New York Move Over Law Takes Effect

Posted by Matthew Weiss on January 11, 2011  /   Posted in Traffic Tickets

On January 1, 2011, New York’s “move over” law went into effect and it took just a few days before my first client called us after being issued a mover over traffic ticket.

The move over law requires motorists on multi-lane highways to slow down and “move over” (when safe to do so) giving safe clearance to approaching stopped emergency vehicles with red flashing lights. If you do not slow down and change lanes when approaching such vehicle, you can be issued a moving violation which carries 3 points and up to a $150 fine. On single lane roads, motorists must slow down and use caution.

More than 150 U.S. law enforcement officers have been killed since 1999 after being struck by vehicles along America’s highways, according to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund. To lower that deadly toll, almost every state has enacted a “move over” law. 

The New York “move over” law was named for Onondaga County Sheriff Deputy Glenn Searles and State Trooper Robert Ambrose, who both lost their lives responding to roadside emergencies. Ambrose and a stopped motorist were tragically killed 9 years ago when his police cruiser was rear-ended by an intoxicated driver in a SUV on the side of the New York Thruway in Yonkers. Searles was struck and killed in 2003 by a mini van.

Just this Monday, a state trooper making an emergency stop on the thruway in New Paltz, was injured when a passing vehicle suffered a blown-out tire and struck the officer. The officer is expected to recover but this incident highlights how important it is for motorists to use caution, slow down and move away from cars stopped on a shoulder.

Update: Some police officers are using this new law to trap motorists. Specifically, they park a police car on the side of the road with lights on (and sometimes without) and wait for motorists to fail to move over. Despite there being no emergency, motorists are then pulled over and issued a “move over” ticket, a 3-point violation.

This law was specifically enacted to protect law enforcement officers who have been killed or injured while responding to roadside emergencies.  It is therefore disconcerting that some police officers would create fake emergencies to ensnare motorists.

Because this is a new law, this particular trap has been very effective catching many motorists in “violation” of the law. If you are such a victim, we recommend pleading not guilty and fighting your move over ticket.

Below is the text for the move over law.

§ 1144-a. Operation of vehicles when approaching a parked, stopped or standing authorized emergency vehicle.

Every operator of a motor vehicle shall exercise due care to avoid colliding with an authorized emergency vehicle which is parked, stopped or standing on the shoulder or any portion of such highway and such authorized emergency vehicle is displaying one or more red or combination red and white lights pursuant to the provisions of paragraph two of subdivision forty-one of section three hundred seventy-five of this chapter. For operators of motor vehicles on parkways or controlled access highways, such due care shall include, but not be limited to, moving from a lane which contains or is immediately adjacent to the shoulder where such authorized emergency vehicle displaying one or more red or combination red and white lights pursuant to the provisions of paragraph two of subdivision forty-one of section three hundred seventy-five of this chapter is parked, stopped or standing to another lane, provided that such movement otherwise complies with the requirements of this chapter including, but not limited to, the provisions of sections eleven hundred ten of this title and eleven hundred twenty-eight of this title.

Note: The Move Over Law was amended effective January 1, 2012.  To read about the expanded law, read New York Move Over Law Amended.


  1. Kyle October 4, 2014 1:30 pm Reply


    I got a speeding ticket on the NY Thruway going 80 in a 65. The deadline for mailing in the ticket was October 9th. I mailed in my response almost three weeks ago and still haven’t heard back from the court. When do you think they will get back to me? Thanks for the help

    • Matthew Weiss October 4, 2014 2:27 pm Reply


      Each court is different in terms of its responsiveness. My recommendation is to call the court and confirm receipt of your plea. They can also give you a better ETA.

      Matthew Weiss

  2. For it! August 8, 2014 6:19 pm Reply

    Many of these posts state that while you were pulled over there were numerous violators passing by, failing to move over…..sounds like the Troopers have a significant challenge out there. More tickets will eventually stop the violators, helping make the roads safer for us all. NY state was one of the last states to adopt this law- I’m glad we did.

    • Matthew Weiss August 8, 2014 10:15 pm Reply

      For it!

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts about the Move Over law. The fact that an officer elects to pull one motorist over (while others commit the same offense) is not a valid defense in New York. Courts routinely conclude that a police officer can only pull over one motorist at a time and will not penalize an officer for exercising his or her discretion.

      Matthew Weiss

    • small dog October 18, 2014 1:30 am Reply

      You people in N.Y. have it easy. I got a ticket in Oklahoma for failure to move over, I plead not guilty, still had to pay $211.50. I didn’t know either, that there was such a law, there is not even one sign in this county (Washington County, Ok). As far as any driving rules went, you drive in the right lane when possible, stop or pull over to the right lane for emergency vehicles, but now you gotta pull into the left lane when officer has somebody stopped even though the berm was 10 feet wide, he wasn’t in an emergency situation writing someone a ticket, no road signs saying there was such an expensive law. Also, that law won’t prevent an officer or other person from getting hit, because how can a law prevent someone from hitting someone anyway? All they are doing is fining people that already drive safely. Shouldn’t laws protect everybody instead of just cops with emergency lights? Besides me and the officer and the car he pulled over, that was it for the traffic at that time. I slowed down and merged to the left but stayed in the right lane, about 10 minutes later he stopped me with this attitude that everybody in every state knows you pull over to the far lane… Well, if it’s such a meaningful law, at least post a sign on the highway somewhere in this county. Oh, and the judge wouldn’t lower my fine because “court costs alot”. You pay that fine even if you don’t go to court. duh Since I had such a clean driving record, I was offered, during my initial court appearance, to pay a reduced fine of $200 and go to driving classes. And the paperwork showed I was ticketed for speeding in a residential area instead of failure to move over on the interstate. Court costs!

  3. Anonymous April 4, 2014 6:24 pm Reply


    I received one of these tickets today. I did see that the police officer had someone pulled over on the right shoulder but I could not move over to the left lane. I slowed down and kept driving.

    I was pulled over a few minutes later and the police officer asked me if I knew about the law. I answered that I did not. He asked for my relevant information and later gave me a ticket for not moving over to another lane, for not slowing down, and because my “passenger tires were on the white lane.”

    My passenger says that I did not travel on the white lane. However, it is on the ticket and it seems like it will be my word against the police officer’s.

    I plan to plead not guilty because I could not move to the left lane due to oncoming traffic. What I would like to know is whether it seems like I will be able to strike up a plea bargain despite the fact that the ticket says that I didn’t slow down and was on the white lane.

    Thank you very much for your time.

  4. Jackie September 17, 2013 12:54 am Reply


    I’m a New York driver who was driving in Florida & had no idea about this move over law. When I was pulled over the office told me that he pulled me over because I failed to stop for an emergency vehicle & because I was wearing earphones when driving. I explained that I had never heard of the law & didn’t know what he was talking about. I also explained that the earphones he was referring to were my iPhone hands free device which I was using to avoid getting a ticket for being on my cell phone. He then wrote me a written warning for the earphones & a ticket for passing him on the shoulder of the road. The ticket is for $165 & I believe there are points associated with it. Is there anything I can do to fight this? Do points from a traffic violation in another state go on your license?

    • Matthew Weiss September 17, 2013 1:33 am Reply


      Ignorance of the law is not an excuse, and a NY conviction will transfer onto your Florida license (to the extent Florida recognizes these offenses). Your NY privilege to drive with a FL license will be assessed points and you’ll have to pay a fine.

      You should plead not guilty and fight these tickets. If you cannot or do not want to go to court, then you should retain a NY traffic lawyer to appear for you.

      Matthew Weiss

  5. Anonymous August 30, 2013 6:07 am Reply

    Cops are abusing this. I was recently pulled over on the New York State Thruway for an alleged violation of this law. There was a car in the lane next to me. The State Trooper had somebody pulled over before me then immediately pulled me over. It should be noted that the trooper was safely off to the side of the road and I did slow down. After issuing a ticket and after I passed through a nearby toll plaza, I saw this same trooper with yet another person pulled over. Sounds like quota time to me. Definitely pleading not guilty

  6. Anonymous July 17, 2013 8:39 pm Reply

    I received a ticket for not ‘moving over’ on a Saturday night in February 2013, on route 84 west, near the intersection of route 9. There is no question they had ‘move over’ traps that night with one patrol vehicle stopped in the breakdown lane giving someone a ticket and another patrol vehicle sitting directly behind waiting to go after their next victim. I believe I saw 3 different sets of patrol vehicles set-up this way on that night. When I saw the patrol vehicle and lights flashing, I did exactly what I have always learned to do…. slow down, proceed with caution, and insure I was out of the way. What I did not do… and did not know I was supposed to do…. was to change lanes. It was a night of relatively busy traffic and I don’t think I even could have changed lanes to the left. When I was stopped I had absolutely no idea why the officer was stopping me!

    I sent in my ticket pleading ‘not guilty’. Tonight was my traffic court appearance in town court. The first thing I learned was that I should NOT have arrived at the scheduled time. I should have arrived early. We all stood in a long line…. first in, first out. So the people who got in line first left the quickest. After standing in line 1.25 hours (no places to sit), I had my 1 minute meeting with a prosecutor. I told him exactly what I had done to be safe when I saw the emergency vehicle and that I was unaware of the ‘move over’ law. He asked about any existing ticket history I had…. and told me he was reducing my ticket to a parking violation, no points. I then waited 5 minutes to see a judge, received and paid a $75 parking fine…. and finally left 1.5 hours later!

    Sure seems to me this was just traps to bring in some money… not about enforcing any law for safety!

    • Matthew Weiss July 17, 2013 11:45 pm Reply


      There is no doubt that traffic court is an indirect way to “tax” motorists. At least, you got a great result after investing so much time.
      Matthew Weiss

  7. Anonymous July 17, 2013 12:34 pm Reply

    Hi I received fail to yield to emergency vehicle ticket . i m yellow cab driver . i m picking up the passenger from 125w street in new york its two way street . same time ambulance came from other side and come behind my car wrong way and back up and hit my vehicle i call 911 and police came they make accident report and officer give my ticket . i m already in side of street and the time ambulance hit me i m helping the old passenger to get in my car and i don”t think they gonna came behind my car wrong way and back up and hit my car. what should i do know plz help me

    • Matthew Weiss July 17, 2013 11:39 pm Reply


      You should plead not guilty. It doesn’t sound like you violated the applicable statute and the officer didn’t even see the alleged offense.

      Matthew Weiss

  8. Harvey Romanoff April 22, 2013 4:49 am Reply

    Wow -These emails were really an eye opener. I just received a move over violation near Lewis NY on the Thruway. I have been driving extremely carefully for the last month as I received my first moving violation (for speeding) in 8 years (That in and of itself is another story with a questionable ticket which I paid). In any event there was a police car who had pulled (I think a vehicle with someone it it, though after reading this blog I cant be sure) on the right side of the road. I believe his flashers were on) There was a car in front of me approx a few hundred ft and we were traveling in the right lane approx 65 miles per hour (the speed limit) I do not recall if the car in front of me pulled over to the left lane. I do know that I slowed my speed approx 10 miles per hour to 55 and moved partially (mind you by instinct not because I knew there was any law to move in to the left lane) in an effort to provide an additional safety barrier. I do believe the police office and the car he pulled over did have plenty of room for the police office to go from his car to the other vehicle without jeorpardazing his safety. (even if I had not moved a few feet to my left). After passing the police car I stayed (actually went back to the middle of the left lane) and raised my speed to the speed limit of 65 (I was using my cruise control) Several miles later (it appeared to be 5 minutes or longer) a police car pulled behind my vehicle and put on the flashers. When the office came to my car I asked him “what could I possibly have done wrong” He said to me I did not pull over and asked me for my license and registration. He told me “that he could not tolerate that type of behavior”. I mean as if I intentionally was looking to disrespect the law (I have to admit I never heard of this law – I know I am supposed to move over for emergency vehicles (I usually find a place to pull over and stop on the side of the road if it is available) that approach.
    On the ticket the officer marked my comment or substantially stated “that I had moved over enough” Wow is that taking my statement out of context. It gives the appearance that I knew the law and had taken it upon myself to interpret the law. It makes it appear that I had disregarded the safety of the officer. I had told the officer that I was law abiding and asked if he could provide some leniency. He apparently did not care. He told me if I wanted to appeal I could appear in court 5/23 (He apparently had his schedule organized expecting to be present for god knows how many of these citations he had given.
    It is really incredible. I am scared to even drive my car at this time. Not a single ticket in over 8 years and now I am given two questionable tickets. I really do not know what to do. I presume I will plead not guilty and hire a lawyer. Quite frankly, based upon what I have read on this blog, this will cost me dearly. What is worse i do not even know if I will be given the opportunity to pay a fine and have zero points added to my license (though attorney Weiss gives the impression that this is a very common occurence)

    • Matthew Weiss April 22, 2013 8:11 am Reply


      You should plead not guilty. On your court date, you will likely be able to negotiate this charge down to a less serious charge.

