Thursday, January 12, 2017

Ithaca DWI Lawyer: VTL 1144 (a) New Move Over Law Expands the Vehicles You Must Move Over For


New York State has a "move over" law, NYS VTL 1144 (a) which was originally enacted to safeguard police at roadside traffic stops. Cars and trucks whizz by vehicles stopped along the shoulder at close distance. This has lead to many unnecessary deaths of law enforcement over the years by careless motorists. The law will change once again on January 17, 2017 to protect even more public safety workers.

New York "Move Over" Law Expands Once Again January 2017


The law began in New York state January 1, 2011 after two State Troopers by the names of Ambrose and Searles were both struck and killed by motorists while making traffic stops. The law was expanded in 2012 to include:

tow trucks, snow plows and other vehicles performing road maintenance, construction or repair.  
The law under New York State Vehicle and Traffic section 1144 (a) MANDATES that motorists slow down and move over for: police, fire, ambulance, tow trucks, snow plows, maintenance vehicles, AND NOW ANY vehicle displaying a blue or green light, including volunteer firefighters and volunteer ambulance workers UNLESS traffic or other hazards prevent them from doing so safely.

BILL NUMBER:  S7938

 TITLE OF BILL :

An act to amend the vehicle and traffic law, in relation to the operation of vehicles when approaching a parked, stopped or standing vehicle displaying a blue or green light

 PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL :

To increase the roadside safety of volunteer firefighters and volunteer ambulance workers.

 SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS :

The bill would require all motor vehicle operators to exercise due care to avoid colliding with a vehicle parked, stopped or standing on the shoulder or any portion of a roadway while displaying a revolving blue light or revolving green light as authorized by law. The bill
also would require that, on parkways and controlled access highways, due care would include moving from the lane containing or adjacent to the shoulder where such vehicles are parked, stopped or standing.


A violation of VTL 1144 (a) is a non-criminal traffic offense which carries three points, a $275 fine, plus a NYS surcharge. These tickets are usually not given alone and frequently you are facing much higher fines, points, and surcharges. Discuss these and any other tickets with a local traffic attorney.