New York's Move Over Law was enacted last year after a state trooper was killed by a passing motorist. The officer was walking along the shoulder of a roadway to issue a ticket. Since 1997 more than 150 law enforcement officers throughout the nation have been killed in these same situations.
The Move Over Law requires all vehicles to move into the left lane whenever they are passing a law enforcement vehicle on the shoulder of the highway with their emergency lights flashing. If a driver is unable to make the lane change safely, the driver is required to slow down.
Many other states have enacted similar laws to protect law enforcement officers.
Since the law was enacted, over 2,500 tickets have been issued in Western New York.
The original law applied specifically to police and fire vehicles, but on New Year's Day, the law was expanded to protect a greater number of workers who regularly risk their lives on New York's dangerous roadways.
Changes to New York's Move Over Law
The Move Over law now protects "hazard vehicles," including construction crews, maintenance crews and tow truck operators. Motorists must treat these hazard vehicles the same as enforcement vehicles under the expanded rule. As with law enforcement officials, the goal of the expanded law is to prevent the loss of life of all roadway workers in fatal car accidents.
AAA states that New York is now one of 46 states that expanded the law to include tow trucks. Tow truck operators are hopeful that drivers will interpret the changes to apply to any vehicle with flashing lights, simply slowing down or moving over when warning lights are observed.
The law was expanded to provide another reinforcement tool promoting the safety of all who work on highways in New York. Drivers in violation of this law can receive a $275 fine, up to 15 days in jail and may also notice a negative impact to their driving record.
Those who work on roadways are entitled to such levels of protection. If you or a loved one has been injured in a roadside accident, you should speak with an experienced and aggressive Rochester car accident lawyer to review your options.