      Good luck!

      Matthew Weiss

  9. Steven April 5, 2013 11:14 am Reply

    I recieved a ticket that said FLD something emergency vehicle. He also said I was going 71 in a 55 however that’s not on the ticket. I wasn’t able to move over because of traffic. He said he got me for both however just one is on the ticket. Should I not request the deposition and just do not guilty. Who do I try to explain my story to? the DA when I get called?

    • Matthew Weiss April 5, 2013 10:51 pm Reply


      You should plead not guilty. On your court date, you’ll have a chance to conference the case with the prosecutor and hopefully be able to negotiate this down.

      Good luck!

      Matthew Weiss

  10. Vikki February 26, 2013 5:00 pm Reply

    I was pulled over on i-87 N , I dont drive on the interstate much, and my gps lost signal and I needed to take exit 20, but when the exit lane appeared I noticed a cop had a car pulled over in the exit lane, so I stayed in the right lane thinking i wasnt in the same lane as the cop so I was doing the right thing, then once I got past the cop I took the exit. Then he raced after me sirens and everything and literally yelled at me. I told him I wasnt aware of the law. But I got a ticket anyway. If I would have moved over any further I would not have been able to safely make the exit because i would have cut across at least 2 lanes of traffic in a short time. What should my argument be when I show up in court?

    • Matthew Weiss February 26, 2013 9:12 pm Reply


      You should explain what happened just as you have here. Dress decent and be polite. I’m sure that you can work out a favorable plea bargain.

      Good luck!

      Matthew Weiss

  11. Jen November 22, 2012 5:54 am Reply

    I was pulled over today in Vermont. There were two cops about 1/4 of a mile apart. The second cop didnt have anyone pulled over and he immediatly got behind me very closely and turned on his lights. Normally I would go into the left lane if I see a cop with his lights on as a courtesty (i had no clue there was a law that went into effect last year) but there was traffic, it was the middle of the night and I was tired. I did slow down, put my blinker on and moved as far to the left as I could without hitting the other cars. I was only going 60 mpg to begin with, I had my cruise control on, so I must have been going around 50 when I passed both cops. Well I got a $243 ticket at 5 points! The cop told me he was sick of getting hit by cars passing by( clearly Mr. Cop you have never been hit by a car on the highway as you seem to be in good health). I told him that I attempted to move but he wouldnt listen to me. I am going to try to attempt to fight it, but I feel like it will just be my word against his. It is the night before Thanksgiving though, which would explain the extra traffic.

  12. Asia Coleman August 14, 2012 11:55 pm Reply

    I recently received a “move over violation.” The problem is the law states that when you see an emergency vehicle such as a police officer pulled to the side, you are to move over to the next lane if safety and traffic allows and if not, continue in your lane and proceed with caution. The highways where I live are only two lanes, one in each direction. This particular day I had a tailgater and several oncoming traffic approaching which prevented me from moving over or stopping so I just slowed down, moved to the yellow line that separates the lane and stayed in my lane. My question is should I have gotten a ticket for a move over violation when I was following the law?

    • Matthew Weiss August 15, 2012 7:51 am Reply

      Asia Coleman,

      From what you describe, you have a valid defense. How can you move over when there is only one lane in each direction? As long as you slowed down, you complied with the letter of the law. Plead not guilty and fight this ticket.

      Matthew Weiss

  13. Amy July 3, 2012 5:10 pm Reply

    I got the same ticket yesterday on my way back from NYC to Toronto. The officer was standing in front of the stopped vehicle. He hand signed me to move over the the fast lane which I did immediately before passing him. He then chased me down (after he is done with the other vehicle) and pulled me to the shoulder asking me if I knew what happened back then. I told him I figured that out after he hand signaled me. He told me there is a move over law in place in NY State. Obviously I am not aware since I am not a US resident. My last NY visit was back in May 2010 when the law wasn’t even in place. I want to plead not guilty because I DID pull over to the fast lane before passing the officer but I have to read into this law some more to understand if the moving vehicle has to move over certain distance before parked vehicles. Is there anything that I should be aware of before taking action?

    • Matthew Weiss July 4, 2012 10:58 pm Reply


      Because points from New York transfer to Ontario, we recommend that you fight this ticket. You (or your NY traffic lawyer) should be familiar with your demerit point system and NY’s point system. In this way, you will understand how to optimally negotiate a plea bargain. If you fight this move over ticket, you likely can negotiate it down to a less serious charge.

      Matthew Weiss

  14. Robert Saucier April 21, 2012 6:09 pm Reply

    I was driving south on 87. I did not know about the “move over” law. Even if I had known (and anyway, law or no law, one usually moves to the left lane in such circumstances), I was sort of trapped in traffic and switching lanes would have been a bit dangerous.

    So I was pulled over and handed a ticket for “failed to yield right-of-way to emergency vehicle”. The officer told me it was a lesser charge. How weird! A lesser charge about something that did not happen. How could I protest this? It would be my word against his.

    Guess I will just plead guilty and try to forget this incident which really did put a dark cloud over our trip for a few days.


    • Matthew Weiss April 22, 2012 9:35 am Reply


      Actually, the “failure to yield to an emergency vehicle” is not a lesser charge. Like a “move over” law charge, it carries 3 points and roughly the same fine. Interestingly, by cutting you a “break”, the officer may have made it easier for you to fight this ticket. Failing to yield to an emergency vehicle has unique elements that are quite different from a “move over” violation. Specifically, it generally applies to motorists who do not get out of the away of an emergency vehicle coming up from the rear. Because your fact pattern presumably did not involve such an occurrence, it presents a ripe opportunity to contest this ticket (if you so decide).

      Good luck.

      Matthew Weiss

  15. devon crampton March 29, 2012 12:28 pm Reply

    hey everyone, i got a ticket for not moving over for a work vehicle, i pled not guilty( im going to try for a reduction of charge) and i never received a supporting deposition, which i requested when i pled not guilty, how long does it take to get one?

    my big question, when i used the reduction of charge generator it comes up with what i was charged with, (1144(a) Failed to yield right of way to emergency vehicle.)
    and then the reduction of charge that comes up is

    I hereby authorize a change of plea from not guilty to guilty to be entered on my behalf to the
    charge of 1144(a) Failed to yield right of way to emergency vehicle
    with the understanding that the People are recommending an Unconditional Discharge

    does that mean that im just pleding guity for the same charge again, i dont know who to talk to, and im not going to send the paperwork in until i understand what its saying

    • Matthew Weiss March 29, 2012 12:37 pm Reply


      Yes, this “offer” means that you are going no offer (they are saying to plead guilty to the charge”). You can appear on your court date and try to get a reduction in-person.

      Good luck!

      Matthew Weiss

  16. Kevin Chong March 22, 2012 1:03 pm Reply

    Hello, I just thought that I may be able to get the clear understanding from here.

    I have gotten a ticket which reads “FLD DUE CARE FOR EMERG VEH STOPPED OR STANDING,” and the funny thing is I think I got into a trap.

    What I mean by trap is that there were about 3,4 state trooper vehicles on the right shoulder and I was going on a second lane (There was only two lanes for 65 mph road). I did slow down a bit because there were polices ahead of me.

    The funny thing is there were cars in front and back of me, and when I pulled over, the officer told me that I did not change the lane and told me that New Jersey has the same law. (I live in New Jersey but I go to school in upstate New York so I was going down to New Jersey, @ 81 South when I got the ticket.)

    I knew that when emergency vehicle comes behind me I am supposed to move to the right shoulder or make reasonable accomodations to let them through.

    And I know that I “violated” law by not changing the lane, but I feel a little bad because it wasn’t really an emergency. I probably saw at least 10 state trooper vehicles within the minute-long distance. I assume that police officers were on a picnic or something… to issue so many tickets.

    Now my concern is, however, this is the first ticket I ever got since I started driving (got my driver’s license in high school), and that I do not know what I should do.

    Some people say I should plead guilty and ask for point/fine reduction, and some people say I should fight this by pleading not guilty.

    But I’m afraid that I need a traffic lawyer or other professionals in the field to help me fight the ticket. I am a college student expecting to graduate in the coming May, and I am poor just like everybody else and It is really tough for me to afford even $150 ticket. I want to get the clear answer from here If I can.

    Should I get the traffic lawyer to fight this? (I heard NJ takes only 2 points per case for tickets gotten out of state. Will it affect my insurance cost? I am 21 years old.)

    Or should I do plead not guilty, how should I fight this?

    I have never been in the court before and in all honesty, I’m kind of scared what might happen to me if I plead not guilty and go to a court without a lawyer which may actually cost more than the ticket itself.

    And the name of the town that the court resides in is Homer, in New York state with zip-code of 13077.

    I have to appear at court on March 27, 2012, and I wonder what may be the best option for me as of now.

    • Matthew Weiss March 22, 2012 4:24 pm Reply


      On your court date, ask for a conference. At the conference, you can try and negotiate a plea bargain to a lesser charge. If you are too nervous, you can retain a NY traffic lawyer to appear for you instead.

      Matthew Weiss

      • Kevin Chong March 22, 2012 8:45 pm Reply

        I really appreciate your quick response, sir!

        I will certainly ask for a conference and try and negotiate a plea bargain on the court date.

        Thank you so much. :)

  17. Uchan March 14, 2012 11:16 am Reply

    While driving north on I-87 on March 18, near Bethlehem, I noticed a number of police cars detaining motorists. I was driving in the slow lane, and was unaware of the ‘move over’ law (on which I am well-informed now thanks to your blog). Having said this, I normally move over to the left lane when I see an emergency vehicle or a regular vehicle parked on the side of the road. A police car stopped me 10-15 minutes after I had passed it citing ‘failed due care for emergency vehicle stopped or standing.’ Further, the officer mentioned that I had failed to use turn signal lamps while changing a lane while he was following me, and issued me a ticket under subsection 1164b as well. My best recollection passing the parked police car is that I slowed down and did not want to enter the left lane where traffic was faster. I would have done otherwise had I known there was a law on this.
    I have received no tickets in New York since I moved here six years ago, and over the previous five years during my residence in a different state. I consider myself a safe driver, and take the defensive driving course every three years as recommended by my insurance company (and yet I was unfamiliar with the move over law). Given these particulars, I mailed a not guilty plea to the Bethlehem traffic court on both tickets. That was before I discovered your blog, which is really informative.
    I would greatly appreciate your advice on how to proceed.

    • Matthew Weiss March 14, 2012 11:42 am Reply


      You did the right thing by pleading not guilty. At your court date, you can likely negotiate a plea bargain so you end up with less serious consequences.

      Matthew Weiss

      • Uchan March 14, 2012 12:39 pm Reply

        Thanks for your quick response. What would be a reasonable plea bargain outcome in this situation? Is it serious enough to warrant hiring a traffic lawyer? I live in Albany, so attending the court hearing in Delmar would not be burdensome. In my previous email, the date of the tickets should be March 11, instead of March 18.
        Thanks for your advice.

        • Matthew Weiss March 14, 2012 2:44 pm Reply


          You likely can get this case reduced to 2 or 3 points. Since you live so close and apparently do not mind going to court, plead not guilty and appear yourself. If you can’t work out a satisfactory deal, you can always ask for a new date to get a traffic lawyer.

          Good luck!

          Matthew Weiss

  18. Marge March 10, 2012 10:18 am Reply

    It’s a shame I did not see this before this morning. I just mailed out my ticket this morning pleading guilty. I was stopped on Route 84 yesterday afternoon two exits before the Galleria Mall exit.

    The weigh station was operating yesterday and the troopers had several trucks pulled over on the side of the road for running past the weigh station. I was pulled over and informed why. I did slow down while passing the stopped trucks and police cars and moved over in the right lane as far as I could. The officers of all the police cars were in their cars when I passed by them.

