New York SP plan to enforce ‘move over’ law

The New York “move over” law was enacted after two police officers were killed during traffic stops. The law allows drivers to be cited for traffic offenses if they do not safely move over a lane when approaching police or emergency workers who are assisting drivers on the side of the road. The law includes emergency vehicles with amber lights, including towing vehicles or maintenance trucks.

New York State Police plans to increase road patrols to ticket more drivers for both speed and “move over” violations. In 2011, 13,909 tickets were issued for “move over” violations, and in 2012, 12,781 were issued. Speed remains a leading cause of fatalities of and posing a threat to emergency workers, according to authorities. There are no statistics available on drivers slowing suddenly or changing lanes in order to comply with the law.

When drivers strike a police officer or emergency workers because of excessive speed or failure to change lanes, it is likely that the victim will suffer serious injuries. Drivers may strike emergency workers through speed, inattention or loss of control of a vehicle. While speed is a very common factor in these types of accidents, distracted driving is also quite common.

Drivers may also have a very good explanation for loss of control of a vehicle, including weather-related conditions, the interference of another driver, and medical issues such as sudden seizures. It is important that drivers who are accused of traffic offenses have representation to protect their rights. In New York, many people who face charges related to traffic violations consult attorneys who may explain their rights and options and recommend courses of action.

Source: Poughkeepsie Journal, “N.Y. troopers plan extra traffic enforcement,” April 1, 2013

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