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New law protects roadside responders

NEW YORK—A new law requires drivers to slow down and move over when there is an emergency vehicle with flashing lights on the side of the road.

The Ambrose-Searles ‘Move Over Law’ went into effect Jan. 1, 2011 and was signed last year by former Gov. David Paterson.  According to New York State Police, the law requires drivers to exercise due care to avoid colliding with an authorized emergency vehicle when it is parked, stopped, or standing on the shoulder of a road or highway with its emergency lights activated. Drivers must reduce speed on all roads when encountering such vehicles, but on parkways, interstates, and other controlled access highways with multiple lanes, drivers are further required to move into the lane farthest away from the emergency vehicle, unless traffic or other hazards exist to prevent doing so safely.

The state police said the penalties for not following the law are:

• Fine of up to $275, plus mandatory court surcharges.

• Two points on the driver’s license record.

“Emergency response personnel put their lives on the line every day while protecting the public on our highways,” said New York State Department of Motor Vehicle Commissioner David J. Swarts. The Ambrose-Searles ‘Move Over Law,’ is named in honor of New York State Trooper Robert W. Ambrose and Onondaga County Sheriff Deputy Glenn M. Searles who were both killed in the line of duty while their patrol vehicles were stopped on the side of the road, and to honor others who have tragically lost their lives on the highways while serving the public.




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