The Assembly Transportation Committee has passed “Michael Massey’s Law,” legislation sponsored by Senator Jennifer Beck (R-Monmouth) to expand the “Move Over Law” to sanitation vehicles. The bill is named for Michael Massey, a 39-year-old Freehold man who was tragically killed when he was hit by a car while loading a sanitation vehicle as part of his public works duties in Ocean Township.
“Michael was a life-long Monmouth County resident and hardworking young man,” Senator Beck said. “When we learned of his death we were shocked and saddened. This tragic event was a wake-up call that we need to do more to slow down traffic in order to reduce injuries and fatalities on the job. While this legislation of course cannot alter the great loss that the Massey family has experienced, we are hopeful that such a common sense change to our law will prevent other public works employees from being injured.”
— Sen. Jennifer Beck (@jenbecknj) March 7, 2017
Senator Beck’s bill, S-518/A-4452, expands the “Move Over Law” to include sanitation vehicles. The bill would require motorists approaching sanitation vehicles, if possible, to; reduce speed to less than the posted speed limit, be prepared to stop and make a lawful lane change to at least one lane away from the sanitation vehicle. Violators would face a maximum $500 fine.
“Michael Massey’s Law” was approved by the Senate on November 14, 2016. It now heads to the Assembly Floor for final legislative approval. Senator Beck’s efforts to pass the bill echo a national movement to institute protections nationwide. The National Waste & Recycling Association recently announced that they are currently working with state legislators across the United States to implement legislation similar to Beck’s “Michael Massey’s Law.”
“The tragedy which befell Michael was preventable,” Senator Beck added. “The vehicle involved in Mr. Massey’s death was going too fast. Drivers know they have to slow down and move over for an ambulance or a police car, we should have similar protections for our sanitation workers. I look forward to the day when we have a law in place that will ensure drivers statewide show the same consideration for public workers. I am grateful to the Assembly Transportation Committee for bringing us one step closer to that goal.”