Can Move Over Laws Save More Lives? 

Posted: August 11, 2022

police carNew York has a “Move Over” law that requires every operator of a motor vehicle to exercise due care to avoid colliding with an emergency or hazard vehicle parked, stopped or standing on the shoulder or on any portion of a highway. For operators of motor vehicles on parkways or controlled access highways, such “due care” may include “moving from a lane which contains or is immediately adjacent to the shoulder where such authorized emergency vehicle is parked, stopped or standing to another lane.” Such movement must comply with other provisions of the Vehicle and Traffic Law, including those that govern driving on roadways laned for traffic and those relating to obedience to traffic-control devices 

The law, generally speaking, requires motorists traveling on parkways or controlled access highways to change lanes, if safe and permitted, when an authorized emergency or hazard vehicle is stopped or standing in the shoulder or any portion of the highway displaying certain lights. This is a very general characterization of the law, whose specific legal requirements can be complex, depending on the specific situation.  

Why A Move Over Law?  

The Move Over Law helps to create a buffer that can reduce the risk of injury to the operators and occupants of emergency and hazard vehicles, who are often engaged in important roadside work.  

When Required, Move Over and Save Lives  

Many workers have been injured or lost their lives while their vehicle is parked, stopped or standing on the shoulder of a roadway. For example, according to reports by the CDC, those employed in the motor vehicle towing industry have a higher rate of work-related injury and death compared to other industries.  


One way to help protect the operators of authorized emergency and hazard vehicles is to spread awareness of Move Over Laws. Roadside deaths and injuries are often the result of drivers who were either unaware of the law, or consciously chose to ignore it. Distracted driving is another factor that can cause or contribute to this risk of injury. New York motorists should always follow the Vehicle and Traffic Law.   

  1. Focusing on Steering and the Road Ahead  Motorists must ensure that the focus is on steering and the road ahead rather than other distracting things.
  2. Being Alert  Motorist must stay alert on the road when driving.
  3. Keeping Eyes On the Road and Looking Out For Potential Hazards  Motorist have a duty to keep their eyes open for parked police cars, fire engines, ambulances, individuals responding to emergencies, pedestrians, and emergency vehicles.
  4. The Move Over Law was created to reduce roadside deaths and injuries and may help to save lives.  

Contact Us Anytime  

If you were involved in a roadside accident and are seeking a lawyer to help you obtain maximum compensation, the attorneys at William Mattar P.C. may be able to help you.  Call (844) 444-444 or fill out a free initial consultation form.  

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