    Is it too late for me to change my plea? I did keep a copy of my ticket for my own records. I have a clean driving record and have had one for years. I was unaware of this law but I know ignorance of the law is no excuse.

    • Matthew Weiss March 10, 2012 11:21 am Reply


      It’s likely not too late. Call the court first thing Monday morning, and try and catch it. If you do, you likely can get the points reduced to 0.

      Good luck!

      Matthew Weiss

  19. Alan Brind February 25, 2012 4:42 pm Reply


    Firstly, I have to complement you on such a fine blog…and providing pro-bono advice is especially gracious. However, I only wish I had seen your blog before I was stopped yesterday on the NY Thruway.

    I was traveling east on my way to Skanaeteles for a lunch meeting at 12:30 PM. Since it was Friday, so the traffic density was greater than say a mid week journey would be. Around the Manchester area I noticed a patrol car in the breakdown lane that had stopped a motorist for what ever reason. His lights were flashing all colors of the rainbow and I was constantly checking traffic as I drew closer.

    Normally, I am mostly in the outside lane among all the faster traffic, but this day I decided to travel at 65 mph on cruise control on the inside lane. As a got closer to the patrol car there was a very high speed black BMW coming up fast and I realized that I was not able to move over into the fast lane. I did brake, but it was not easy to come to a speed of around 20 mph without getting rear-ended by traffic behind me. There was a mix of trucks and cars and two tractor-trailers ahead of me…in addition to a black VW SUV.

    Within about 30 seconds of passing the police car it virtually leapt off the breakdown lane and came screaming along the outside lane overtaking me gong at least 80 mph and pulling in front of two trucks and the VW SUV, which it flagged down. As I was following much slower, when I reached the VW SUV, now in the breakdown lane stopped, the officer charged down the breakdown lane and flagged me down. I pulled over and waited for him to come to my car which was about six car lengths down the breakdown lane form the VW SUV. The officer was frantically charging around as though it was pirana feeding frenzy.

    His driving was extremely dangerous and his manner was hostile when he stopped me. We had an altercation and he didn’t care one iota what I said to explain the situation. I am aware of this new law, but not the fine details, as I thought it was more to do with an emergency vehicle approaching from the rear, not when passing police cars in the breakdown lane.

    The plain simple fact is that this new “Move Over” law cannot be implemented. It is unworkable in its present form and is open to corruption by the police, which from the letters I have read on your blog seem at a pandemic stage. This will result in a larger number of accidents, especially on major limited access highways. In towns it is going to be impossible for cars to negotiate on narrow two lane roads, with constant traffic both ways, to comply. As I’m sure all your readers have experienced, the police don’t seem to care where they stop to pull drivers over.

    I intend to write a letter of complaint to the Governor, not just for my case but to educate those bureaucrats in Albany, who created this chaos in the first place.

    • Matthew Weiss February 25, 2012 10:42 pm Reply


      Thanks for your nice compliment and thoughtful post. The “Move Over” law has had a shaky transition from idea to law. Many motorists still do not understand it or obey it.

      My best advice is that you should immediately slow down and, when safe, move over as soon as you see ANY lights on a vehicle on the roadway.

      Matthew Weiss

  20. Brian February 20, 2012 10:58 pm Reply

    I was cited for failing to yield to an emergency vehicle on my way to New York today. As I wasn’t aware of this law, I just automatically thought that the vehicle let me go first. The only problem is that I am going back to Canada in 4 days and it would be difficult for me to appear in court near future. Also, it says if I plea not guilty, then I have to submit the form within 48 hours. Any help would be appreciated.

    • Matthew Weiss February 21, 2012 9:27 am Reply


      If you cannot or do not want to return to NY, then you can retain a New York traffic lawyer to appear for you. Feel free to call us for a free consultation. We represent many Canadian drivers and are therefore familiar with the interplay between New York State and your province.

      Matthew Weiss

  21. Firedude February 6, 2012 6:39 pm Reply

    Let’s remember this law states “authorized emergency vehicle” this includes ambulances, fire apparatus, EMS fly cars. fire command units, chief vehicle’s…its not just cop cars, firefighter’s and EMS workers are injured just a much by drivers not either A) not caring cause there late for the McDonalds Breakfast or B) inattentive drivers, but they don’t get the same attention (they never have, and never will).

  22. OutOfStater February 6, 2012 11:29 am Reply

    I was cited yesterday for failing to yield to an emergency vehicle, meaning a police car that was stopped at the side of the road. I was not aware of this law (I live in Mass) nor did I think I drove by the pulled over police car at an excessive speed. Since it is not feasible for me to appear in court to fight this citation, can (or should) I fight this via mail? I would like to avoid the potential insurance penalty and would be willing to pay the fine or would like to avoid the insurance penalty and fine altogether.


  23. Justin January 6, 2012 6:10 pm Reply

    I was travelling on 84 by Greenville today and passed a trooper who had a car pulled over. I did not move from the right lane as a faster car was coming up beside me and I didn’t believe it was a safe move, I made an attempt to get as far to the center as I could, safely. I always make the effort to pull over when it is safe and believe it is common sense. I did brake to deactivate my cruise control and slowed down approx 10mph. When I looked in my rear view mirror I noticed the trooper running to his suv. He pulled out from that location in a speedy manor and came up behind me and put his lights on, as we passed another trooper with a car pulled over. I pulled over with no clue what I had done and was surprised when he told me the infringement. As I wait for my notice another 2 troopers went past and pulled over cars up from us. At one point there were 3 troopers within a quarter of a mile. Clearly a blitz on this particular law. The trooper left me and had another car pulled over before I had even got back on the highway! I accepted the ticket reluctantly and after reading your blog, believe I should plead not guilty. I’m originally from Australia, and have a clean record for 15 years there and have been in the US for 5 with not a single infringement. The points is my main concern. Incidentally I was moving from Maryland to New York today and had been in NY for less then 15 miles and this happens, leaving me with a sour taste already about NY. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Great Blog!!

    • Matthew Weiss January 6, 2012 8:29 pm Reply


      First off, don’t have a bad taste about New York. It is a wonderful state with so much to see and do.

      In regard to your ticket, plead not guilty. You’ll be given a court date and, at that time, you can negotiate a reduction to a lesser charge. Given your clean record, you should be fine.

      Matthew Weiss

    • Anon January 22, 2012 11:36 pm Reply

      You need to fight this ticket, because the move over law does not apply when it is not safe to move over. It’s right there in the text of the law, as noted above. You *are* not guilty. Since you live in NY now, it will be easier for you to get to the appropriate court to fight the ticket than it is for the Canadians caught in traps (did you notice that police like to ticket people from out of state?).

      I wouldn’t take Mr. Weiss’s advice to negotiate. Someone needs to show the police and DAs that they aren’t above the law. Given that you know that it was not safe to move over, the ticket is completely dishonest; anything less than fighting it all the way is just knuckling under to blackmail. Which you might do if it was too much trouble not to, but it probably *isn’t* too much trouble for you.

      The troopers probably expected you to be leaving the state again and figured you wouldn’t be willing to come back to fight a blatantly bogus ticket, but since you *are* able to do so, they may just drop the charges completely when they find out you’re local now. Forcing the trooper into cross-examination over the state of the traffic in the left lane, in front of a jury, is something they probably want to avoid. And something you can demand, unless they drop all charges.

  24. kara December 28, 2011 8:43 am Reply

    I have searched everywhere and can’t find where it states if you can’t change lanes, how much should you slow down. Is that in the law? Seems like if you were going 65 and slowed down to 55, then you are slowing down. From reading the comments, I’m guessing slowing down 10 mph isn’t enough. Is it a judgement call on the ticketing officer or judge?

    • Matthew Weiss December 28, 2011 9:38 am Reply


      Yes, it is a judgment call on the part of the police officer. The statute (quoted below) does not quantify a specific speed limit or reduction.

      § 1144-a. Operation of vehicles when approaching a parked, stopped or standing authorized emergency vehicle.

      Every operator of a motor vehicle shall exercise due care to avoid colliding with an authorized emergency vehicle which is parked, stopped or standing on the shoulder or any portion of such highway and such authorized emergency vehicle is displaying one or more red or combination red and white lights pursuant to the provisions of paragraph two of subdivision forty-one of section three hundred seventy-five of this chapter. For operators of motor vehicles on parkways or controlled access highways, such due care shall include, but not be limited to, moving from a lane which contains or is immediately adjacent to the shoulder where such authorized emergency vehicle displaying one or more red or combination red and white lights pursuant to the provisions of paragraph two of subdivision forty-one of section three hundred seventy-five of this chapter is parked, stopped or standing to another lane, provided that such movement otherwise complies with the requirements of this chapter including, but not limited to, the provisions of sections eleven hundred ten of this title and eleven hundred twenty-eight of this title.

      • Anon January 22, 2012 11:28 pm Reply

        “provided that such movement otherwise complies with the
        requirements of this chapter ”

        As I read this, if it’s not safe to move over (safe driving is required by this chapter of the law), then the move over law *does not apply*. Correct?

        It seems to me that this is the main situation in which people should fight supposed “move over” tickets, because any honest judge or jury would understand that “the other lane was full of traffic and I could not move over” means the move over law does not apply.

        • Matthew Weiss January 23, 2012 7:22 am Reply


          You are correctly reading the law. Of course, whether it was safe to move over (or not) will be an issue decided by the judge, and most often the police officer’s version of the events is adopted (over an motorists).

          Matthew Weiss

  25. paul December 23, 2011 5:50 pm Reply

    Please, suggest, chances, and what case/law, precedent, to fight new york ticket, where, ticketed, for
    “1160 d, violation accusation, of failing to turn*(right only), at 3 lane road, which, not clearly, or not properly, marked, IE NONE WHATSOEVER/ sign indicators, on top, by stop lights, and likewise, NONE WHATSOEVER, signs, on side, and prior, markings, on road, pavement, which greatly depleted, by wear, and snow-plowed, faded away, and in raining and heavy traffic, where, “impossible to see, throw, a vehicle, passing on top of depleted former bottom signs.



    • Matthew Weiss December 23, 2011 6:17 pm Reply


      From your description it appears that the police officer charged you under the wrong section of law. As you will read below, Section 1160(d) is a law which basically prevents a motorist from turning when such turn would otherwise be legal.

      Take photos and bring a copy of the statute and these two you help you win (assuming you are charged with illegally turning right.

      Matthew Weiss

      Section 1160(d) states as follows:

      § 1160. Required position and method of turning at intersections. The
      driver of a vehicle intending to turn at an intersection shall do so as
      (d) When markers, buttons, signs, or other markings are placed within
      or adjacent to intersections and thereby require and direct that a
      different course from that specified in this section be traveled by
      vehicles turning at an intersection, no driver of a vehicle shall turn a
      vehicle at an intersection other than as directed and required by such
      markers, buttons, signs, or other markings.

  26. Ernie December 18, 2011 12:37 am Reply

    Found this blog and I am glad I am not the only one “ignorant” of this new law. Was pulled over tonight on I 84 in Kent NY and did not pull over to the left lane. I did slow down a bit when I saw the cop car, with lights flashing, on the shoulder with another motorist he pulled over. But yes I am guilty, but I had no idea of this new “move over law”. I am licensed in Connecticut and wonder if this will be points against me.
    Thanks for your time….

    • Matthew Weiss December 18, 2011 8:11 am Reply


      Points from a NY conviction will NOT transfer to your CT license. However, the conviction will be reported to CT so it is possible for your insurance company to learn about it and use it against you.

      Matthew Weiss

  27. Steven Garhartt December 13, 2011 9:13 am Reply

    I got pulled over for this last night, an officer had a car pulled over on the side of the road I put on my blinker and passed him in the other lane (so i moved over). I slowed down as i passed to around 45 mph the speed limit on the road was 55, he pulls me over saying I was going 55 when i passed him and was given a ticket for not reducing my speed.
    What do I do?

