Reminder that the Move Over Law steps into NY January 1st, 2011.
To protect Emergency Service workers from the inherent risks of roadway work, enforcement, and rescue, the New York State Senate enacted the “Ambrose-Searles Move Over Act” in August of this year. This legislation, which takes effect January 1, 2011, requires
every operator of a motor vehicle to exercise due care to avoid colliding with an authorized emergency vehicle which is parked, stopped or standing on the shoulder or any portion of a highway.
The law was named after New York State Trooper Robert Ambrose and Onondaga County Deputy Sheriff Glenn Searles, both of whom were killed in collisions along the roadway.
The law enforcement community has supported the adoption of this legislation for many years and is particularly relevant in light of the increase in the number of distractions (GPS, mobile devices with texting and email, in car movies, etc).
Prior to the adoption of the Move Over Act, NY regulations required every driver to reduce their speed when approaching a stopped emergency vehicle as described in Vehicle and Traffic Law (VTL) Section 1180(e):
drive at an appropriate reduced speed when … approaching and passing by an emergency situation involving any authorized emergency vehicle which is parked, stopped or standing on a highway and which is displaying one or more red or combination red, white, and/or blue lights
This new legislation hopefully will put a safer distance with the required reduction in speed.
The new VTL Section 1144(a):
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… 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…
Move Over America is a national campaign to educate Americans about the “Move Over” laws. New York State is one of the last three states in the country to enact this safety legislation. Sadly,
Draw your own conclusion and drive safely!
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