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New York police increase enforcement of “move over” law

In the first week of April 2013, New York police officers added extra patrols to increase enforcement of speed limits and the state’s “move over” law, in conjunction with the beginning on National Distracted Driving Awareness Month and National Work Zone Safety Awareness Week. Police said they intended to use the increased enforcement as a way to call drivers’ attention to the change in the move over law that occurred in 2012. New York drivers should be aware of the state’s move over law requirements and the penalties they face for violating the law.

New York “move over” law

New York’s move over law requires drivers to reduce their speed when approaching emergency vehicles on the side of the road if the emergency vehicle has its lights activated. On roads that have more than one lane, drivers in the lane immediately adjacent to the shoulder on which the emergency vehicle is parked must move over one traffic lane unless traffic or other hazards prevent drivers from safely changing lanes.

The law initially only applied to emergency vehicles with red, blue or white emergency lights, such as law enforcement officers, emergency medical personnel and fire fighters. However, in 2012 the law expanded to include hazard vehicles with amber warning lights, such as tow trucks, snow plows and road construction and maintenance vehicles.

Penalties for violations

The penalties for failing to follow the move over law can be severe. Police may issue moving violations to drivers who do not follow the move over law, with a $150 fine and possible court surcharges. Drivers may also get two points added to their driving records for failing to obey the move over law. The points added to a driving record could mean that the cost is even higher for some drivers who receive move over citations, because drivers who accrue six points within 18 months must pay a Driver Responsibility Assessment fee.

Talk to an attorney

Some people believe that it is not worth the time and effort to fight traffic tickets, and they would rather simply pay the fines and move on. Others feel they do not know how to contest a ticket and believe their only option is to pay the fine. However, traffic tickets can have serious consequences that extend beyond just a fine. If you have received a traffic ticket, seek the assistance of a skilled New York traffic ticket lawyer who can fully represent your interests.