Our Law Enforcement and Emergency Personnel put their lives on the line every day in NYS for our well-being. The least we can do for them is keep them safe. The New York State Move Over Law was passed as a necessary and life-saving law to protect law enforcement and emergency personnel while working to help the community.

Background: What is the “Move Over Law?”

New York State’s “Move Over” law was originally enacted in 2010. Named the “Ambrose-Searles Move Over Act” its namesake honors Trooper Robert W. Ambrose and Sheriff Deputy Glenn M. Searles, who both died in the line of duty after being struck by a vehicle while stopped on the shoulder of the road. In 2012, the law was amended to not only include police but also fire and ambulance vehicles, as well as hazard vehicles displaying amber lights like tow trucks and maintenance vehicles.

This law encourages motorists to use care when approaching emergency or hazard vehicles stopped on the roadway with flashing lights to avoid an auto accident. Motorists are required to move one full lane away from the stopped vehicle on the road. The only way they are not required is if it were unsafe for the motorist or violates traffic laws.

Yes, there are Penalties for Not Moving Over?

If a motorist fails to move over when safely able to do so, they will receive a ticket carrying a 2-point penalty. If the driver receives 11 points in an 18-month period, their New York State driver’s license will be suspended. If convicted, the guilty party may face a fine of up to $150 with a $93 surcharge. If they receive additional “Move Over” convictions within the following 18 months, the fine will increase. The second conviction will cost a fine of $300 and a third conviction will cost $450.

Myth: The Move Over Law is the same as yielding the right of way to an emergency vehicle.

The Move Over Law is not the same as yielding the right-of-way for an emergency vehicle on-route to an emergency. The Move Over Law specifically references parked emergency and hazard vehicles on the shoulder of the road. Failing to yield the right-of-way to an emergency vehicle will result in a 3-point penalty and up to a $275 fine.



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5 Tips for Driving Safe and Protecting our Police Officers and Emergency Personnel

To do your part to prevent a motor vehicle accident, follow these five tips for safe driving in response to emergency and hazard vehicles.


1. If you see lights ahead, change lanes as soon as you can safely do so.

If you are driving and see an accident or traffic stop with emergency personnel ahead, change to the far lane as soon as you safely can. This way you don’t have to slow down and change lanes last minute and risk your life or the lives of emergency personnel.


2. Be alert to emergency personnel and hazard vehicles on the left shoulder too.

Obviously, car crashes do not always occur on the right side of the road. The Move Over Law refers to emergency and hazard vehicles on either side of the roadway. Be alert for emergency vehicles on the left side of the road as well and change to the far lane.



Simply moving over does not guarantee emergency personnel safety. You may be distracted by lights and not see every responding officer. Change lanes and slow down to avoid people.


4. Use your signal.

Do not assume the drivers behind you know you are going to move over. Use your signal before changing lanes to avoid emergency and hazard vehicles.


5. Check your blind spot.

Act calm as you are approaching an emergency or hazard vehicle. Do not quickly move over to avoid the stopped vehicles. Be sure to check your blind spot before changing lanes.


If you’ve been injured in a car accident, the lawyers at Brindisi, Murad and Brindisi Pearlman can help. You do not have to suffer from injury or wrongful death alone. We offer free legal advice to victims who deserve the chance to seek justice. Contact our office for a free consultation from an experienced car accident lawyer today.



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