New York Move Over Law Amended

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.

Previous Post
Does A Speeding Ticket Affect My Auto Insurance Rates?
Next Post
Crossover Mirror Law Enacted

Related Posts

234 Comments. Leave new

  • Hi Matt,

    Thank you really for helping people with your guidance, really kind of you.

    Reading a lot of responses here, I have also pleaded not guilty to the VTL 1144- A A ticket I received in Steuben County, Lindley. Now I have received a letter from the court saying that the court accepts my not guilty plea and I have either the right to a trial or to contact the DA seeking a reduction. My questions is if I contact the DA, what are my chances of getting out of this offense to a zero-point lesser offense with an otherwise clean record. Also, on accepting a lesser offense, I assume the 1144 A A will not be reflected on my record, or will it still be there on my driving license? In other words, with my question, I am trying to understand if accepting reduction (if offered) from DA will change the violation to a lesser offense, or is it still going to be same offense, but reduced penalty like just monitory fine and no-points. Please advise if I should go the DA route or go straight to the court for trial.

    Thanks in advance for your help.

    Regards

    Reply
    • Matthew Weiss
      June 10, 2018 8:33 am

      N,

      If you are offered and accept a reduction from the DA, your driving record will only reflect the reduced charge (not the original one).

      Good luck.

      Matthew Weiss

      Reply
      • Thanks very much Matt.
        I will leave my outcome here for knowledge sharing.
        One quick question if you may – in your experience, what are are chances of winning the 1144 A A charge in the court, since this is subjective on driver’s decision on whether it was safe to move over. I am still debating whether I should go DA route or fight it in the court.

        Thanks Matt for your help.
        N

        Reply
  • Question:
    (1) Can I FOIL the type of violations cited by a particular police officer on a particular day?
    (2) If the vast majority of those tickets are for VTL 1144-A A violations and I refuse to accept a reduced non moving violation in exchange for a guilty plea do you think an article 78 could successfully argue a case for entrapment? (If the police presence was primarily to issue move-over violation then it seems that there was no emergency and hence not an emergency vehicle?)

    Reply
    • Matthew Weiss
      May 14, 2018 10:00 pm

      AReed,

      Answers in bold below:

      (1) Can I FOIL the type of violations cited by a particular police officer on a particular day? Yes.

      (2) If the vast majority of those tickets are for VTL 1144-A A violations and I refuse to accept a reduced non moving violation in exchange for a guilty plea do you think an article 78 could successfully argue a case for entrapment? (If the police presence was primarily to issue move-over violation then it seems that there was no emergency and hence not an emergency vehicle?). You can only pursue an Article 78 proceeding after you resolve your case. Further, I think it will be tough to win unless you can show that there is a pattern of issue “move over” tickets when no emergency exists.

      Matthew Weiss

      Reply
  • I know that it’s a stupid thing to do but I love in upstate ny and I drive without a license to work and that about it… I have had 2 auo’s in the past… Now my question is if I get stopped in the future what will happen and what will the court fine be… I know that this is no related to the 1144-AS but I really need some advice… And I know that I shouldn’t be driving w/o a license but that’s the only way that I can get to work….

    Thank you…

    Anonymous

    Reply
    • Anonymous,

      If you are convicted of a third AUO, you will be fined and could be put in jail. Your car could also be part of a civil forfeiture proceeding if the prosecutor wants to be aggressive.

      How about clearing up your underlying suspensions and getting a driver’s license? This is what I highly recommend. Call us if you need help.

      Matthew Weiss
      212-683-7373

      Reply
  • I received a NYS 1144-AB on I-88. what does AB mean, and how should I plead?

    Reply
    • Cin,

      You should plead not guilty as this is the only way to obtain a more favorable outcome.

      Matthew Weiss

      Reply
  • Yavette miller
    August 30, 2017 11:02 am

    I was traveling on I86E and turned off on exit 11. There was an officer on the side of the exit parked behind another vehicle that was pulled over. I don’t remember him having his lights on. The officer was not outside the car as I started the turn. As I passed the parked cars I noticed him starring at us as we passed. I was not speeding and I had slowed to engage the turn and slowed further when i saw the parked cars. We were going to the Chautauqua Humane society so my mom could purchase a senior dog. I turned right after reaching the end of the exit and proceeded to the humane society. When I signaled to turn into the humane society I saw lights in my rear window. I pulled in and parked. The officer approached the car and asked i f i knew why he was trailing me. i said “no.” He informed me of his “right to life law.” and said that I had passed him too close to his vehicle. I did not give him 4 feet between vehicles. I had 2 passengers in the car, my mom and my 11 year old daughter. I certainly would not want to endanger them nor the officer. Since it was an exit there was not another lane to pull into as required by the law. I did slow down and proceed as I felt was safe regarding the road. conditions. I don’t see anything that states distance of a vehicle. I have a hearing today at 3pm. My mom is going with me. I plan to tell them i proceeded slowly and safely for both my passengers and the cars. Is there anything else I should be aware of? I was googling the 1144-AA citation for further understanding and came across this thread today. Thank you for your time and attention to this matter.
    Yavette Miller

    Reply
    • Matthew Weiss
      August 30, 2017 10:54 pm

      Yavette miller,

      Distance is a reasonable one and that often boils down to your word versus the officer’s. Guess who usually wins in that battle?

      Matthew Weiss

      Reply
    • Yvette – that’s horrible. We law abiding citizens try so hard to do the right thing – the road if full of road rage, meth addicts, and drunks and people like you get stopped. Did you ask if the police car had a dashcam camera? I wonder how it turned out for you – you being so careful. You deserve better than “You’re word against his – you’re screwed.” We decent folk all deserve better.

      Reply
  • Hi I am Canadian (Ontario Licence holder) I recently got 1144-AB and the officer asked me to reply back through the mail. This was my first visit to US and I was actually lost the way and merged to I-86 and right after merging i passed the Hez Vehicle. i wasnt aware and i believe i slowed down my vehicle as well. I am oke to pay the fine but will I get the points on my License. it will really hike my insurance. What is the best way to handle it?

