By Senator Patty Ritchie
From time to time, I’m sure most of us have driven upon emergency scenes where there are numerous flashing lights and either police, fire or rescue workers on the roadside who are coming to the aid of a person in need.
Like many motor vehicle laws, New York’s “Move Over” law, which requires motorists to move over when passing authorized emergency vehicles pulled over on the side of the road, was created to save lives and prevent injuries.
Recently, I was proud to support a bill (Senate bill 7938) that expanded New York’s Move Over law.
This important measure was signed into law in July and will officially go into effect on January 17.
In an effort to increase safety, this new law has been enhanced to now include a requirement that drivers must move over for any vehicle displaying a blue or green light, such as those being operated by volunteer firefighters or volunteer ambulance operators.
Previously, the law only applied to drivers who approached police, emergency vehicles or tow trucks with flashing red and white or amber colored lights.
Those violating the law could face fines between $150 and $400 and the possibility of jail time, depending upon whether it’s a first or repeat offense.
New York’s expanded Move Over law is critically important not only to the safety of our roadways, but also to the safety of our emergency responders who risk their lives every day to keep their communities safe.
I urge everyone to protect those who protect us by following this new law and taking extra caution on our roads, especially during the winter months.