reflective vest and utilizing a flashlight to attempt to get the driver’s attention before jumping out of the way, and then crashed into the marked patrol unit. Fortunately there were no injuries in this incident and the driver was issued the appropriate summons.