    Reply
    • Matthew Weiss
      July 19, 2017 11:21 pm

      Atif Akbar,

      You should plead not guilty as this is the only way to possibly save points as well as avoid a possible insurance hike.

      Matthew Weiss

      Reply
  • theo naidoo
    July 17, 2017 6:31 pm

    Good Day. I am from the UK visiting the USA on business, and took the opportunity over this past weekend to visit Niagra Falls in the New York state with a hired car. I do have a valid license, and valid international driving license. Like most others here, I was completely unaware of this law and co-operated fully, and given a ticket. The police car was stationary in the shoulder lane, switched off, attending to another vehicle when I passed it. Given the fact that I am leaving the USA in 10 days, how do I approach this? $275 is a significantly large fine! I would like to plea not guilty, but not able to return to the USA to appear in court. It seems I am ‘forced’ to plea guilty. How can I tackle this in the limited time I have available? And how will this all work with the rental car company? Will they get the ticket?

    Reply
    • Matthew Weiss
      July 18, 2017 1:33 am

      theo naidoo,

      Given your situation, I recommend that you plead guilty and pay the fine.

      Matthew Weiss

      Reply
  • Thank you for your replies to this thread. I received a ticket for this violation. I live in PA I saw the police vehicle on the side of the road no people outside of vehicles and slowed down but did not switch lanes. I believed only slowing down was necessary. The state trooper issued a ticket. He only put a portion of my statement on the ticket “I didn’t know” I realize I was in the wrong and am hoping to have the ticket dismissed as a warning or having it reduced. My question is can I do this by mail? The ticket was issued in Steuben County. The court is Lindley. Thank you.

    Reply
    • Matthew Weiss
      July 14, 2017 10:58 pm

      D McG,

      At many NY traffic courts, you cannot negotiate a traffic ticket via mail. You can try but you may have to appear.

      Matthew Weiss

      Reply
  • Hi Mr. Weiss.
    I was just in New York visiting family. On my way to the airport, a cop pulled me over and said I violated the “move over” law. I was coming around a turn in the freeway. He had someone pulled over. As I got closer to them, the car he had pulled over, pulled right out in front of me to get back onto the freeway. I had to put on my brakes and that’s when he came up behind me & pulled me over. He said I failed to move over. I had no idea that the car was done getting their ticket and coming back onto the freeway. And I had no idea about this law. And when I told him these things, he said he was going to Google if Arizona had this law. And if we did, then I was getting a ticket. Sure enough, Arizona does have this same law. He told me I could plead guilty and pay the fine. Or plead not guilty and fight it in court. I’m not coming back to NY anytime soon, and it’d probably cost more for me to fly out there to appear then it would to pay a fine. My question is does this effect my AZ license now since I have to plead guilty? And how much is this fine? I just don’t think it’s fair since even while I was pulled over, all the cars were still traveling in the right lane just as I was. Regardless, I got the ticket, but I just don’t know how this will effect my Arizona license. And here we are allowed to take a class to remove the ticket from our record. Can I do that for this even though it’s out of state? I’ve never been ticketed before.

    Reply
    • Jessica,

      A conviction to this charge will transfer onto your AZ license (assuming AZ has a similar type of violation). The fine will be roughly $150 to $200.

      New York has a class that can remove NY points but it won’t help you in AZ. In any event, if you want to remove the NY points, you can take the NY Driver Safety Class.

      Matthew Weiss

      Reply
  • Hi Mr. Weiss,

    Thank you for the advice. I called the court and they said I can’t get another court date because I had 2 already. Even though I submitted proof if hospitalized for both times. The clerk said is since July of last year and it’s too old to get another date. She said I should plea guilty and pay fines (which I don’t know the amount) to get my suspension lifted. Or come to court (which is 4hrs away) and see the judge. The problem is I can’t afford to get points on my license since I’m up for a job requiring me to obtain a CDL permit at minimum. If I plead guilty that’s considered a conviction on my record right?

    Thanks
    Sabrina

    Reply
    • Sabrina,

      If you plead guilty, then it is considered a conviction on your driving record. Sounds like you should go to court and speak to the judge about this matter. If you do not want to drive 4 hours, then you can retain a NY traffic lawyer to appear for you.

      Good luck!

      Matthew Weiss

      Reply
  • Hi Mr. Weiss,

    I received a 1144-AA ticket back in July, 2015. The officer stated I passed him while he had a car pulled over. I stated to the officer, that as I was coming around the bend, a truck cut in front of me and I signaled and got in the right lane from the middle lane and that’s when I saw you. But, here’s the thing, there was a car in front of me and 2 behind me. Why didn’t he pulled them over I asked. He said he didn’t see them. I said did you see what transpired with the truck cutting me off and of course he said he didn’t see that. Anyway, I plead not guilty are received a court date for September 2015. I was hospitalized and was unable to make the appearance. I sent in a letter with proof of my hospital discharge papers and ask for a reschedule date. I even call to verify they received my fax and the clerk said she did. She said don’t worry we will send you another date. Well that never happened.

    I just got an offer of employment and have to get a CDL and come to find out my license is suspended for failure to appear to answer a ticket! My question is, can my license be restored as if it was not suspended if I or a lawyer answers this ticket asap? Also, is it a 1144-a or 1144-AA ticket? I cannot afford to have points on my license at this time as a condition of the employment offer.

    Please Help!!!

    Thanks,
    Sabrina

    Reply
    • Sabrina,

      You should call the court again. Your case likely is awaiting a new date but you should confirm. When you do get a court date, you liley can negotiate this down to a less serious charge.

      Good luck!

      Matthew Weiss

      Reply
  • Matthew,

    I received a ticket under Law 1144-A while driving on I-84 back home to CT. While I was unaware of the law, I understand and accepted the ticket. The state trooper specifically told me that it would have no points associated with it or any effect on my insurance and that the amount of the fine would be determined in part by whether I had any other similar violations on my record (it has been 8 years since I’ve received any violation of any kind). After pleading guilty by mail, I received the notification of the fine from the court, which was $150 plus a surcharge of another $93. What is the reason for the surcharge of 62% of the amount of the fine, which seems to be unbelkeivably excessive! Now I am reading online that there is a reciprocal agreement between NY and CT and this violation does have points and will in fact be communicated to my insurance company despite what the state trooper told me.