  28. Derek November 24, 2011 6:55 pm Reply

    It is a trap ! They certainly abuse it. They wait for Canadian that just crossed the border and ignorant of this new law. I got my ticket of 185 $, they gave me 14 days to pay it and now they are closed for holidays, wich mean I had less than 14 days. The cop told me it was common sense to change of lane, but then why wasnt this law adopted earlier ? It’s just plain stupid to me

  29. Paul Miller November 16, 2011 7:47 pm Reply

    My 16 year old son got pulled over on the Thruway in October. We came upon a car pulled over with three police cars behind it. I told my son he had to move over, we were about 1/2 mile from our exit and he didn’t think he had time, by the time I convinced him he had time there was something in our left lane and he couldn’t get over. The officer who pulled him over was very pleasant and explained about the law. He said it wasn’t their intent to give out points it was more to educate and get the people pulled over to tell others. He recomended my son plead not guilty and he was sure the ticket would be reduced. My son in the spirit of what the trooper said posted the info on Move Over on his FaceBook page. We mailed in the ticket with the not guilty plea and appeared for our conference with the town attorney. The town attorney took a very hard line and said the Troopers were being very stringent about the law and there would be no pleading it down. Further he said my son could get 2 points on his license and could have his Learner’s Permit suspended for six months. Needless to say we didn’t take what he had on the table but continued our not guilty plea. I felt it was better to take our chances with the J.P.. My son now has a court date 12/8/11. Two question was the town attorney correct on the penalties and second do we take our chances or at this point is our best bet to retain a traffic attorney?

    • 888redlight November 16, 2011 8:56 pm Reply


      A move over violation carries 3 points. Further, a motorist with a Learner’s Permit may not be convicted of any moving violations. Therefore, you did the right thing by pleading not guilty.

      Given your son’s situation, we recommend that you retain an experienced New York traffic lawyer.

      Matthew Weiss

  30. Graham November 14, 2011 6:15 pm Reply

    First off, just want to say great blog. Came here looking for information about this law and was very happy with what I found.

    I was ticketed for not moving over back in September while on Highway 17. I feel it was a trap. Three cops, one without lights on, all well into the shoulder. The only reason I didn’t move over was because of hazard signs indicating a left lane closure – I had no idea when this would happen because there were no distance indicator signs and the turn uphead was a blind one.

    Been fighting this ever since with the Hancock Town Court. First they sent me a notice of a pre-trial conference for October 3rd, yet the letter wasn’t postmarked until October 13th. They simply said “oh, sorry for the clerk error”, and reissued me the supposed correct date of December 12th. At this point I’m so frustrated with them I’ve considered just asking what the fine is and paying it, but that’s not my style – I don’t like admitting defeat, lol

    Anyway, any further advice you can give? Personally I thought I could get them to dismiss it based on their error, but that was met with a brick wall.

    • 888redlight November 14, 2011 6:17 pm Reply

      Thanks Graham for the nice remarks.

      My advice is to appear on December 12th and ask for a conference. Dress neat and be polite. You should be able to get this reduced to a 0-point ticket like no seat belt or illegal parking.

      Good luck.

      Matthew Weiss

      • Graham December 26, 2011 8:24 pm Reply

        Thanks for the advice! I fought this by mail with the ADA, and they gave me a bargain of dropping it to a 0-point ticket if I pay a fine. Of course, I have no idea what this could be since NYS doesn’t list the monetary penalites on their tickets. I’m calling the courthouse tomorrow as instructed to see if I can get a specific number, but I did have a few questions:

        1. What is the usual monetary fine range for this citation?
        2. Devils advocate – if I refuse the deal, and continue fighting this and get hit with a full 3 points, do NYS points transfer to CT?

        • Matthew Weiss December 27, 2011 8:12 am Reply

          My pleasure Graham. The fine will be roughly $200 and, if you fight it and lose, points from NY will NOT transfer to CT. A NY conviction will be reported to CT, however, and your CT insurance company could use it against you. We therefore recommend that you take the plea offer.

          Matthew Weiss

  31. Veil November 12, 2011 1:21 pm Reply

    I was just ticketed for not moving over, but I didn’t feel like I had the option to. I was fined $438 dollars? Is that high or normal for these fines?

    • 888redlight November 12, 2011 1:24 pm Reply


      That fine sounds hire especially if you have an otherwise clean record. We recommend that you plead not guilty and try and get the points and fine reduced.

      Matthew Weiss

  32. Michael November 11, 2011 9:23 am Reply

    I got pulled over yesterday for the move-over law.

    I do feel like it was a trap but I was ignorant of the law.
    In my case, there was a trooper pulled way off the left shoulder, into the grass median with another car. There was a very wide shoulder and he was beyond that!
    I was in the left lane at or below the speed limit. The trooper was in the right lane waiting for me and pulled me over.

    What do you think…

    in the text of the law it says “stopped or standing on the shoulder or any portion of such highway”

    Can I fight this based on the trooper being completely off the shoulder?

    thanks….mike g

    great blog by the way!

    • 888redlight November 11, 2011 10:49 am Reply


      You should be a lawyer. The operative phrase is, in fact, “parked, stopped or standing on the shoulder or any portion of such highway”. You should argue that the officer was not stopped or standing on the shoulder or any portion of the highway”. Of course, if you are offered a 0-point ticket in a plea bargain, you should seriously consider taking it rather than risking trial.

      Matthew Weiss

  33. traumacode November 11, 2011 8:18 am Reply

    this law was designed to protect police officers only NOT volunteer firefighters operating at emergency scenes shortly after this law was passed a volunteer fire police member was struck by a passing motorist on I-990 working at a traffic accident under this law that volunteer has no recorse , but a short time later trooper Kevin Dobson was killed on I-290 and a memorial sign was placed at the site and on the closest onramp to the scene . volunteer firefighters and fire police are in just as much danger as police officers when operating at emergency scenes on the roadways. If that volunteer was killed NO ONE would put up signs in his memory

    • 888redlight November 11, 2011 10:47 am Reply


      The law actually applies to ANY authorized emergency vehicle displaying one or more red or combination red and white lights. It therefore encompasses firemen operating such vehicles (and well it should).

      Matthew Weiss

  34. Judy November 10, 2011 12:57 pm Reply

    I see I’m not alone. Yesterday, I slowed down and moved away from a police car with flashing lights, but I did not move into the left alone. I, too, was ignorant of the move over law. There was no danger to anyone. The officer was sitting in his car, as was the driver in the car he had pulled over. In fact, he pulled out immediately after I passed him. I see from other posting that pleading not guity is advised. The ticket in the not guilty area asks if I request a supporting deposition. What is best way to answer that? After mailing in my not guilty response, what are the steps than occur next? Thank you for any advice you can give me.

    • 888redlight November 10, 2011 2:10 pm Reply


      You want to plead not guilty and try and negotiate a 0-point ticket. If you didn’t receive a supporting deposition when you were issued the ticket, you can request one when you enter your not guilty plea. The supporting deposition amplifies the charges in the ticket giving you additional information about the charge.

      Good luck fighting this ticket.

      Matthew Weiss

  35. Derek November 7, 2011 7:35 pm Reply

    I forgot to send my ticket to court on time. It’s due for tomorrow, they will get it in 3 days. What are the penalties? This whole story is driving me mad.

    • 888redlight November 7, 2011 9:19 pm Reply


      The consequences of responding late to a ticket vary from court-to-court. Often, however, courts will give you a little extra time to answer.

      Call the court in the morning and let them know that you sent it. I would write down the name of the person with which you speak.

      Matthew Weiss

  36. Derek October 31, 2011 2:30 pm Reply

    I got pulled over in NY for the same thing, didn’t know the law.
    I sure don’t want to pay for this and I can’t go to court I’m in California…
    They clearly take advantage of Canadian crossing the border. I can’t pay a lawyer and can’t go to NY so I have to plead guilty ? This is nonsense. Will I lose my Canadian Driving Point ? How much ?
    I wish I could be in NY to fight this.

    • 888redlight October 31, 2011 9:56 pm Reply


      Points from a NY conviction will transfer to Ontario and Quebec.

      You will lose the same number of points that you would lose if this violation occurred in your province.

      Matthew Weiss

  37. katherine October 31, 2011 12:45 am Reply

    My niece (19) was pulled over, along with another vehicle, in NYS (4 lane highway) for not moving over. She was unaware of law – but always “moved over” because that is what she was taught to do (uncle is lifetime truck driver). Although, she attempted to move over, the fast lane of traffic was too congested and she did not feel it safe to get in the left hand lane – instead, she slowed down. The officer who was parked on the side of the road seemed to be attending to a disabled vehicle; after my niece passed him he got in his car and proceeded to pull out onto the highway. She thought he was in pursuit of another emergency and pulled over to allow him to pass – instead he pulled her and another vehicle over. Should she fight this ticket? What is the best approach?
    Many thanks for assistance.

    • 888redlight October 31, 2011 9:59 pm Reply


      Your niece should fight this ticket. On her court date, she likely will be able to negotiate a reduced charge which will save her points.


      Matthew Weiss

  38. Gary Fish October 29, 2011 5:58 pm Reply

    I was pulled over today by a NYS trooper on a Parkway for failing to move over for a emergency vehicle ( Trooper’s car ). He asked me if I knew why he was pulling me over, and I Then he asked me if I ever heard of the pull over law…I thought for a minute and I replied….I think I heard of it…but that it slipped my mind. After explaining the danger of police getting hit by motorists and asking me a few more questions…I was allowed to go on with a warning…He was very nice and polite and I am proud to have met such an honest and sincere officer of the law. I will never forget this incident and am grateful for his honesty and compassion..I regained some faith in our law enforcement.

    • 888redlight October 29, 2011 8:51 pm Reply


      Glad to hear that you escape a move over ticket. Your definitely in the minority for those stopped under this law.

      Matthew Weiss

  39. John D Wirenius October 7, 2011 8:14 pm Reply

    I had just got on the Seaford/Oysterbay Expressway when I saw a police car with lights flashing on the side of the road. There was no other car there. I was only going 50 when I passed him, and I did observe that no emergency was happening.
    Several hundred yards down the road he pulled me over, took my documents. While I waited some ten minutes over 75 cars sped past us in the right line even though his lights were still flashing. I got a “move over ticket” my first ticket of any kind in 54 years of driving.
    As I left the officer with lights flashing stayed put, until another car sped pass him.
    I was well down the road when the officer pulled that other car over. I’ll bet he met his quota in one afternoon. I feel that I was entraped because I certainly had my eyes on the lone parked police car as I passed it.
    This is a bad law because the enforcement of it puts violators and patrolmen in jeopardy while he writes out tickets. If a DWI of DUI came along The “Move over Law” wouldn’t protect either the patrolman or myself sitting on the side of this expressway. And how is an emergency defined?

  40. Doris October 6, 2011 4:59 pm Reply

    Hi, I just received such ticket (1144-A) and am also from Ontario, Canada. I’ve also noticed that the officer made a mispelled my last name. Does that change anything at all?

    I’m also confused at the fine/point deduction as it’s never stated on the ticket. Thanks in advance.

    • 888redlight October 6, 2011 5:04 pm Reply


      A mis-spelled name does not void the ticket, and is not grounds for dismissal.

      If you plead guilty, this fine will be roughly $200 and you will get 3 New York points. These points will transfer to Ontario.

      Matthew Weiss

  41. Siva September 25, 2011 10:25 pm Reply

    Hi, I was recently given a ticket for this new move over law. I then sent in pleading NOT guilty. They then sent a letter saying to come for a pre trial confrence. So what can I do at the pre trial confrence to reduce my charge? I am from Ontario

    • 888redlight September 25, 2011 10:34 pm Reply


      At the conference, ask the prosecutor about a plea bargain. I’m sure some type of offer will be made.

      Good luck.

      Matthew Weiss

  42. Michael Reichert September 23, 2011 9:50 am Reply

    I received an email that sent me searching the internet where I came upon your interesting and useful blog. The email said that you have to slow down ‘by 20 mph’ under the speed limit if you can’t move over. I thought the law, when I first heard about it, said slow down TO 20mph, which is very unsafe . The law that you posted doesn’t mention the speed specifically at all unless the reference to sections eleven hundred ten and eleven hundred twenty eight cover that. 20 mph less than the posted speed limit on the LIE is 35 which is less than the 40 mph posted legal minimum. I would argue that that is a legitimate defense. Also, the cops on Long Island have blue lights. The law specifies red or white.

    • 888redlight September 23, 2011 11:12 am Reply


      There is no requirement of slowing down to 20 mph, as you read. The statute requires you to move over if you can. If you can (and even if you can), you must “exercise due care” which would include slowing down to a reasonable speed.

