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Move over for all emergency vehicles in NY

New York has a “move-over” law (VTL 1144-a(a)) which requires drivers to slow down and change lanes if there’s an emergency or hazard (maintenance) vehicle stopped on the shoulder, with red, red and white, or amber lights flashing. State troopers in particular write many of these tickets.

The text of section 1144-a(a) lays out what’s expected: “Every operator of a motor vehicle shall exercise due care to avoid colliding with an authorized emergency vehicle which is parked, stopped or standing on the shoulder or any portion of such highway and such authorized emergency vehicle is displaying one or more red or combination red and white lights . . . . on parkways or controlled access highways, such due care shall include, but not be limited to, moving from a lane which contains or is immediately adjacent to the shoulder where such authorized emergency vehicle . . . is parked, stopped or standing to another lane, provided that such movement otherwise complies with the requirements of this chapter including, but not limited to, the provisions of sections eleven hundred ten of this title and eleven hundred twenty-eight of this title.”

Following that is a similar paragraph about “hazard” vehicles.

In short, slow down and move into the next lane when you see flashing lights ahead, or you might be facing a ticket that carries up to a $150 fine on the first offense, along with 2 points. You may be thinking, “Can my license be suspended for a move-over ticket?” or, “What if I plead guilty to 1144-a(a)?” Remember that pleading guilty to a traffic ticket can often have far-reaching implications for your driving record. We can answer these questions for you with a quick, free, phone call.

Avoiding a citation for the move-over law (VTL 1144-a(a)) is possible, but this law is still not widely understood. If you were pulled over for not moving over, there are defenses which can be used which might result in dismissal, depending upon the circumstances. Contact us to discuss the specifics.

Image credit: Tony Webster under CC by 2.0.