    I would appreciate it if you could provide me with some insight here. Thanks.

    Reply
    • Pete,

      A NY conviction will NOT transfer as points onto your CT license. However, the conviction will be reported to CT and, therefore, can be used by it to raise your rates. New York will also maintain a record of NY convictions that you obtain here with your CT license and can penalize you like a NY driver would be penalized. In this case, NY will assign 3 points onto your NY record (while using your CT license).

      In regard to the surcharge, sadly this is a NYS tax that must be paid (in addition to the fine) when you plead guilty to a NY moving violation. Welcome to New York!

      Matthew Weiss

      Matthew Weiss

      Reply
  • I too received ticket for not pulling over when the officer was writing a ticket for another vehicle however in my case it was pouring rain I did slow down of course due to the rain and I moved over the best I could because the other lane was busy and even though I am unfamiliar with the law which I stated to the officer .. I’m unable to go to court to fight it but I don’t feel I’m guilty

    Reply
  • Hello Mr. Weiss,

    I received an 1144a ticket today in Clayton, NY. I was driving the speed limit with another car one car length in front of me on a road with a single lane in each direction. An officer drove up behind me and eventually put flashers on and siren and immediately overtook both cars and went on its way. The car in front of me started to pull over to the side of the road, but by that time the trooper was already well past them. My speed had slowed so much that the car in front was able to pull back onto the road in front of me. Roughly five minutes later, I noticed another cop car behind me who then pulled me over. He said I had failed to yield to the previous cop (who presumably radioed him to come find me on the road).

    He asked if I didn’t see the cop car behind me. I told him that I hadn’t noticed the cop car because I am unfamiliar with what they look like in NY (I am traveling from Toronto). Before I could explain anything further – that I eventually realized it was a cop car even before the siren and flashers went on – he went back to his car for about 15-20 minutes before re-emerging with the ticket. I then told him that I felt like this was entrapment; that the first cop car only put on the siren and lights to overtake and wasn’t trailing me with them on for any distance. He told me that the first cop was responding to a “domestic,” gave me the ticket and went on his way.

    Does 1144a even apply in this instance? From what I have read, it applies to vehicles on the side of the road as opposed to those that come up behind you like in this instance. I feel strongly that this was a dishonest bit of tag team work from the officers and seems highly unusual.

    How can I be at fault here when the first officer was long gone before the car in front of me even completed pulling over to the side of the road?

    On the ticket, the officer noted that I said, “I’m sorry, I’m not familiar with the cars over here, I didn’t see them.” – I did not say that, and even if some of those words were said, they were not said in that context.

    The ticket also notes that ” vehicle failed to move over for 3D61, 3D61 had emergency lights and siren going. 3D61 and myself called to a domestic” – if the ticketing officer were also called to a “domestic,” how then was he able to spend 30 minutes with me before leisurely following me for 5 more minutes on the road afterwards?

    I feel that Ontario drivers are easy targets for this sort of thing because the officers assume we won’t come back to fight it and it’s easy money. If the first officer were called to a domestic, why was she tailing me at normal speed for a few minutes prior to taking off? I had no reaction time to pull over before she overtook me, it was that abrupt. And how can I be held accountable for failing to pull over after she had long gone past? I had a passenger in the car with me who can verify these details.

    Thanks for reading through this long query. Does any of this seem unusual to you? Have you heard of this sort of thing before? Can I fight it on a technicality of 1144a not being applicable? What do you suggest?

    Thanks.

    Reply
    • Jonathan,

      Firstly, I’m sorry to hear about this incident. It sounds like you did not do anything wrong.

      In any event, NY’s Vehicle and Traffic Law section 1144a does NOT apply in this instance. This section, as you correctly write, is for motorists approaching an emergency vehicle on the side of the road. There is another section that governs approaching emergency vehicles which would have been the correct law under which to charge you. Therefore, you have a strong legal argument to beat this ticket.

      Good luck!

      Matthew Weiss

      Reply
  • Matthew, I just received the 1144-AA violation ticket this evening myself. I live in NJ and after reading the posts here would consider submitting an not guilty plea to try to avoid the 2 points on my NJ licence.

    My Question is, having never appearing in traffic court , how do I go about finding a traffic court lawyer to assist me by May 3rd (court date)? Are there lawyers at the courthouse when I arrive the I can use, do I have to find one and have him show up with me?
    Any advice would be great.
    Best Regards
    James

    Reply
  • Received a 1144aa ticket in new York state for a state trooper who had pulled a motorist over, I currently hold a Ontario, Canada license, do I plead not guilty, I had no idea of this law. Plus the traffic was heavy and could not move to the other lane safely.

    Reply
  • Hi Matthew,

    I received a ticket for 1144-AA violation over a month ago in NY state, but I have a MD license. My plan is to appear on my court date and plead not guilty (I think it’s too late to plead not guilty by mail). However, if I am found guilty in court, will the 3 points transfer to my MD license?

    I have never been pulled over before, so I do not know how the court system works in NY state. Do I need to come prepared with a $275 certified check on my court date in case I am found guilty? Do they accept credit cards or no?

    Thanks,
    Sonata

    Reply
    • Sonata,

      For an 1144-a violation the answer is “no”. See below from the Maryland Department Of Transportation website for the precise rule:

      Can points be assessed against my Maryland driver record if I am convicted of a vehicle-related violation in another state?

      Yes. If you are convicted of a vehicle-related offense in a jurisdiction outside of Maryland, the MVA may assess points. The Driver License Compact, to which Maryland is a signatory, guides the MVA’s actions. The types of out-of-state violations for which points may be assessed in Maryland include:

      Alcohol or drug related offenses;
      Leaving the scene of a personal injury accident;
      Homicide or manslaughter involving a vehicle;
      Use of a motor vehicle in the commission of a felony.
      The point values identified in Maryland law for similar offenses determine the number of points that you will be assessed.