      Matthew Weiss

  43. Richard Adams September 14, 2011 10:10 pm Reply

    Letting it be known that 1144(a) is not the law for the move over law, that is in fact the law for moving over for the approach of an authorized emergency vehicle from behind you. so you should probably know what youre posting before you do. and i know many police officers and can say that this law is not used to entrap motorists just to write citations.

    • 888redlight September 15, 2011 8:24 am Reply


      My post cites and quotes the proper VTL section for the “move over” law. Specifically, VTL 1144-a, not 1144(a), is the correct section of law. It is not uncommon for people to confuse the two.

      Further, my post was not intended to suggest that all police officers are using this law to trap motorists, only that some of them are doing this.

      I hope this response sufficiently clarifies these issues.

      Matthew Weiss

  44. Imnolawbreaker! September 14, 2011 7:02 pm Reply

    I got hunted down today and was ticketed for failing to move out of the slow lane next to a stopped police car. Now, I know ignorance is no excuse, but that is truly my only defense.
    I understand that I will have to go court to take this further, but I honestly felt that I was ensnared but this particular cop. They were out in full force too, 4 cop cars on the same stretch of road.
    While waiting for her to issue me the ticket, 6 other cars also drove in this lane. I find it very interesting that after she ticketed me, she sped off, lights flashing to pull the last car that drove by. over. Shortfalls in the budget was made up today, that’s for sure!
    It also worries me that my senior who just wrote the permit test, has no idea about this new law either!!
    Very upsetting and stressful!

    • 888redlight September 15, 2011 8:29 am Reply


      We recommend that you plead not guilty. You likely can negotiate a reduction to a lesser charge when your case gets scheduled. If you cannot or do not want to go t court, then you can retain a traffic lawyer to appear in your place.

      Good luck.

      Matthew Weiss

  45. david September 14, 2011 3:33 pm Reply

    Hello…I just received an appearance ticket for Lewiston, NY yesterday for this “offense”…it was an entrapment setup…6-8 state troopers in the break down lane with their lights on and no emergency…my car was misfiring and I could not get up to speed, so I was going about 50 MPH in a 65 MPH zone…I had just gotten onto the highway and there was a semi behind me. I was afraid to get into the passing lane in case my car might stop running, so I moved over as far as I could in the travel lane and passed all of the police cars. I was pulled over and issued a ticket. I tried to explain to the officer that my car was not running properly, but he just shrugged and went back to his car. I have 40 years driving with no record…please advise…thank you!…david

  46. Wayne September 4, 2011 10:35 pm Reply

    Thanks a lot. I will call the court on Tuesday when they come back from holiday.

    • Wayne March 22, 2012 10:18 pm Reply

      I called the court on Sept. 6, 2011. The lady said my liscence would not get suspended and I should receive a court date within 6 months. As of now, it is over 6 months and I still hear anything from the court. Should I just keep waiting or call the court?

      • Matthew Weiss March 23, 2012 7:45 am Reply


        It is not unusual for some courts to take this long (or longer) to schedule a case but it can’t hurt to call the court again. Just to be safe.

        Matthew Weiss

  47. siva2 September 4, 2011 12:14 pm Reply

    I’m from Ontario, Canada. I came to New York yesterday and I was on the I90 highway when I got pulled over for failing to move over for the stopped emergency vehicle. I ended up getting ticket. I have been driving for 19 years in Ontario and I haven’t recieved a ticket. If I plead not guilty what will happen? I don’t want to attend court, as it takes 2 hours to get to Lewiston.
    I just wanted to know how would this affect my insurance? I really don’t want my insurance premium to increase. Will it be possible to not take away any demerit points? Do you have any suggestions?
    Thanks a lot.

    • 888redlight September 4, 2011 12:30 pm Reply


      If you plead not guilty, then you will have to appear in court. Alternatively, you can retain a NY traffic lawyer to appear for you at the Lewiston traffic court.

      In regard to your auto insurance, you should call your company and find out what, if any, impact a NY move over law conviction will have on your rates.

      Matthew Weiss

  48. Sha123 September 3, 2011 10:43 pm Reply

    We got pulled over today for passing a cop car. We want to plead not guilty! I was just wondering what would the maximum fine be for this ticket? I have had a clean driving record for 20 years. If I plead not guilty then do I have to appear in court?

    • 888redlight September 4, 2011 10:37 am Reply


      The maximum fine is $150 plus the NYS surcharge of $80 and 3 NY points. If you plead not guilty, then you or your NY traffic lawyer must appear in court.

      Good luck.

      Matthew Weiss

  49. Anne August 31, 2011 9:56 pm Reply

    Hi Matthew,

    I have been through all the comments of your page, and here is our case. We are from Montreal, Canada, two weeks ago my husband, my kids and I were driving back home from holidays on highway 87 and we got a ticket for a “move over law” case. As many drivers we didn’t know about that law. The officer explained us we had 30 days to contest that ticket, that we could send a plea of not-guilty because we didn’t know about that law, that he could not give us a warning, that since an officer was killed last year it was an automatic ticket. We are planning to go back to US this friday and wanted to take care of that ticket before the end of the 30 days, but we see on the ticket we should have sent a plea of not-guilty 48 hours after the ticket, and the appearance date was today, 2PM… What would you suggest to do? We obviously want to contest and are ready to mail the ticket, so is it important to have a proof from the Post office that we mailed our response before leaving Canada? Also concerning that “conference” we will be asked to prior to the trial, could it be over the phone or do we have to go in person? Thanks in advance.

    • 888redlight September 1, 2011 12:14 pm Reply


      Call the court and tell them what happened. They will likely give you a new date without much problem.

      Yes, get proof of delivery for any correspondence to the court.

      Finally, you likely will have to appear in court if you fight this “move over” ticket. Otherwise, you’ll need to retain a New York traffic lawyer to appear in your place.

      Call me if you want a free consultation.

      Matthew Weiss

      • Wayne September 3, 2011 11:04 pm Reply

        I have a similar situation. I was given a “move over” ticket on August 13. I sent the plea of not guilty on the same day via certified mail since I was leaving for vacation on August 14. But after I came back on September 2 and found out the mail was returned (not delivered). The post office told me this was due to a computer glich at the post office where I mailed the ticket. Although I asked the post office to re-send the letter today, I am still worried since I was supposed to send within 48 hrs after the ticket was issued. But I have the receipts from August 13 when I sent the ticket. Can you please advise what I should do now?

        • 888redlight September 4, 2011 10:39 am Reply


          Call the court and tell them your situation. The sooner the better. Hopefully, you can catch it before you get suspended.

          If you need any further help, just give us a call.

          Matthew Weiss

  50. Mike August 19, 2011 7:17 pm Reply

    I recently got pulled over with this new “move over law”. I am from Montreal Quebec where we don’t have such laws. The two police vehicles where stopped right where the highway becomes one lane due to construction (so I had no choice then to move to the right lane and got a ticket). I sent a plea for reduction to the district attorney explaining my situation they didn’t care and the stuck me 3 demerit point and no reduction.
    What can i do?

    • 888redlight August 19, 2011 10:59 pm Reply


      It sounds this case is resolved already and you plead guilty. If so, there is really nothing further to do. If your case is still open, then you can take it to trial and try and beat it. A good argument might be that the two police officers/cars were not engaged in an emergency or official police business, but rather were entrapping motorists. The move over law was intended to protect officers who are endangered while working not to allow officers to create an artificial condition to ensnare motorists.

      Good luck.

      Matthew Weiss

      • Mike August 21, 2011 9:48 pm Reply

        The case is still open i can either agree to the district attorneys ruling or reject it either way it has to pass by the court.
        Also i have a picture of right before i was stopped showing both police cars stopped and in the middle a civilian’s car but non of the officers where out of their car’s.
        The question is, is it worth commuting back and forth from Montreal to Elizabethtown and at the end what will it coast me if i lose?

  51. Catherine July 24, 2011 10:26 am Reply


    I am a Canadian citizen living in Montreal. 2 weeks ago I crossed the border for a weekend trip to NYC. I was driving 65 mph, with the cruise control to make sure not to get a speeding ticket…
    On my way I got pulled over by a trooper for not changing lanes while he had pulled over another car. He told me it was a new law in the state of NY to which I replied that I was not aware of it since I was living in Canada. He told me they had advertised it, and that it was not his business if the advertisement had reached Canada.
    Two hours before I was at the customs, I never saw a single poster or notice about this new law!!!
    Anyway, now I just want to know how to handle this ticket. You seem to recommend to plead not guilty. But I don’t want to show up in court, as the court is a 3-hour drive from Montreal, I would need to take a day off at work for that… plus when I get nervous my English goes bad, so I am not sure i would be able to defend myself.

    thank you for your help,

    • 888redlight July 24, 2011 6:54 pm Reply


      You are not the only one to be caught off guard by the “move over law”. It went into effect on January 1, 2011.

      Because points from New York transfer to Québec, we recommend that you fight this ticket. We represent many drivers from Québec and are very familiar with your demerit point system.

      If you cannot (or do not) want to travel to court, then you can hire an experienced traffic lawyer to appear in your place.

      Matthew Weiss

  52. jay July 17, 2011 4:41 pm Reply

    Hi ,

    I have a NJ licence and I am on a temporary work visa to USA.while driving to Niagra falls around 150 miles near Niagra falls I saw two police cars parked on the emergency lane with light flashing.I slowed down from 65 miles per hour to 60 miles per hour but did n’t move over the next lane.I got my licence in 2006 and till now have a 100% clean record.I always take lots of caution while driving in US. The reason for not moving was that I was not aware of the law.He gave me a ticket with option to plead guilty or not which has to be posted to them.Please advise as I stated I was not aware of this law.



    • 888redlight July 17, 2011 9:54 pm Reply


      Unfortunately, it is not a defense that you were unaware of the “move over” law. By the way, every US state except Hawaii and the District of Columbia have a move over law.

      In any event, you should plead not guilty. If you fight this ticket, you’ll likely be able to get it reduced to a 0-point ticket. If you cannot attend court, feel free to call us as we can go for you.

      Matthew Weiss

  53. Pulled over July 17, 2011 2:32 am Reply

    I was just pulled over and ticketed for not moving over when there was an emergency vehicle parked on the grass off the LIE with lights flashing. I didn’t think I had to change lanes because the vehicle was not parked in the shoulder, but rather it was on the grass, effectively leaving a full lane between it and traffic. Can I fight this? I haven’t had a traffic ticket in 20 years.

    • 888redlight July 17, 2011 12:07 pm Reply

      Pulled Over,

      Yes, you can fight this ticket. How you fight it depends in the court in which this case is pending. Feel free to call us for a free consultation.

      Matthew Weiss

  54. Sharon July 11, 2011 3:25 pm Reply

    My son (age 23) was stopped on Rt. 17 just west of Fishs Eddy on Fri. am. An officer had a car stopped on the right, and my son did not move over. (The officer was speaking to the stopped car through their passenger window). A second police officer stopped my son, and said “I guess you don’t know why I stopped you” My son, and his two passengers said “no”. “Well, we have a new law, that you probably haven’t heard about, but if you pass a police car, you have to move over to the other lane.” My son, and his passengers said, that no, they had not heard about this law, and as we are from NJ, weren’t aware that this law existed in NY. The officer then gave my son a ticket. As they drove off, the first police car had another car stopped ahead of them – obviously someone who had passed my son when he was stopped. Although ignorance of the law is no excuse, we feel he should have been given a warning, and this was obviously a trap – stopping one car after another. What is your suggestion for him?

    • 888redlight July 11, 2011 8:35 pm Reply


      Your son should plead not guilty and fight the ticket. Most likely, he’ll be offered a reduce charge which carries no points in NY and NJ. If he cannot attend court, then we can appear in his place.

      Let me know if you have any questions.

      Matthew Weiss

      • Sharon July 11, 2011 9:56 pm Reply

        What is your fee for this? What if he loses? Do we have to pay court costs if he wins or loses?

  55. WILLIAM beck June 23, 2011 12:53 pm Reply

    thanks for the great info. i have been lucky enough to not get a red lite or move over ticket. i pass rte 83 and rte 25 in seldon ny many times during the day. i have noticed that the red light cameras have made a big change in the number of people that do pass the lite. the cameras are doing there job. the problem i notice is the 2nd cars in line at the intersection are tailgating.( very common all over in long island) the law says 1 car length for every 10 mpg not one for every 60mph.
    i really want to comment on you advice to plead before going to trial. in suffolk country ny there there are no traffic court judges and ada’s. you plead eather guilty or not guilty. the officer is called in off patrol and trial is held there that day. what do you suggest for suffolk residents. thanks.

