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An overview of the Move Over Law

| Mar 19, 2021 | Traffic Ticket |

Most drivers understand that they must exercise certain precautions when passing police or emergency vehicles that are on the shoulder of the road. Unfortunately, some drivers are not aware that these precautions are actually laws and disobeying them could result in tickets and fines. 

In New York, this law is called the Move Over Law. 

Slow down and move over

The basics of the Move Over Law are simple. According to Thruway Authority, drivers must slow down and move over when they see reflectors, vests or lights of emergency and maintenance vehicles parked on the shoulder. If it is not safe to move over, drivers should slow down and exercise caution around the following vehicles: 

  • Fire trucks 
  • Ambulances 
  • Tow trucks 
  • Police vehicles 
  • Construction vehicles 
  • Maintenance vehicles 

The Move Over Law applies to vehicles that are on either shoulder of the road, not just the right-hand side. 

New York is serious about this law

The governor and local police authorities take this law very seriously in New York. In fact, according to the New York State website, the governor utilized Operation Hardhat to target drivers who disobey several driving laws, including the Move Over Law. During this operation, State Troopers posed as construction workers in a maintenance zone to identify drivers breaking the law. Although speeding was the most common offense during this operation, failure to move over was fourth on the list. 

It is important for drivers to consistently take notice of their surroundings. As soon as someone sees flashing red, white, blue or amber lights, this should be a sign to slow down and move over if possible.