      Reply
  • I live in NJ and driving to upstate NY got a ticket
    Common Defenses to VTL 1144-aa- I was on Palisades interstate pkway and driving on second lane I saw the police and another vehicle on the side road I saw the police coming out from his car but it was in a 1-2 second since I was in second lane so I lowered my speed a lot… since I don’t want to hit him. I do not know I had to move to the first lane. I only had this in mind ( don’t speed drive within the speed limit 55mph so I was on my lane driving) things happened so quickly and did not even realize I had to move to the first lane.. after10-15mins he followed me and gave me a ticket.
    does this have point? I just started driving and wondering how many point I get. if I consult with a lawyer and bring him/her to the court is there any chance I get 0 point? I need to mail my ticket should I say guilty or not guilty?

    Reply
    • drcherri,

      This ticket carries 3 points in NY and will transfer as 2 onto your NJ license. You should plead not guilty. IF you do, you likely can save points. Plus, as a new driver, you may still be on probation providing another reason to plead not guilty.

      Matthew Weiss

      Reply
  • I can’t even make this up a different anyone has advise or a cheap lawyer please let me know. Long story short, I was driving by a tow truck at a slow pace because I couldn’t change lanes and the driver reaches out and smashes my rear view mirror. I pull over and call 911 to report being attacked by the tow truck driver. I confront the driver of why he did such an idiot thing but his only response is “then call the police”. The state trooper shows up 35 minutes later, asks for my docs and tells me to get back in my car. Another 20 minutes later, the tow truck pulls out, the trooper comes to my window, gives me my docs back and gives me a ticket for the move over law. Is it just me? The guy smashes my rearview mirror and I call the cops and get a ticket. Any advice would be greatly appreciated because I was totally blindsided by this outcome.

    Reply
  • I too was issued a ticket for 1144-AA on the NYS Thruway in Cornwall NY. I without a doubt followed this law to the letter yet still recieved a ticket. Afetr reading all of these stories I too am now a victim of this scam. Through my job I have pre-paid free legal and fully intend on fighting this if I can get ahold of any dashboard video from the patrol unit. If not its my word against his. Your thoughts?

    Reply
    • Tom,

      Even without the officer’s dash cam recording, you should plead not guilty. If you do, you likely can negotiate this down to a 0-point ticket via a plea bargain.

      Matthew Weiss

      Reply
  • Hi,

    I am a Pennsylvania resident and I received a 1144a ticket.

    Does the NY DMV notify the Pennsylvania DMV about this violation if I plead guilty and pay the fine?

    If the NY DMV does NOT notify the Pennsylvania DMV about this violation after I plead guilty and pay the fine, does that mean that my auto insurance company will also not find out about this violation?

    Thank you.

    -Jae

    Reply
    • Jae,

      If you are convicted, NY will report it to PA and, therefore, you PA insurance company can find out about it. However, the 3-points from NY for this ticket will not transfer onto your PA license.

      Matthew Weiss

      Reply
  • Class Action Suit. This law– as it is being enforced— is endangering drivers forced to choose between making a risky move on Interstate 84 and obeying the mandate. The Interstate highways are very very different than your local village streets and they call for different rules. This state law must be further modified to limit the instances where Interstates have whole lanes of traffic closed to drivers using the excuse of law enforcement—- unless there are cones used so that drivers know that the lanes are closed ahead.

    NY state police themselves seem to be making the case for the public with the massive abusive manipulation of this law which is a good law in its first incarnation as 1144-A–you have to pull over if an emergency vehicle is comin’ through– every place has that law. I am passionate about pulling over for ambulances and firetrucks etc, as that could be your family member at the receiving end. But the 1144-AA seems to be a rotten instrument of oppression made for the benefit of local revenue generation and it seems to be used on Interstate 84 now in ways with unintended dangerous results.

    If the legal system was honest about the need for justice, it would not take long for people to realize– based upon these posts here–that there is no justice in this scheme which entraps the slower drivers on the Interstate highways like Route 84 in New York State where traps are being set up.

    This is a Federal Interstate Highway with a very unjust state law that is impeding the Interstate travel of many people–and THAT is not Constitutional. This law 1144-AA is being used to capture and delay the travel of motorists but also because of the criminalization of traffic laws in NY state that should be simple administrative events as in other states–the cost to travelers is excessive as they must hire an attorney to appear for the just resolution of the ticket if they live far away. Only if you plead guilty will you have the ability to pay via mail. Wrong and unjust.

    Innocent and Not Guilty pleadings should be able to protest via mail as in New York City which has a different system than upstate NY, (traffic tickets are admin and not criminal court) or in other states such as New Jersey where you are informed of the ticket price when you receive the ticket. Having to hire an attorney for an innocent or not guilty person is the same as charging a fine. Same money. The average resident of New York State does not have a family attorney. There are plenty of other sources of services income that need to be developed for the public without gifting the local attorneys with the traffic courts fees.

    Justice is not Let’s Make A Deal upstate courts where cell phones are not allowed, the judges are not required to have legal degrees, and under court secrecy there is a mockery of a fair due process. Trials for traffic minor offenses is stupid so change it. Using a Federal Interstate to generate the tickets and then using a secretive court where all of the tickets are plea bargained is not a Justice System but rather an injustice like installing a toll gate right there on the Federal Highway.

    The worst and most difficult and dangerous drivers on our Interstates in NY are in the fast lane already going over 100 miles per hour toward their destinations: massive tractor trailer trucks, the Range Rovers and Hummers crowd, the union firemen and police who rarely go the speed limit or drive safely in their private vehicles as they are in a “special social class” now in NY–that group includes politicians, lawyers, and whoever else can file for ticket dismissals.

    Rt 84 is like a drag race with the majority of drivers in the fast lane going 20 or 30 miles over the limit. ( State troopers themselves drive over 100 mph regularly down that lane–weaving in and out of traffic). Changing lanes at any time out of the slower right lane will expose a driver to danger as you will not see the oncoming cars in your mirror–they are moving up on you from behind too fast and they seem to think leaving space of 2 car lengths in between cars is sufficient. It is clearly NOT. So virtually impossible to “move over” on the Interstate if you are driving at or below the posted speed limit when the speeders in the left lane are hogging the road. Even more unjust when there is ice and snow or other bad conditions such as water on the road.