  56. Tom June 17, 2011 3:24 pm Reply

    I agree, it is common sense. However, I also think the law is being used to entrap motorists and harass minorities. Being a recipient of such a ticket tells me I am not welcome in upstate NY if the police are going to use this law to harass me. Since a dead man was used to pass the law, it’s ghoulish to use his blood to entrap and harass motorists.

  57. Long Island Insurance June 16, 2011 4:26 pm Reply

    I’ve done a lot of interstate driving in my time here on earth. I’ve always moved over not just for emergency vehicles, but even for passenger vehicles. Truckers always do this as well.

    As previously stated, it is a “common sense” law.

  58. Greg June 15, 2011 2:58 pm Reply

    Can this be fought in court based on the intent of the law? In other words, when the NY Legislature wrote the law, they had in mind moving over for true emergencies – not fake ones manufactured by the police just to catch motorists. Can a defendant show that there was not an actual emergency (by getting documents by subpoena from the police department who issued the citation)? There would have to be a record that an emergency actually existed at that particular time on that particular highway. Could this be an effective defense against this citation?

    • 888redlight June 15, 2011 10:10 pm Reply


      In another one of my posts entitled “NYS New Mover Over Law Being Used To Trap Motorists“, I specifically described this phenomenon. Although there hasn’t been a ruling on this defense yet, I agree. An artificially-created emergency should not be a basis for issuing a move over ticket.

      If anyone has such a situation, please contact me and I’d be happy to pursue this theory pro bono.

      Matthew Weiss

      • Greg June 15, 2011 10:39 pm Reply


        I travel through NY every day on Route 84, 17 & the Thruway. I am always watching for these set ups. I move over when I see an actual emergency (fire truck, ambulance, police pulling over a motorist) but when I see a potential set up I don’t move over on purpose because I want to test this law. I am not an attorney but I will let you know if I am issued a ticket in one of these fake emergencies. Until I saw this blog I just figured I would contest it in court by myself (as I do when I get any unfair tickets). Thanks.

        On a separate issue, I am contesting a NY ticket right now for allegedly failing to come to a complete stop at a stop sign. I have several possible strong strategies but I would like to run one other far-fetched one by you if OK with you.

        Two officers from Town A set up this stop sign operation in a neighboring Town B. A witnessing officer was parked in an unmarked vehicle by the stop sign. He then radioed down to the issuing officer who pulled me over 200 feet down the road. As I indicate, the alleged violation took place in Town B and I was pulled over in Town B. But the officers were from Town A. Is it possible that they have the authority to do this? I note NY statute 140.10 which deals with officers arresting outside of their jurisdiction. Thanks.

  59. sdanl28 May 30, 2011 6:00 pm Reply

    I live in MA and on short notice rented a car to drive to Rocheaster, NY to attend the funeral of a close friend’s mother. After overnighting Sat. in Utica I headed off to Rochester Sun. morning for the funeral. 1 mile before exit 40 as I had just come out of the NY Thruway construction section there was a cop car with lights flashing pulled over in the Emergency lane with a regular vehicle. Before I even got near the car there was a trooper who had pulled into the access area between the east & west sides and as I passed the parked vehicle going about 60-61mph the other trooper slowly pulled into the west heading traffic. He started out in the high speed lane and gently moved into the slow lane (where I still was) and then put his flashers on and I pulled over. I had no clue why I was being pulled over. But I learned after he finally told me – and I was shocked. I didn’t know about this law – I had heard over the years about the cops being injured and some sadly killed, but I didn’t know it had become a law.

    My question is – what do I plead at this point and how much will this violation cost me and how will it affect my MA insurance record?

    Many thanks for your response & assistance. I find it obnoxious that one doesn’t know how much the fine will be until you fill out all the paperwork and send it in. And I found it ridiculous that they print the fines on “thermal paper” and when the trooper hands the paperwork to you they warn you to be sure that the paper doesn’t get exposed to too much heat as it will turn completely black. Mmmm is that another way the state of NY is making additional revenue numbers?

    • 888redlight May 30, 2011 9:08 pm Reply


      Plead not guilty. You will be given a conference date where you or you traffic lawyer can work out a plea bargain. The fine is about $200 if you fight it (or not). Check with your insurance company as to the affect of a NY conviction on your MA insurance rates.

      Good luck.

      Matthew Weiss

      • sdanl28 May 30, 2011 10:34 pm Reply

        Why would I plead not guilty and under what excuse? And that would mean I’d have to drive all the way to Weedsport or somewhere there to appear in court, which I don’t think I have the time to do. Hiring a lawyer for such a thing I would presume is rather costly – no?

        What kind of plea bargain could I work out? $200 that’s pretty stiff!

        I will be calling my insurance company about this tomorrow –

        Thank you.


  60. Jim May 27, 2011 5:00 pm Reply

    I am a Canadian headed to Pennsylvania, just crossed the border and was pulled over in Niagara on the I90.
    The officer was stopped with flashing lights on the shoulder on a turn, there were cars in the lone left lane, I was in the right lane next to the shoulder. I slowed down, considerably but did not change lanes as it was not safe to do so and also I was not aware that there is a law requiring it.
    The officer came after me after about 7 – 10 minutes of driving? Drove for a while behind me, seem to savor its prey and then put the flashers on. I was confused – and he knew so like the others in this column – he asks if I knew about the new law …etc etc but issued the ticket anyway – pointing the way to the court. I asked him to give me a break – as I had my 3 kids and wife in the car and the little ones were nervous. It was a bad welcome for a Canadian.
    I live in Ontario and pleaded not guilty. I received a mail asking that I appear in court on June 13th.
    Any advice anyone?

    • 888redlight May 28, 2011 10:25 am Reply


      Because points from New York transfer to Ontario, we recommend that you fight this ticket. It doesn’t sound like you driver much in New York, so I recommend trying to work out a plea bargain that minimizes the impact in Ontario. There are point-violations in New York that do not result in demerit points in Ontario.

      Good luck.

      Matthew Weiss

  61. ron a. May 14, 2011 3:56 pm Reply

    Just got a Move Over ticket on the NYS Thruway. (I feel it was unfair under circumstances which made “moving over” dangerous.) I will fight this ticket because of my insurance, in particular, and (clean) driving record, generally. Can you explain, briefly: I’m I’m offered a zero (0)-point deal might I, however, still find some kind of “activity” (point-less violation) my record? To achieve my best insurance rate, I need to keep my record clean and clear of “activity” as well as points. In other words, are there zero (0)-point infractions that can still appear as a violation? Thanks!

    • 888redlight May 14, 2011 10:20 pm Reply


      Yes, there are 0-point violations that appear on your record (like failure to wear a seat belt). Ideally, try and get it reduced to a parking ticket under VTL 1200(d) which will NOT appear on your record.

      Matthew Weiss

  62. Foreigner May 9, 2011 9:43 am Reply

    Thank you for your posting the new updated law information at first.

    I am foreigner with working visa. I took pre-licensing course in last December(I didn’t get this information), got the US driver’s license in March and I took the defensive course recently(This online course didn’t provide the info..)
    While I was driving in the 2nd lane near shoulder of Route 17W with 2 lanes for each way at about 6 a.m., I found that the police car and big truck with container stopped in the shoulder.
    The shoulder was likely to get the enough space for the cars and people and there was no person out of the cars. Frankly speaking, I didn’t know this law.
    I reduced under 50 mph(speed limit : 65 mph) and I thought that the sudden change of the lane could make the police officer doubt my action.
    My wife in the passenger’s seat & the baby in the back car seat were sleeping and the abrupt lane change was likely to be unsafe. So I continued to drive my car in the second lane. As soon as I passed the police car, the police car followed me and I pulled over. The police officer explained the violation and my only words was “I didn’t know that.”. Finally, I got the ticket.

    In my case, what can I do?
    Actually I am not good at English speaking. The small court(Mamakating Town Court) couldn’t have the interpreter. I am the foreigner with temporary working visa(L). Do I have to admit my fault or can I try to state in the court? If I have to fight, what do I have to take?

    Thank you for reading my long story and kind reply in advance.

    • 888redlight May 9, 2011 9:37 pm Reply


      You should fight this ticket to try and save points, money and a possible insurance raise.

      We can help and you will not have to go to Mamakating. We can go for you. We will try to save you money and points. Call us to discuss.

      Matthew Weiss

  63. Just a guy May 8, 2011 9:13 am Reply

    I have always slowed down and moved over for any vehicle on the side of the road. I have been on the side of the road broken down and it’s scary when people don’t take consideration.

    With that being said, I definately have seen NYS Troopers pulled over on 81, south of Syracuse, for most of the day with their lights on. I asked my passenger what the heck was going on after I passed him the 3rd time. I was seriously going to stop and see if he was alright.

    The funny thing was I kept seeing people pulled over a mile or so ahead of him, but he never moved. I knew he wasn’t doing a speed trap because he was in plain sight and you could see him way ahead of time. He also didn’t have a radar gun pointed towards the on coming traffic.

    Now I understand.

    This idea of pleading not guilty and then having it reduced sounds wrong to me. Court fees are ridiculous, and this is illegal. Paying a lawyer would be even worse. I have got to get out of this state. Leaving interpretations of “slow down” and moving over “when safe to do so” in the hands of the cops is nuts.

    • 888redlight May 8, 2011 10:51 am Reply

      Just A Guy,

      I agree that officers should not use this law to “trap” motorists. It should be used for legitimate emergency situations, not artificially created ones.

      Matthew Weiss

  64. Kathleen May 4, 2011 6:30 pm Reply

    I was pulled over today for not moving over. I was not aware of this law either. I actually think this was a trap, since further down the highway I saw another group of trooper cars that appeared as though they were doing the same thing. It was in an area south of Syracuse, NY. I always do pull over, but the cars were parked so far off the road, I felt dramatically reducing my speed would suffice. Plus, the fast lane was busy.

    The officer who pulled me over was so rude and disrespectful. He yelled at me for about 5 minutes — really yelled — loud. Is this the right way to deal with a citizen? I’m 61 years old and have had 2 speeding tickets since I was licensed at 16 years old., only one I felt was legitimate. He did let me go with a warning, but scared me and my 3 year old grandchildren who were in the car with me. I understand this is a serious issue, and I am sorry I didn’t move over, but come on — getting yelled at for 5 minutes. Seriously.

    • 888redlight May 6, 2011 10:12 am Reply


      It is unfortunate that the officer was disrespectful. Most officers do not act that way so it is unfortunate that you had this experience. In any event, I’m glad that you only got a warning, however.

      Matthew Weiss

  65. Maureen May 4, 2011 11:38 am Reply

    WE just heard about this law 10 DAYS ago when we happen to catch a news BLIP about the Troopers being “out in force” to enforce the law! I asked my husband if he knew anything about it and he had an idea of what it might be about as he travels extensively for his job – however, he was NOT aware of there being a new law in NYS!!


    I have spent the last 3 days searching the internet trying to find the specifics of the law so as not to get trapped by these lousy troopers who want to trap people with fake emergencies! What a surprise that there is no information to be found on what speed you “must slow down” to or how far from the emergency vehicles you “must move over” and who decides “if it is safe to do so”!! It is no wonder the troopers can just hand out tickets on this one at their discretion! However, instead of complaining to them, it is the folks who created the law that need to hear our complaints, so you can bet my next letter will be to the NYS Governors Office!

    • 888redlight May 6, 2011 10:17 am Reply


      I agree that information regarding the move over law could have been better disseminated. Please feel free to email me any questions about the law.

      Matthew Weiss

  66. Joe April 27, 2011 12:07 pm Reply

    To everyone on this site who states that they did not know that a police car with it’s lights on is indeed considered an emergency vehicle, remember to be thankful that breathing is a reflex!

    • 888redlight April 27, 2011 12:37 pm Reply


      I think the bigger issue is that New York motorists are not familiar with the new move over law. I’d like to see more educational efforts being made by New York State to increase driver awareness of this new law.

