New York was one of the last state’s to enact a ‘Move Over’ law which required drivers to slow down and move to an outside lane when approaching a stopped police or emergency vehicle providing assistance or working on the side of the road. The law was expanded a couple years ago to include anyone stopped along the side of the road providing assistance or working, as long as they have emergency lights flashing.

In the last two years the New York State Police have handed out more than 25,000 citations to drivers caught violating the state law. This doesn’t include drivers who were caught violating the law by municipal police officers around the state or those drivers who ignored the law and simply didn’t get caught doing it.

Fortunately, since the law was enacted the number of citations being handed out has decline year over year, providing some evidence that the law is working. More importantly, police and emergency workers say they are seeing more drivers paying attention to what is happening on the roadside and making an effort to comply with the law.

Drivers who violate the law faces a stiff $235 in fines and two points added on to their license. They will also have to pay all related court fees, which would include any attempts they make to beat the citation or get it reduced.

In essence the law states that drivers must do whatever they can to keep people working on the side of the road safe. First, they are required to slow down. Then, if they are able and the way is clear, they are required to pull their vehicle to the outside lane (if they’re on a two lane road they only need to slow down). But many drivers simply slow down from 65mph to 60 mph and think that’s enough. Fortunately police now have the ability to pull those drivers over, remind them they are not driving safely, and write them a citation.