    This situation with the 1144-AA law has made Route 84 into a 2 lane speedway instead of a four lane interstate. With a no man’s land slow lane used to trap the passerby who is coming down the road thinking that by driving the speed limit in the appropriate lane, they will not have to pay New York State for the privilege. Wrong! Drive in the slow lane at your own risk. If you drive the speed limit in either lane, you will be honked at and jeered by the other drivers as they seek to resume their speeding habit once they get around your vehicle. Police cars join in the fun on this one, often coming up behind within a few inches of the rear bumper until a driver,startled and terrified, realizes what is there. They rarely use their sirens on the Interstate. They just APPEAR, During the daytime, they don’t seem to have the lights on when they are stopped on the shoulder. Strong daylight makes it hard to see a light in the distance when it is up in front and a truck or large vehicle can block the view. Good luck spotting them on the side of the road on an Interstate if you are not specifically looking for them.

    People who are in the work force must not only answer these unjust Federal Interstate traffic tickets but also they must appear again at the local court– on weeknights– to negotiate the graft, costing them work time and hassle. The local restaurants,motels, and gas stations must love the traffic ticket tourism. But most of all, it is the system that is so hard to understand because it has been DESIGNED that way–to screw the public with confusion.

    The intent of this 1144-AA law was public safety (no one here is complaining about making the roads safer) BUT the enforcement is clearly being used in a way that makes drivers and their passengers more unsafe!!!

    Majority of motorists will voluntarily move over if possible for the police parked at the side of the road when they see flashing lights as they don’t fancy getting shot by some altercation. Don’t need a law for this; it is common sense. Unless of course, some humongous truck sees a driver signal to move over and it speeds up because God Forbid someone “get in” in front of the macho man truck driver.

    We good drivers get STUCK in between the law and the in your face lawbreakers who are out there ruling the road while we are targeted because we are easier and nicer to catch. A stop that takes 1 hour at the side of the road with a senior male or female, makes the officer safer (and generates the same cash ) by not having exposure to the criminals who would have required a high speed chase to capture. He could also stay home and watch TV with the same safety result for the public.

    This is all about the runaway power structure of the police unions which allow this abuse instead of addressing the dangerous problem drivers who are passing us by on their merry fast-driving way.

    It is time to address the real issue in this enforcement which is how BEST to enforce laws on our Interstate highways in NY State and how to BEST prevent “enforcement frauds” on the public. Because tickets for “faux offenses” given to drivers passing through—is NOT the way to go because it is not even Constitutional in the USA: state police cannot create hazards on a Federal Interstate and then give tickets to drivers for being the victim of their entrapment.

    Any lawyers out there who want to take it to the Supreme Court?

    Reply
  • Ed "FACE" Korman
    August 6, 2015 10:14 pm

    Re: 1144-aa

    Mathew, Great site….however, with all the info I’ve read, I’m still a bit confused.

    Before I get into the specifics, please keep in mind that there’s NO WAY I’ll be able to travel 420 miles to appear in court; that being stated, I’d like to get some clarity on my options:

    If I plead NOT GUILTY – as you seem to suggest to most folks here – and the court finds against me, am I then obligated to appear in person on some future hearing date?…or can I change my plea, and then pay the fine by mail?

    And if I plead GUILTY – and supply an explanation of the circumstances – do I at least have a chance of getting the fine and/or points reduced?

    Details: 7/19, 10:52 A.M., Angelica NY (Allegheny County), I-86W. Two lane highway. A larger vehicle in front of me quickly moved over; that’s when I first saw the trooper’s vehicle and a car she had apparently pulled over. Moving one lane to the left at that point would have been dangerous (IMO), due to the traffic in that lane. Also, there were a couple of vehicles directly behind me, the closer one practically riding my bumper at approx. 60 mph…so slamming on the brakes in hopes of getting over one lane would likely have been just as unwise. I decided to slow down gradually, passing the two vehicles which were well on the shoulder at approx 45 mph…both the trooper and the pulled over person were inside their respective vehicles; I don’t recall if the trooper had her flasher lights on – but I’d have to assume so. In any case, she “caught up” with me less than 3 minutes later, to pull me over and hand me the 1144-AA citation.

    I have no idea if you’re familiar with the MA rating system for drivers; according to the MRB Merit Rating Info Search sent to me by my Ins Co, my last driving infraction was for speeding in Jan of 2011(surcharge May 2011), and was only a 2 pt penalty – (apparently, a first offense on a clean record In MA brings you down to a “neutral” rating (?)…and according to my insurance co, with one of those points being dropped, I’m currently only 1 point from the best possible rating.
    The aforementioned info sheet further states (under “Description”), “EXCELLENT DRIVER 98 (CLEAN IN THREE)”…. which, according to them essentially means I’d have a perfectly clean record next year – (I have no idea if that info will/will not help my case…I figured you’d be able to tell me.

    At this point, I really don’t have the in-pocket funds to hire an attorney to fight this, AND possibly pay a fine; on the other hand, I am the beneficiary of a small Trust…and one of the stipulations is that they cover the cost of my various insurances (and possible resulting insurance increases, depending on the outcome of this case).

    But obviously, I’d prefer to minimize the effect on my driving record as much as feasible, based on the fact that I felt the action I took under the circumstances – slowing down, the pulled over drivers were in their vehicles, and moving to the left of the lane I was in as much as possible – would minimize any negative outcome more than the alternative: trying to force my way into the left lane, or drastically slowing down (possibly having to come to a complete stop), until I could get over to the left lane.

    Your expert input/advice would be most appreciated.

    Sincere thanx!

    Ed “FACE” Korman

    Reply
    • Answers in bold below.

      Before I get into the specifics, please keep in mind that there’s NO WAY I’ll be able to travel 420 miles to appear in court; that being stated, I’d like to get some clarity on my options: If you cannot travel, then you can hire a NY traffic lawyer to appear for you.

