Effective Jan. 1, 2012, Vehicle and Traffic Law 1144-a, New York’s “move over” law — which already governs police cars and ambulances — will require motorists to move over (or at the very least slow down) when approaching tow trucks, snow plows and other vehicles performing road maintenance, construction or repair. Specifically, the law will require motorists to move over whenever approaching a vehicle on the shoulder or in a lane of travel that is displaying red, white, blue and/or amber lights. Under the old law, a “move over” was required only for vehicles displaying red and/or white lights (i.e., police cars and ambulances).
In 2011, state troopers issued roughly 16,000 citations for the NY Move Over Law in its current form. With its expansion, we can expect the issuance of even more “move over” law tickets.
The New York State DOT has 100 work zones set up across the state each day. Last year, there were 100 accidents or intrusions involving drivers in those work zones. We expect that these areas will become “move over” enforcement zones (i.e., that police officers will be patrolling work zones looking for motorists who fail to move over). Keep in mind that speeding in a work zone already is more serious than regularly speeding with doubled fines, a suspension for two convictions to speeding in a work zone and courts less lenient in plea bargaining these types of speeds.
Five DOT workers lost their lives in highway accidents through the years and, last November, a tow truck operator was struck and killed near Syracuse while tending to a disabled vehicle on the New York State Thruway. The expanded move over law is aimed to reduce these types of accidents.
The $275 fine and 3 points under the expanded “move over” law statute remains the same.