On January 1, 2011, the “Move Over” law was instituted in New York. The law is named in honor of New York State Trooper Robert W. Ambrose, and Onondaga County Sheriff Deputy Glenn M. Searles. Both were killed in the line of duty while their patrol vehicles were stopped responding to an emergency on the side of the road. The “Move Over” law is designed to protect police, fire, and emergency workers responding to calls on the side of the road. The theory is that by moving over, drivers will help other emergency workers get to the scene of a car crash faster.
Under this new statute, drivers are required to move over and slow down when passing an emergency vehicle that is stopped on the shoulder of a road with its emergency lights flashing. If for some reason the driver is unable to move into the next lane (road congestion), the driver must still slow down.
A violation of the “Move Over” law is a moving violation that results in two points on the driver’s license. In addition, there is a fine of up to $275, mandatory court surcharges, and up to 15 days in jail, although this last provision is rarely invoked for this infraction.