A new state law designed to protect law enforcement, fire personnel and emergency workers, which took effect on January 1, 2011, requires motorists to move over or slow down when approaching a parked authorized emergency vehicle with emergency lights flashing.
The Ambrose-Searles “Move Over” Act obligates drivers to move over to the lane that is farthest from where the emergency vehicle is pulled over. On single lane roads, drivers are required to slow down and take care to pass emergency vehicles at a safe distance. This applies to any emergency vehicle with its flashing lights on.
If you do not slow down and change lanes when approaching such a vehicle, you can be issued a moving violation which carries 2 points and up to a $150 fine. On single lane roads, motorists must slow down and use caution.
Many drivers to the Catskills have been issued summons for not obeying this law. Drivers said they witnessed a police car on the side of the road with lights on (and sometimes without), waiting for motorists to fail to move over. Despite there being no emergency, motorists are then pulled over and issued a “move over” ticket, a 2-point violation.
Because this is a new law, this particular trap has been very effective catching many motorists in “violation” of the law.