      If I plead NOT GUILTY – as you seem to suggest to most folks here – and the court finds against me, am I then obligated to appear in person on some future hearing date? If you plead not guilty, then you or your lawyer will have to appear. …or can I change my plea, and then pay the fine by mail? You can always change your plea to guilty and then you will not have to appear.

      And if I plead GUILTY – and supply an explanation of the circumstances – do I at least have a chance of getting the fine and/or points reduced? Not likely. The fine will likely be the minimum or close to the minimum assuming you have an otherwise clean NY record.

      Details: 7/19, 10:52 A.M., Angelica NY (Allegheny County), I-86W. Two lane highway. A larger vehicle in front of me quickly moved over; that’s when I first saw the trooper’s vehicle and a car she had apparently pulled over. Moving one lane to the left at that point would have been dangerous (IMO), due to the traffic in that lane. Also, there were a couple of vehicles directly behind me, the closer one practically riding my bumper at approx. 60 mph…so slamming on the brakes in hopes of getting over one lane would likely have been just as unwise. I decided to slow down gradually, passing the two vehicles which were well on the shoulder at approx 45 mph…both the trooper and the pulled over person were inside their respective vehicles; I don’t recall if the trooper had her flasher lights on – but I’d have to assume so. In any case, she “caught up” with me less than 3 minutes later, to pull me over and hand me the 1144-AA citation.

      I have no idea if you’re familiar with the MA rating system for drivers; according to the MRB Merit Rating Info Search sent to me by my Ins Co, my last driving infraction was for speeding in Jan of 2011(surcharge May 2011), and was only a 2 pt penalty – (apparently, a first offense on a clean record In MA brings you down to a “neutral” rating (?)…and according to my insurance co, with one of those points being dropped, I’m currently only 1 point from the best possible rating.
      The aforementioned info sheet further states (under “Description”), “EXCELLENT DRIVER 98 (CLEAN IN THREE)”…. which, according to them essentially means I’d have a perfectly clean record next year – (I have no idea if that info will/will not help my case…I figured you’d be able to tell me.

      At this point, I really don’t have the in-pocket funds to hire an attorney to fight this, AND possibly pay a fine; on the other hand, I am the beneficiary of a small Trust…and one of the stipulations is that they cover the cost of my various insurances (and possible resulting insurance increases, depending on the outcome of this case).

      But obviously, I’d prefer to minimize the effect on my driving record as much as feasible, based on the fact that I felt the action I took under the circumstances – slowing down, the pulled over drivers were in their vehicles, and moving to the left of the lane I was in as much as possible – would minimize any negative outcome more than the alternative: trying to force my way into the left lane, or drastically slowing down (possibly having to come to a complete stop), until I could get over to the left lane. The only way to possibly minimize the effect on your driving record is to plead not guilty.

      Reply
  • I was traveling to Canada from CT and in passing through NY I was pulled over for the Move Over law, which I hadn’t heard of. There were no signs along that stretch of road, and told him I wasn’t aware of the law. He said it’s been in effect in 48 states and I should have known. It’s in a town about 4 hours from home. Will the points go on my CT license, and do you know how much this ticket would cost?

    Reply
  • Hi Matthew,
    Thank you for very informative blog. I recently got pulled over for “failure due care for emergency vehicle stopped or standing” (1144-AA) in Montgomery County, NY. I live in MA and was wondering if I plead guilty to it, would it affect my insurance?

    thank you,
    Tash

    Reply
  • Hi,
    I got a ticket on NY State Thruway, for 1144-AA. I am a NJ driver. I told the police office that I am sorry and I didn’t know the law. I live more than 3 hours away. I want to avoid the points as I have a clean driving record.
    Do I need to plea not guilty in order to do any plea bargaining for a lessor charge?
    Are the points transferable to NJ?
    Can the plea bargaining be done by mail or phone or does one have to appear in court? It is a long drive for me to go to court.
    Thank you.

    Reply
    • Hank,

      Yes, you must plead not guilty in order to try and plea bargain this down to a lesser charge. This 3-point NY offense will transfer as 2 points onto your NJ license. In most courts, you cannot plea bargain by mail (and never via phone). Call you court to check. If you must appear and you do not want to travel so far, then you can hire a NY traffic lawyer to appear for you.

      Matthew Weiss

      Reply
  • Hallo Matthew,

    as tourist I got an “Uniform Traffic Ticket” in State New York from a state trooper for not move over due care for emergency vehicle stopped.

    I didn’t know the law before and hadn’t see a sign (got the ticket on first day driving on an interstate). There wasn’t a car on the left lane. I only slowed down a bit and payed attention (like I have to do in Europe).

    Should I plea guilty or not guilty? I am back in Europe and couldn’t appear at court. If I plead not guilty how does it work? A written explanation additional to the plead by mail?

    Is there for not Americans a way to do it online?

    What will be the consequences? Higher fines for Tourists? Especially when I plead not guilty and don’t appear at court?

    Thank you very much in advance.
    Best regards Stefan

    Reply
    • Stefan,

      Given that you are a tourist and unlikely to be driving in NY (or even the US) for a while. We recommend that you plead guilty and pay the fine. You can call the court to help you establish the fine amount. Whatever you do, do NOT ignore the ticket. This is the worst thing that you could do.

      Matthew Weiss

      Reply
  • Hi Mr Weiss:
    We got stopped by a state trooper in the interstate 90 and we did not know why, when he approached us he asked if we knew why he was stopping us and we said no. He told us that we did not change lanes
    When he was in the emergency lane and told us that there is this law 1144-aa. We told him we are from Puerto Rico and did not know about the law my husband was driving he reduced but still gave us the ticket . If we plead guilty and the court does not agree will we have to come back to court. Thanks for any help

    Reply
    • Brunilda,

      If you plead guilty, you will be assessed a fine and that will be the end of the case. NY will impose 3 points on your NY privilege to drive here with your Puerto Rico license.

