From today through Friday, Nov. 18, troopers and other law enforcement throughout the state will be on the lookout for motorists who fail to “Move Over.”
The state’s Move Over law, established in 2011, requires drivers to use due care, slow down and safely move over when approaching law enforcement vehicles, fire trucks, ambulances, tow trucks, construction and maintenance vehicles stopped along the roadway.
“The work performed by these first responders and workers is critical to the safety of our roadways and the motorists who use them,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in a statement. “Every precaution must be taken to reduce the danger already inherent in these hazardous jobs and avoid preventable tragedies.”
In addition to stepped up enforcement, there will be a campaign all week to raise awareness of the Move Over law.
Recent fatal crashes emphasize the importance of the “Move Over” campaign. James Homkey of Canajoharie was fatally injured on Oct. 10 while performing his duties as a tow truck operator, assisting a disabled vehicle in Montgomery County. Ronald C. Deming of Little Falls was fatally injured on Oct. 28 while doing his job as a construction equipment operator heavy for the Thruway Authority in Herkimer County.
“The crews working on the Thruway shoulder that you pass going 65 mph are mothers and fathers; sons and daughters; and husbands and wives who want to go home to their loved ones at the end of the day,” said Thruway Authority Acting Director Executive Director Bill Finch. “Slow down and move over if it’s safe for you to do so.”
The Move Over law was expanded in July to include volunteer firefighters and ambulance workers. The law also applies to vehicles with flashing blue, green, red, white or amber lights.
Motorists must exercise due care on all roads across New York state, and if it is safe to do so, move over one lane to provide adequate space for the vehicles and personnel working on the side of the road.
On Nov. 1, the “Move Over” law was further expanded to include sanitation vehicles such as garbage and recycling trucks.