      Matthew Weiss

  67. Sharon April 26, 2011 11:16 pm Reply

    I live in Connecticut. I was pulled over April 18. I did not know about the law. I saw several trooper cars with flashing lights in the breakdown lane but thought it was a speed trap. There was no accident. I was going below the speed limit. There were trucks in the fast lane so even if I knew about the law I would have been afraid to switch lanes. The trooper issued a ticket for failing to take due care for emergency vehicle. He told me to send in the ticket and plead not guilty and that he wouldn’t be in court. I sent the ticket in pleading not guilty and also filled out the part asking for a supporting deposition from the trooper. What does it mean that the trooper won’t be in court? Was he actually trying to help me? He said his hands were tied. I echo comments of others. While I was stopped, many cars went by and were not stopped.

    • 888redlight April 27, 2011 12:36 am Reply


      The trooper does not have to appear in court unless you demand a trial. Prior to a trial, you are given a conference where you can try and negotiate a plea bargain. Often these cases are resolved during the conference stage. Is the ticket for a move over violation, or failing to yield to an emergency vehicle? The latter charge may be incorrect as a matter of law.

      Feel free to call us tomorrow for a free consultation.

      Matthew Weiss

  68. Tow Truck Driver April 25, 2011 10:53 pm Reply

    Well this is a simple easy fix. Why is it the police can’t have you go to the nearest exit or parking lot where it would be safe for “ALL”… And do what they need to do there? After all, most of these stops I would imagine are on the Northway or similar roads. C’mon people lets use our brains. In my opinion that would be one of many good solutions. Peace to all , and lets be safe out there!!!!

  69. John Crawford April 23, 2011 1:42 pm Reply

    I’ve read comments where you state “plea bargain” down to o-point ticket even when it is obvious that NO offense has been committed. We all know that many times police are just wrong and why should smeone plea deal to 0-point when they are totally not guilty.

    We need honest laws … not just ones to make money for state/towns etc.

    What is your view on Police Car stopped with emergency lights flashing with no other stopped vehicle but who is radioing ahead to another vehicle. That seems like true “entrapment”…..

    • 888redlight April 23, 2011 11:23 pm Reply


      I advocate that every motorist, at least, explore a plea bargain and weigh it against the risks and time of a trial. When a 0-point ticket is offered, it is hard to turn down. With that said, if you (or any motorist) believes that they are not guilty and cannot accept a plea bargain, then by all means take your chances at trial. It really is an individual decision for each person to make and I only give my best advice based on the information provided and my experience with traffic judges and how they handle cases.

      In regard to your “entrapment” question, I find this practice terrible. I have heard about more and more police offices artificially creating a “move over” situation. I don’t condone such tactics and hope that this new law is only enforced for true violators involving failing to move over for a true emergency.

      Matthew Weiss

  70. Andrew April 23, 2011 1:02 pm Reply

    My wife and I were heading upstate for a weekend away yesterday when we were pulled over on i87 north near Elizabethtown. My wife was driving within the speed limit when she passed several police cars on the side of the road. They seemed to be working in tandem to nail drivers for this violation. It was like shooting fish in a barrel – while we were waiting for our ticket many cars went driving by in the right lane. We just happened to be one of the unlucky ones who drove by at the wrong time. It seems very unfair and possibly entrapment for the police to behave in this manner. The only reason they were there was to induce people to violate the law so they could give them a ticket. It is so much easier to generate revenue this way than to have to wait for someone who is speeding. We live in CT and the trial if we plead not guilty is in Elizabethtown. We both work and don’t have time to drive four hours to contest this, but at the same time I don’t want my wife to end up with points on her record if it can be easily avoided. Is it possible to negotiate a plea over the phone? How do you think we should handle this?

    • 888redlight April 23, 2011 11:26 pm Reply


      Artificially creating an “emergency” to issue tickets is despicable especially given that this is a new law with which many motorists are not familiar. I am sorry you got ensnared but am happy to discuss with you for free how you can fight this ticket.

      Matthew Weiss

  71. Elena April 20, 2011 11:34 am Reply

    I was cited yesterday for failing to yield to an emergency vehicle.
    there were a number of trooper cars on the road ( and much traffic) The trooper in question was parked on the side of the road. I slowed down. Imagine my surprise at being pulled over. When I asked the trooper questions about this law he was unable to answer claiming he didn’t know the info. I have sent the ticket in claiming not guilty. Please advise thank you.

    • 888redlight April 20, 2011 2:01 pm Reply


      Failure to yield the right-of-way is a 3-point traffic ticket while a violation of the move over law is only a 2-point ticket. Feel free to email or fax us the ticket to review for free. Either way, you did the right thing by pleading not guilty. Depending on the court, you can likely get this ticket reduced to a 0-point ticket.

      Feel free to call us for a free consultation.

      Matthew Weiss
      212-726-0135 fax

  72. Dianne Scalza April 19, 2011 1:09 pm Reply

    On april 14th, I was driving on the Seaford Oyster Bay Expressway on Long Island. I saw 2 police cars with their lights on and a car inbetween them. I had just gotten on the highway and was getting off in 2 exits when one of the police cars pulled me over. He asked me if I knew how fast I was going? I said “yes, and I was’t speeding, officer.” He then told me that that was not why he pulled me over, and was I aware of the move over law? I stated that I was. He asked me if I knew what an emergency vehicle was? I said yes, a fire truck or an ambulance. Then he proceeded to tell me that a police call with its lights on is considered an emergency vehicle. I had no idea that pulling over someone for a ticket was considered an emergency, but now I know I was wrong. But everyone I asked did not know this either. They also thought it was an ambulance or fire truck.
    The officer said to plead not guilty and that they would work with me. I want everyone to know this because apparently as many, many cars were driving by and not moving over, they didn’t know either! He then told me, don’t worry, he will get them, they have a grant from the federal gaovernment to do this!!
    Is there anywhere on the DMV site that details exactly what they mean by emergency vehicle? I understand the rationale about it, and have always moved over , but did not think a police car giving a ticket was an emergency!

    • 888redlight April 20, 2011 2:09 pm Reply


      An emergency vehicle for purposes of the New York move over law is a stopped emergency vehicle with red flashing lights illuminated including a police car or ambulance.

      Feel free to contact us for free advice or a free consultation, and by all means fight your ticket.

      Matthew Weiss

    • Leslie December 5, 2011 4:52 pm Reply

      No there is not. I am a new driver and I read the DMV hand book over and over and its no where in there. I got my permit in august 2011 and my dad just got pulled over for this. I think its bogus! If we aren’t aware of the law how can we “move-over”?

      • Matthew Weiss December 5, 2011 11:12 pm Reply


        Unfortunately, ignorance of the law is not a defense. Further, there have been many public service announcements about it.

        With that said, your dad should still plead not guilty and fight it. Hopefully, he can negotiate a reduction to a lesser charge.

        Matthew Weiss

  73. dee dee April 18, 2011 8:57 am Reply

    I just got pulled over yesterday. I was on the highway in the left lane, I was doing 49mph in a 55 zone. there was a state trooper who had there lights on I guess issusing a ticket. I keep driving down the highway I notice there was two state trooper cars park together, no lights on. As I passed them one of the state troopers proceeded to get on the highway. He rode behind me and put on his lights. I pulled over. He came to my car asking me if I knew about the mover over law. I said no I was not aware of it. He said it a new law and a lot of people is not aware of it, but they are in enforcing the law. He gave me a ticket. I been driving since 2002 and ever received a ticket and I have a clean driver’s record. Do you think i should plead guilty or not plead guilty and fight it in court?

    • 888redlight April 18, 2011 10:45 pm Reply

      Dee Dee,

      You should plea not guilty. If you fight this ticket, you likely can get it reduced to a 0-point, non-moving violation.

      If you need help or want advice, call us for a free consultation.

      Matthew Weiss

    • Betty Wilchek April 21, 2011 11:46 am Reply

      Again, Everyone, Please read my first comment. I am sure that we all can explain we did not know about the Law, take a small fine, and eliminate a mark on License. Thats not what this is about, IT’s about TELL US ABOUT THIS NEW LAW, list it a few times in the Paper, Radio, TV, email, send us all a letter. WE WERE NIT PROPERLY NOTIFIED, and should not have to be inconvienced like this. We are all willing to comly, but we are NOT MIND READERS,. Betty

  74. Kevin Condon April 15, 2011 11:35 am Reply

    My wife was just issued a ticket for this today. She was unable to change lanes due to traffic. She was cited for failure to yield to an emergency vehicle. Is this the proper violation? Thanks.

    • 888redlight April 15, 2011 11:49 pm Reply


      Failure to yield the right-of-way is very different from the move over law. Failure to yield to an emergency vehicle occurs when a motorist does not get out of the way of an emergency vehicle trying to get passed. If your wife was simply passing an emergency vehicle, than you may have a great argument for dismissal based upon being charged with the wrong section of law. This defense should be played carefully as the prosecutor can amend the charge at any time up until the trial.

      This ticket carries 3 points and, therefore is worth fighting.

      Feel free to call us for a free consultation.

      Matthew Weiss

  75. Vicki April 13, 2011 7:13 pm Reply

    I was just pulled over for this law. I was not aware of it and as I approached the vehicle I slowed down. I ALWAYS take great care on the road and was given not a ticket but a full two page deposition.
    Do I tell the judge that I was not aware of this law and bring my driving record, which has no points on it?
    When the police officer approached me I informed him I was not aware of this law but did “slow down”. He did not right that I had slowed down on the deposition so it is my word against his. What should I say when I appear in court?

    • 888redlight April 13, 2011 8:14 pm Reply


      Slowing down isn’t a good defense. The law requires you to “move over”.

      My advice is to ask for a conference and speak to the prosecutor. Without denying or admitting the charge, explain that you’d like to resolve this matter without a trial and would like to know what type of plea bargain, if any, would be offered. Because this is only a 2-point ticket (and we have no 1-point tickets in New York), you will likely be offered a 0-point ticket (which offer you should of course take).

      Good luck.

      Matthew Weiss

  76. JerryVan March 31, 2011 2:51 pm Reply

    We are visiting from Seattle, driving back to new jersey from montreal and we just got pulled over. We don’t have laws like this in washington, we are not required to pull into the other lane for emergency vehicles on the side of the road. We didn’t see anything printed on the cop cars or see any signs alerting us to this law. We got a ticket and have to take care of this from across the country.

    How are we supposed to handle this situation? We don’t have point systems on licenses in washington…how will it effect our license?

    We have enjoyed our visit to New York, but this has left a very negative pall over our trip as we prepare to fly out tomorrow. Are there other unposted laws visitors should be aware of?

  77. Paul March 21, 2011 6:12 pm Reply

    On January 28 I was pulled over and was issued a ticket for not moving over and I just came back from pre-trial appearance at court with the intention to go for the trial. In that night the weather was very bad, heavy snow, slippery road (I-87 N) and low visibility. When I saw cop’s car I slowed down but, because of the weather, I delayed moving over and waited until the left lane was safe to move over. Unfortunately I got too close to cop’s car and moved over probably in the last few yard from his car. He chased me, pulled me over and gave me the ticket. In this case my claim is that I am not guilty since I slowed down and moved over, even though it happened in the last few feet from his car. Now, for the trial I don’t have any more evidence other than the above honest deposition and a clean record for the last 5 years. I have to admit that I was not aware of the new law but I used to move over all the time just because it seems common sense. What is your advice on this, if you will be the judge will you dismiss the ticket after hearing my story?

    Thank you so much,

    • 888redlight March 21, 2011 7:39 pm Reply


      Based on what your wrote, I recommend that you ask for a conference and try for a plea bargain. You likely will be offered a 0-point ticket which won’t hurt your license or insurance.

      Good luck.


