The summer driving season is upon us, and with that the increase in road traffic — and construction sites.
Besides the lower speed limits we may encounter, it’s also important to remember New York’s “Move Over Law.”
The law is essential in protecting state troopers and other law enforcement officers as well as emergency vehicles and construction workers stopped alongside the highway. The move over law requires motorists to move over and change lanes to give safe clearance to law enforcement officers, firefighters, ambulances, utility workers, and in some cases, tow truck drivers.
“The Move Over Law is in place to protect both the emergency crews that are stopped on the road to help someone else and motorists driving on the road,” said Tiffany Wright, AAA spokeswoman. “Adhering to this law will keep everyone safe.”
The law requires that drivers —if they deem it is safe to do so — move a lane away from any law enforcement or emergency vehicle on the side of the road. .
The laws can vary state-to-state but generally drivers approaching a stopped emergency vehicle, law enforcement vehicle, utility vehicle or temporary work zone should:
— Significantly reduce their vehicle speed and keep vehicle under control.
— Approach the scene cautiously.
— If there is a second lane, motorists are required to change lanes away from the stopped vehicle.
— Maintain the reduced speed until fully clear of the situation.
Drivers face a fine of up to $150 for a first offense. A second offense within 18 months of the first means a fine up to $300. There can also be surcharges.
Highway workers -- more of whom are on the roads daily — and emergency personnel put their lives at risk each day. The “move over laws” were established to protect these people.