      Matthew Weiss

      Reply
  • I got a ticket near Middletown, NY (Orange County) for “not moving over” #1144-AA; I have a clean record and live 2 hours away from this town. What should I do? How much is it and how many points is this violation?

    Reply
    • Tina,

      This ticket carries 3 points and roughly a $200 fine. We therefore suggest that you plead not guilty. This is the only way to possibly save points.

      Matthew Weiss

      Reply
  • Hi Matt,

    Yesterday I was driving in upstate NY and was pulled over for failing to move over. An officer was on the left shoulder w/lights on, and at first I thought it was signaling road construction(common here in PA), By the time I noticed it was an accident, there were cars on the right of me and I couldn’t move over. Is it worth a day off work, and traveling 3 hours to try and fight this? I don’t know how this will transfer to PA and my insurance.
    Thank you,
    Mike

    Reply
    • Mike,

      A NY conviction to this case will result in 3 NY points but they will NOT transfer onto your PA license. You can check with your insurance company regarding whether it will affect your rates but, if you have a clean record, likely not.

      Matthew Weiss

      Reply
  • I got a speeding ticket on the NYS Thruway. What does location coded 0151 mean?

    Reply
  • Hi Matthew,
    Thanks for your time to help us.
    I got a move over ticket in NY. I sent back the ticket to court and plead not guilty. Received the letter from court, asked me to contact district attorney’s office to apply a reduction program with $250/$150 administration fee, if my request is accepted, then take safe driving course, but the final result still unknown.
    May I contact court to schedule a trial date and get a reduction or waive the points at court?
    I read all the posts here, seems nobody mentioned this program, you said the result may be $150 without points, do you mean get this from judge at the trial court?
    Appreciate your help.
    Robin

    Reply
  • I was given a move over ticket yesterday by an officer. I was travelling on the highway and I saw the officer at an other vehicle. I looked in my mirror and a car was coming fast behind me and there was also one in my blind spot so i couldn’t switch lane. However I reduced my speed below 50 and the speed limit is 40. I now live in new jersey which is about 3 hours away.

    Please advise

    Reply
    • Lowell,

      This move over traffic ticket carries 3 points and roughly a $200 fine. It will transfer as 2 points onto your NJ license. We therefore recommend that you fight it.

      Matthew Weiss

      Reply
  • Charles Zeuren
    May 4, 2014 2:23 pm

    Hi Matthew….thnx for the advice! CZ

    Reply
  • Charles Zeuren
    April 15, 2014 10:59 am

    Greetings…I was traveling on Rt. 84 in Patterson, NY! Saw a cop had pulled someone over (both were sitting in their cars as I passed) and I slowed down to 55 as I passed them. Vehicle coming up on my left so I couldn’t pull over to the left lane without causing an accident! I really never heard of this law before and explained it to the cop!…didn’t seem to matter. He still issued me a ticket! Do you suggest I plead “Not Guilty” and fight the ticket?? I have a clean driving record!…and as I said…I noticed a car coming up on my left as I slowed down to pass the officer’s vehicle! Thnx for your advice!

    Reply
  • Thank you for this informative site. Last night (1/31),I was caught in a situation that is almost identical to that of many post here. I was driving West on 490 towards Buffalo and saw flashing lights ahead. Someone was apparently stopped and being ticketed for something. I was on in the right lane and never even considered the idea of moving left given the fact that it was dark with lots of oncoming traffic. I had never heard of the law regarding police vehicles, etc. I slowed down, passed the police car and almost immediately saw flashing lights and a car behind me. I stopped and was told about the infraction. I told the officer that I did not want to risk moving to the left because of the heavy traffic. He claimed that he had checked and there was no traffic close enough for me not to have moved to the left safely. I did not know about the law and the officer inferred as much when he asked me about it.Since I cannot disprove what he says, I assume you would suggest that I dispute it and go for plea bargaining, right?.

    Reply
    • Edward,

      Thanks for your kind remarks. I recommend that you plead not guilty. If you do, you likely can negotiate this down to a less serious charge.

      Good luck!

      Matthew Weiss

      Reply
  • I was given a ticket for disobeying a traffic control for crossing a solid line. As i moved over to avoid a officer who had pulled someone over, am I screwed on this one. Or do I have a valid reason to plead not guilty?

    Reply
  • Mr. Weiss,

    I was given a 1144-AA citation near the capital region. The police officer had just pulled out and was following the previous car it pulled over. Do you think it is a viable defense that this citation is not within the scope of the law because the police officer was moving? There were several cars to the left and I was already traveling 15 to 20 miles per hour under the speed limit. The law suggests that the emergency vehicle is parked, stopped or standing. Thanks.

    Reply
    • Bob Ryan,

      This may be a valid defense. However, before you interpose it, plead not guilty and speak to the prosecutor about a plea bargain. You likely can negotiate this down to a less serious charge.

      Matthew Weiss

      Reply
  • The Move Over Law Was Amended Again To Include Vehicles With Blue Flashing Lights. Are We Heading To Making It A Law To Require People To Move Over For Volunteer Fire Fighters? IM A Volunteer FIre Fighter And I See In Most Other States,Sirens And Lights Are Required When Responding. I Think It Would Greatly Increase Response Times And Greatly Increase The Safety To Responding Volunteers InThere Personal Vehicles. But I DI See SomeProblemsRelatingTo That To….

    Reply
  • Hi,
    My husband and i was travelling from RI state to Niagara and got a move over ticket 1144-AA. It was a 2 lane road and a cop was standing on the shoulder of the road behind some person’s vehicle. We slowed down our car speed but did not move to the rightmost lane as we were not aware of this law. We also saw many cars passing in the same way but no one stopped them. What shall we do now. The cop issued a supporting disposition alongwith the ticket. We dont want to mess up with going to the NY court. How shall we handle this now.. Please suggest something.

    Reply
  • Mr. Weiss,
    Thank you for hosting this informative site. My wife received a “failure to move over ticket” in Patterson NY, she told the officer that there was a truck in the next lane and he said “he was a hundred yards back”. Can he judge whether it is safe to change lanes? I see that you suggest to others pleading not guilty and fighting the ticket, does this require an attorney? Does she have to wait for her court date and appear to do this?
    Thank you in advance for your assistance.

