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New York Move Over Law Takes Effect

About the Author

Matthew Weiss

Matthew J. Weiss, Esq. graduated Hofstra Law School in 1984. He was Law Review and won the law school’s prestigious Procedure Award. Upon graduation, he became one of the first Hofstra Law School graduates to work at the New York State Court of Appeals (New York State’s highest court) working on various appellate matters.

Comments (198)

Mitzi Akaha - January 9, 2016 2:15 pm

I, too, am a victim of this offense. I have a California driver’s license and had never driven in New York before – was completely unaware of the law. I saw two police cars with lights on stopped on the right side of a two-lane highway in Sullivan County, NY. I pulled halfway out of my lane and merged back in after passing them, then was immediately pulled over. The officer argued rather haughtily that I should have been aware of this law, as it exists “in most states.” The car I was driving was a rental (I do not own a car, and as such am not paying car insurance for myself). I am wondering what happens in my case – if I plead guilty (which I intend to, as I cannot appear in court myself), what would be the best thing to include in the statement of explanation to not incense the situation? Will the points carry over onto my California driver’s license? And do you think it is worth exploring alternatives?
Thank you!

    Matthew Weiss - January 9, 2016 5:07 pm

    Mitzi Akaha,

    Adding an explanation to your guilty plea will not do much (in my opinion). You’ll end up with 3 points and the roughly the same $200 fine. Moreover, a NY conviction will be reported to CA and transfer onto your CA license (assuming CA has a similar law). Assuming you have an otherwise clean record in CA, then a conviction to this charge is not a big deal. However, if you have other convictions, then you may want to hire a NY traffic lawyer to fight this case and get you a better result.

    Matthew Weiss

Joseph B - October 14, 2015 3:27 pm

Hi, I received a ticket for not ‘moving over’ on monday October 12th 2015, on route 87 coming back to CANADA from Plattsburg NY. There is no question they had a ‘move over’ traps that afternoon. I passed not 1 but 2 cars and I was pulled over after. I had no idea about this law, it does not apply in my Province QUEBEC. This is what happend, First ,I saw the police car flashing, I slowed down a bit and made sure to move a bit but not to the next lane. I did not see a need to do that. After a few seconds I saw another police car I did the same thing.

Then I got pulled over, the officer told me that I had enought time to change lanes but i told him I did not know about this he said we have this in canada too, i said I never heard of that at all…

I did some research and yes it applies to canada but only 5 provinces have regulations on this. a
Prince Edward Island, Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Newfoundland NOT QUEBEC.

What should I do? if i do plea not guilty, to I meet the judge and the prosecutor alone and how it’s done… and what about the POINTS , do they get transfered to QUEBEC?

    Matthew Weiss - October 15, 2015 10:52 pm


    What should I do? I recommend pleading not guilty.

    if I do plea not guilty, do I meet the judge and the prosecutor. You will initially meet with the prosecutor in most courts.

    Do the points get transfered to QUEBEC? Only if Quebec assigns points for a similar offense (which you state it does not).

    Matthew Weiss

Linda Pazera - September 22, 2015 11:48 am

Thank you for that answer, because that is exactly what I did, I slowed down and using extreme caution, by that time I may have been able to go to the right lane but I was worrying but the State Troopers car and what was on my left, if he had is flashing lights on I would have immediately reacted and somehow figured out how to get to the right because in mind that is the mental warning sign, thanks again

    Matthew Weiss - September 23, 2015 12:22 am

    Linda Pazera,

    Plead not guilty and, on your conference date, politely explain this to the prosecutor.

    Good luck!

    Matthew Weiss

Linda Pazera - September 21, 2015 1:12 pm

Okay, this morning I got the failure to move over lane, what happened there are 2 lanes, up ahead while I was in the left lane there was a police officer car WITH NO LIGHTS and a lawn mower in front, so I slowed up to see as there was a sign that said work ahead, so on my right I could not go the right lane as I seen a UPS Truck in my review mirror coming up, I slowed up really fast, so should I have just moved to the right lane and caused an accident maybe or was slowing up the wrong thing to do and I should have speeded up to get to the right lane?

    Matthew Weiss - September 22, 2015 12:16 am

    LInda Pazera,

    Of course, you should not have caused an accident. This goes without saying. The law requires you to move over when it is safe to do so and, if you cannot, then you should slow down.

    Matthew Weiss

MJ - September 18, 2015 10:50 pm

I received this ticket recently and plan to plea not guilty although I will have to travel back out of state to do so. I’m not completely sure I “broke” the law. I slowed down and moved over but not entirely into the left hand lane; although, my ticket reads “failed to move over for stopped emergency vehicle.” I’m 99% sure there were no lights on the police car and he immediately pulled out and pulled me over. I’ve never received a ticket in my 20 years of driving and have no idea how to request a conference. Any advice is greatly appreciated.

    Matthew Weiss - September 20, 2015 9:06 pm


    If you plead not guilty, the court will send you a letter scheduling the conference.

    Good luck!

    Matthew Weiss

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