New York State’s new and improved “Move Over Law” is set to go into effect on January 1, 2012. The Move Over Law has been adopted by most states around the country, requiring motorists to change lanes when certain vehicles, personnel, or incidents are present. FOX 23 News reports that New York has expanded its law to include tow trucks, highway crews, construction sites, and other emergency (hazard) vehicles. The original law, enacted exactly one year before the extension, only covered certain emergency vehicles like police forces.
The law requires drivers to change lanes at the sight of any flashing lights on the road or shoulder. If drivers are unable to move away from the incident, they are then required to slow down. Violations of the expanded law could lead to a fine of up to $275, the possibility of up to 15 days in jail, and a potential three points on the driver’s license. According to YNN Hudson Valley, State Troopers reportedly issued around 16,000 citations for Move Over Law violations in the past year.
According to state officials, last year there were over 100 reports of accidents or disturbances at Department of Transportation (DOT) work sites around the state. According to WIBV Buffalo, there have been multiple tragic incidents that could possibly have been avoided if this law always existed and was followed religiously. A little over a year ago, Buffalo construction worker David Baldi was killed while painting lines on Interstate 190. In March, State Trooper Kevin Dobson was killed while issuing a ticket on I-290. Just last month, a tow truck driver was killed on the New York State Thruway in Syracuse while working on a disabled vehicle. These are not isolated incidents, as this has been a serious problem around the United States for quite some time.
For workers, emergency personnel, and any stopped pedestrian, the shoulder can be an extremely dangerous place if other drivers do not exercise extreme caution. If you or a loved one is injured in an automobile or pedestrian accident, you may be eligible to receive compensation. Since the process of determining fault after an accident must begin quickly, do not hesitate to contact a knowledgeable New York car accident attorney to see if you might be entitled to pursue compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.