Catskill Drivers Beware: ‘Move Over’ Law Traps Motorists


ny-state-police-trooper-catskillsA 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.

{ Newscenter}


  1. I don’t undersand the law. If a police car with flashing lights is pulled to the side of the road, i have to slow down and stop?
    please explain it better.

  2. to #2 if the police car is on the right sholder and you are in the right lane then you have to move into the left lane.

  3. I would think this is just common sense. If an emergency vehicle has its lights flashing it is signaling that an emergency is in progress or it is going to one.

    Would you want to hit an EMT who had just stepped out from behind his vehicle after loading an accident victim into his ambulance?

    Would you like to get mixed up in a police shootout when the fugitive dodged out into the road? (I’m told that this could also happen to you in the NY subway, though.)

    It’s just common sense. When you see something’s going on, just be cautious. It beats my why they would have to pass a law to get people to act normally, but evidently they’ve had problems, so they think it’s necessary.

  4. To #2 and # 5
    If you see either a police car or an ambulance or any emergency vehicle with a flashing light pulled over on the side of the road you must either change lanes or slow down by 20 miles per hour below the posted speed limit. In NY State besides a stiff fine you also receive 3 points on your drivers license. 48 States have this law. It was passed in NY in Jan. 2010. To #5. Since 1998 over 160 police officers have been killed when they were struck by another car while they were pulled over. Now tell me if it was your brother killed, or a friend, Is this stupidity? Is it silly or corrupt?