    • Betty Wilchek April 21, 2011 11:37 am Reply

      Hi Paul, Yesterday I was pulled over 15 mins. from my home in Slate Hill, N.Y. The officer asked me where I was coming from, where I was going, had I ever got stopped before, Did I know what I did wrong. My answer clean record, never a violation. He told be that I was in the slow lane when He pulled a Driver over on the shoulder, and that I was to have gotten over to the fast lane. I told him I never new that this Law was in effect as of January, 2011, as He indicated. So, He gave me a ticket. I an going to pursue this with New York State, Channel 12 News, and The Newspaper. We the people of N.Y. were not properly notified by mail, Television, Radio., and if we were and if it was for 1 day, perhaps we didn’t here about it for that particular 1 night or day. We have the right to be told of our new Laws on the road. Not just a quick mention in the paper for a Day. Perhaps we didn’t read the Paper that day, how would we know. The State Troopers were having a field Day yesterday, pulling everyone over , in a domino effect, having lots of Fun. As He handed me the ticket 12 Cars went right by us in the lane next to the shoulder-GEE!!! I guess they don’t know either. Seems 25 people in 24 hours that I asked did not know this Law existed, including my Husband. Tell us, and we will comply. I had a clean record my entire life and all the Officer should have done at that point was tell me, and say don’t do it again. They make people feel like criminals. Again, I am going to fight for everyone I can who got tickets, and for people in New York that this Law WAS NOT PROPERLY TOLD TO US. We are not mind readers. This Car that was pulled over was not for an accident, it was for the same thing I did the Officer said. We all have pulled over to another lane when we saw accidents, which is naturally by instinct. But, not for an officer on the shoulder educating another Driver of the same issue. It could have been a person looking for directions, and He just stopped to help the person, I don’t read minds. So, Now What about Our safety when the car in front of us slows down, nevously not to get a ticket again, and can’t get into the other lane, esp. when trucks are there-OH! I see, we just get rammed from the back? But thats okay. It took 10 years for this Law to be passed, and I can see why??? There was alot of questions about the pros and cons to it. This Law named after the Officer was a Tradgedy, but what hit home on it, was the night it happened, I was the first one to be notified, where I had 2 State Troopers arrive at my Home to tell me about about the 4 Cars involved and the Officers Car that went into flames, and that my live in Boyfriend was DEAD. Than to say that He was not Dead but Critically dying 10 mins later, by a dispatch. I lived that nightmare for a long time. I agree the Law is for a good cause. But agin, INFORM US PROPERLY, WE ARE NOT MIND READERS. Just another New York State Law that wasn’t made Public, for maybe more than one day?? if that. So, untill something is done, we can all drive on the Highways and enjoy Christmas Lights form all the officers meeting their monthly quoto, by flashing lights and pulling people over every 1/2 a mile. Betty W.

      • Diana April 24, 2011 12:09 am Reply

        I hear you loud and clear as I got caught in this tandem trap today. Just awful!!!! How about getting those that are doing 80 in 65 zones?

        Clean driving record for over 20 years and now this. Happy Easter!!!

        • Deb W. April 25, 2011 5:00 pm Reply

          My husband and I got pulled over in Slate Hill on 84 today. A state trooper was on the right and we pulled over to the left lane as we passed and then moved back to the right. He pulled out and passed us on the left and then pulled over in back of another trooper that was on the right parked a short distance in front of us. There was another trooper on the left. When we passed the two troopers on the right, they was a car passing on our left, so we were not able to pull over this time. No one was out of their vehicles so we continued in the right land. Shortly thereafter, one of the troopers pulled us over and gave us a ticket. My husband and I both have clean records and we take the driver’s safety course every three years. I agree that a warning would have been more appropriate than a ticket. I read that the fine can be up to $275 plus a surcharge if you plead guilty. NYS troopers were truly having a field day today because we saw at least six troopers stopping vehicle after vehicle for failure to move over. Wonder how many tickets they issued today? Does anyone have suggestions on what we should do? We have 48 hours to decide whether we are pleading “not guilty”.

          • 888redlight April 25, 2011 5:21 pm


            You should definitely plead not guilty. If you fight this ticket, you likely can get the case dropped down to a 0-point ticket. Of course, you can fight it too. Either way, we recommend pleading not guilty.

            Feel free to call us if you have any further questions.

            Matthew Weiss

      • Paul October 8, 2011 1:54 am Reply

        I went to visit a cousin in upstate N.Y. yesterday. I was driving in the right lane like I have always done since I started driving 40 years ago. I came up on a Police car with his lights flashing on the shoulder, and exercised caution and passed him. He pulled off the shoulder and pulled me over. I was very courtious to him but did not know what I did. When I asked he told me about the move over law. I apologised and told him I did not know anything about it. He said it was on the news and in the newspaper and I had to see it. I am an occasional driver and very rarly have the need to go on a Parkway. I truley never knew about this law until I looked it up after getting my Summons. I have been driving for 40 years without ever getting a Summons or getting into an accident. This Officer was giving the same summons to the driver he had stopped before me. After I received my Summons< he raced off and pulled over another driver for passing us in the next lane. I guess he could of done this all day. He was creating a dangerous situation so he could ticket as many people as he could. Should I plea Guilty and mail it in, or appear? I am afraid I will be wasting my time appearing.

        • 888redlight October 8, 2011 12:25 pm Reply


          You should plead not guilty. You will given a court date where you can likely negotiate a reduced charge (i.e., a plea bargain).

          Good luck.

          Matthew Weiss

  78. Erica March 11, 2011 12:08 am Reply

    I was pulled over by a police officer after he had let the car he pulled over leave and I had no idea that a police officer was considered an emergency vehicle. I thought the law was that I had to pull over for a moving vehicle with its lights on while I was driving. I do not think I am ignorant, but someone who has no points or violations on their license for over 10 years should at least be provided an explanation of the law and given a warning so they never do this again. Once I told the officer I did not know the law, he asked me if I was stupid because it was all over tv. I who work 40 hours a week and raise 4 kids, do not have time to watch v and when I do it is on a DVR and I skip commercials. Officers who have every right to protect themselves also have a right to educate a safe driver of the new laws and not give high amount tickets out when it is clear that the driver did not know they were even doing something wrong. I will fight this ticket and even make NYS give me a public defender because I will not say I did something wrong and broke a traffic law when I did not know it existed. It is a way for NYS to close its budget gap and I will not have any part of it.

    • 888redlight March 14, 2011 2:00 am Reply


      I am sorry to hear this story. We’ve been hearing about the “move over” law being enforced even when the officer is not displaying his lights, etc. It is unfortunate that you are a victim.

      We recommend to our clients that they should move over NO MATTER WHAT to avoid such situations.

      However, now that you have a move over ticket, we recommend fighting it so that you can hopefully keep your clean record in tact. Feel free to call us for advice or help with this traffic ticket.

      Matthew Weiss

  79. diana conklin March 4, 2011 11:50 am Reply

    My step-daughter JUST received a ticket because she didn’t “move over”. But the officer was just parked on the side of the road – no lights, no other vehicle. Is that the law? I thought it was emergency vehicles with lights flashing.

    • 888redlight March 6, 2011 12:45 am Reply


      Fight this ticket. The New York move over law only requires others to move over when passing stopped emergency vehicles with red flashing lights. Based on your description, it sounds like you have a good defense. Of course, I would explore the possibility of a plea bargain prior to taking this on to trial. If you can get a 0-point plea, I’d like advise you to take it, rather than risking a moving violation being added to your record.

      Good luck fighting this one and feel free to contact us if you would like professional help defending it.

      Matthew Weiss

  80. Newbie February 22, 2011 1:25 pm Reply


    I just got ticketed on this the other day in NY visiting family from CT. I was not even aware of this law although it has been in CT supposedly since 2009. I understand that ignorance if not a form of defense but in all technicalities, how are people supposed to be aware of new DMV laws without minimum effort of notification such as a statement in the mail?

    What in your opinion is the best option when showing up to fight the ticket? I has someone coming up behind me on the left lane as I explained to the trooper as to why I didn’t pull over and I let off the gas while in the left lane to slow down but because I didn’t use my brakes according to him, I was deemed to violate the law. I’ve always been courteous to move over to the left lane except when I could not and I would hug the median or depending on the situation let off the gas or get on the brakes to slow down but I wasn’t aware now we have to be 20 mph under the limit.

    I find it a bit ridiculous we have to re-read DMV rules/laws each frequently to make sure we’re not caught off guard by something like this since I wasn’t informed otherwise. What do you suggest in court? Is it really necessary to resort to a lawyer or just plead my own case?

    • 888redlight February 23, 2011 9:57 pm Reply


      Plead not guilty and, when you appear, be polite. You will likely be offered a 0-point ticket based on my experience. BTW, almost every state has a move over law including Connecticut.

      Good luck and, if you cannot appear in court, feel free to call us for help.

      Matthew Weiss

  81. DC January 23, 2011 11:17 am Reply

    I have some questions about this law, that everyone I know is asking. We’ve seen signs on the parkway that say “pull over for stopped emergency vehicles.” Not “move over,” “pull over.” I cannot find this law anywhere on the web. DMV has not updated its Driver’s Manual. All the Traffic Law and regulations sites within NYS have the law that has always been in effect (to pull over and/or get out of the way for an approaching emergency vehicle with its lights on.). It’s really not fair to not provide this information to the public.

    If I understand correctly, we are to “move over” to the next lane from a stopped emergency vehicle. If we cannot move over, we are to slow down to a safe speed. In TX, that safe speed is 20 mph. What is it for NY? Is it 20 mph? Is it 25 mph? Seriously. What is the speed they can ticket you at?

    This is important, also, because we have HOV lanes in NY. Sometimes, if an emergency vehicle is pulled over, the blockades can prevent you from seeing them from a distance. You cannot pull out of an HOV lane when there is a solid line (and those lines go on for quite a distance). So, are we breaking the law if we switch lanes with a solid line, to move over for a stopped emergency vehicle? I am assuming so. So, then we’d need to slow down. HOV lanes go at a high pace, and as I said, you don’t always see the vehicles right off. So, again, knowing what NYS considers to be a safe speed is necessary.

    Yes, common sense does play a roll. I know how dangerous it can be. My dad was a police officer, and he always said that if our car got stuck on a ramp, to get out of it, because a lot of police officers had been killed for stopping on ramps (entry/exits for parkways and highways). I’ve seen some police officers who did not use common sense, either. One put my toddler son and my life, in danger years ago on an expressway. He was a cruel, evil person! And, no, I wasn’t getting a ticket, nor was I in any legal trouble. My car had a blow out on the expressway. I get sick when I think of what that officer did!

    • 888redlight January 24, 2011 8:55 am Reply


      Yes, motorists are required to “move over” to the next lane from a stopped emergency vehicle. If you cannot move over, you are to slow down to a safe speed. A safe speed is one that is slower than the posted speed limit and reasonable under the circumstances. Basically, if you hit your brakes and knock you speed down 15 to 20 mph, I doubt that you would be pulled over for violating this law.

      I hope this helps but expect more information to become available as this new law is enforced and interpreted in the courts.

      Matthew Weiss

      • allen January 31, 2011 11:16 am Reply

        I WAS pulled over for this law eventhough i slowed down.
        Also I think the law states that the DMV has to provide education regarding this law wich it simply has not other than a little 2 page brochure on some police website.

        • 888redlight February 1, 2011 12:01 pm Reply


          I would definitely plead not guilty and fight this traffic ticket. The move over law is so knew I am sure that the prosecutor will be willing to make a reasonable reduction in order to plea bargain your case out.

          Good luck.

          Matthew Weiss

          • Jeffrey August 30, 2011 12:32 am

            I was caught in a trap where an officer was pulled over with lights on just to catch those not moving over. There wasn’t any emergency. The speed limit was 65 there was a car in the lane beside me and I told the officer I couldn’t get over and u can’t slow down when the cars behind you are driving 70 that would cause a pile up. I got ticketed despite of being unable to get over. A sad demonstration that the state of New York is so greedy as to implement laws to protect and then abuse them to stick it to tourists.

          • 888redlight August 30, 2011 7:53 pm


            I wrote a blog post on this very topic. It is entitled “NY Move Over Law Used To Trap Motorists“. It is very unfortunate that a law designed to protect police officers and other emergency responders is being used to trick and trap motorists. We recommend fighting this ticket because it carries 3 points.

            Matthew Weiss

        • jennifer March 9, 2012 12:11 am Reply

          i was just pulled over for the same thing, i even literally went into the oncoming traffic lane (no cars coming) and he said that i could have hit him, which his car was in the far right lane and i was in the left and he was at the woman’s car on the side farther away and i was like 5 minutes down the street when he pulled me over

          • Matthew Weiss March 9, 2012 7:56 am


            You should plea not guilty and fight this ticket. This is the only way to possibly avoid points from this “move over” ticket.

            Matthew Weiss

  82. Ticket Quota January 15, 2011 2:05 pm Reply

    Strange how we have to legislate common sense, isn’t it? I’ve been moving over for emergency vehicles for forty years, but the law *requiring* me to do so only took effect in Michigan about four or five years ago.

    If people just took driving more seriously and used common sense …

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