    Reply
    • George,

      Answers following your questions below.

      Can he judge whether it is safe to change lanes? Yes, this is very possible.

      I see that you suggest to others pleading not guilty and fighting the ticket, does this require an attorney? Not required but may advisable. If you have an otherwise clean record, then you likely can handle this one yourself. You can call us for a free consultation.

      Does she have to wait for her court date and appear to do this? Yes but plead guilty ASAP via certified mail.

      Matthew Weiss

      Reply
  • I had received a ticket on west 17 in ny state. The officer was parked on the shoulder about 2/10 of a mile from where the road is narrowing to one lane.
    It was impossible to go on the second lane without hitting the orange cones. _ definitely a TRAP. The officer was reading inside his vehicle. He did not follow me right away because there was no lights behind me for about 5 miles (went back in the morning to recheck the road conditions in preparation for my pleading). Then he started approaching , following me for another mile or so then he light up the emergency lights and pulled me over.
    He definitely lost me of his site for several miles.
    I had 4 witnesses in the car in that night. What do you recommend.

    Reply
    • Radu,

      I recommend that you plead not guilty and fight this ticket. This is the only way to possibly obtain a more favorable result. You likely can plea bargain this down to a serious serious charge.

      Good luck!

      Matthew Weiss

      Reply
  • Mr. Weiss,

    I was recently issued a Ticket for Failure to Yield Right-of-Way under 1144(a). I was traveling northbound, and the emergency vehicle was approaching me in the opposite direction (southbound lane). There was no traffic in either lane, so I simply proceeded in the NB direction with caution, and the Police Vehicle passed without incident. I recall moving slightly to the right side on the road, but I did not pull off to the shoulder, as it clearly was not necessary in my mind.

    The Police Vehicle then made a U-turn, and I was subsequently pulled over by the same Police Vehicle. He instructed that I should have pulled completely to the right and on the shoulder when I saw him approaching.

    Is that correct? I can’t find any reference to that requirement. What would you recommend?

    Matt

    Reply
    • Matt,

      I don’t believe that you violated VTL 1144(a) from what you describe. VTL 1144(a) requires your to yield the right-of-way to an emergency vehicle that is coming from behind you. It does not cover on-coming emergency vehicles. Below is the text of VTL 1144(a).

      Matthew Weiss

      § 1144. Operation of vehicles on approach of authorized emergency
      vehicles. (a) Upon the immediate approach of an authorized emergency
      vehicle equipped with at least one lighted lamp exhibiting red light
      visible under normal atmospheric conditions from a distance of five
      hundred feet to the front of such vehicle other than a police vehicle or
      bicycle when operated as an authorized emergency vehicle, and when
      audible signals are sounded from any said vehicle by siren, exhaust
      whistle, bell, air-horn or electronic equivalent; the driver of every
      other vehicle shall yield the right of way and shall immediately drive
      to a position parallel to, and as close as possible to the right-hand
      edge or curb of the roadway, or to either edge of a one-way roadway
      three or more lanes in width, clear of any intersection, and shall stop
      and remain in such position until the authorized emergency vehicle has
      passed, unless otherwise directed by a police officer.
      (b) This section shall not operate to relieve the driver of an
      authorized emergency vehicle from the duty to drive with reasonable care
      for all persons using the highway.

      Reply
  • I was pulled over yesterday and issued a ticket for 1144-AA on the Sprain Parkway heading north in Greenburgh, NY. It was 6 am and I was on my way to work. I was traveling in the right lane , as my exit was coming up soon, and I had just passed a State Trooper pulled off on the shoulder behind another car, as I passed he pulled away and pulled me over. He said he was stopping me for the Move Over law and that I was doing 65 in 55 speed zone. He said I had room to move over, but I remember a car to my left, also I was coming up on my exit. The officer was in his patrol car facing forward…until yesterday, I confess that I had no idea about his law and said so to the officer…he issued me the 1144-AA , not speeding , but he noted on the ticket I was doing 65 in 55 zone and that I stated I did not know about this law. I pulled up my Driving Record Abstract and I only have a cell phone ticket from 2009, I have been driving for 25 years+ and have a clean driving record other than that. I have been reading your blog and have found it very helpful, I just wanted to get your advice as to should I plead not guilty and try to get a no points reduction and reduced fine. Thank you.

    PS Just wanted to add that while the officer was pulled over with me, at least 10-12 cars passed us in the right lane traveling at a high rate of speed. Thanks again.

    Reply
    • Lisa,

      You should definitely plead not guilty. If you do, you likely can negotiate this down to a 2- or possibly a 0-point ticket. Give your clean record, my best guess is that you or your traffic lawyer will be offered a 0-point outcome.

      Matthew Weiss

      Reply
  • Boston Strong
    May 10, 2013 3:09 pm

    Thank you, Mr. Weiss, for this blog. It helped me know that I should plead not guilty to this Move Over ticket that I had felt I received unjustly.

    Just had my pre-trial conference along with several dozen other people apparently in the same boat. Immediately I was offered a reduction to a parking ticket $100 fine with zero points. So having read your comments here leading up to this date, I decided that was the best I could hope for since this parking violation comes with zero points. I live in MA and the NY violation likely would’ve caused me a hike in my insurance, etc.

    The whole Move Over trap that I was caught up in seems to be a money making scheme. I think the police could push for awareness in a different way.

    I had explained to the lady trooper that I didn’t feel safe maneuvering into the middle lane, but I had slowed down enough for the man she had just pulled over before me to let him leave. At the end of what I had stated, I told her at the last minute going by I saw her put her left signal on. So of all I said, the only thing she wrote on the ticket was that I saw her at the last minute. That’s not what was meant!

    I feel like I was wronged by this. I’m glad it’s over now with just a parking ticket but I wish I had more time to fight these apparent money traps. The law should change.

    But thank you for your advice here to do the not guilty. It worked out for me.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Fill out this field
Fill out this field
Please enter a valid email address.

Menu