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New Driving Laws in New York

Update for 2012 Move Over Law Expanded

As of January 1, 2012, the law was expanded requiring drivers to move over and pull to the side of the road for any vehicle flashing amber lights, including tow trucks, highway crews and other emergency vehicles. This is in response to a tragedy that occurred in Cattaraugus County, when Kevin Woloszyn was driving on Interstate 90 when his truck broke down. Todd Young, the tow truck driver who responded to the call was killed when a tractor-trailer hit him as he was loading the disabled vehicle. 

When to Move Over For Emergency Vehicles

As of January 1, 2011, the move over law went into effect requiring New York motorists to slow down and move over when passing an emergency vehicle that is stopped on the shoulder of a multi-lane road or highway. Drivers on single lane roads must slow down and proceed with caution. Violators will be fined $275 and receive two points on their driver's license. The Ambrose-Searles Move Over Act was named after two law enforcement officers who were killed after being struck by passing vehicles. Onondaga County Deputy Sheriff Glenn Searles and State Trooper Robert Ambrose both lost their lives while responding to roadside emergencies.

Current New York Distracted Driving Laws

While new legislation is underway in the State Capital, the current laws for distracted driving in New York are as followers:  Drivers are required to use a hands-free device while talking on a cell phone. Text messaging is banned for all drivers and will be cited as a secondary offense. Taxi cab drivers in New York City are prohibited from using any cell phone device. The current penalties are fines ranging from $100 top $150 and two points on the person's driver's license. Drivers who get 11 points within an 18-month period will have their license suspended by the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).

Texting While Driving Proposed Legislation New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has proposed new legislation that would upgrade distracted driving to a primary offense. Under the current law, drivers can only be cited for texting while driving if they committed an additional violation, such as speeding. Both the Assembly and Senate approved the measure and it has been sent to the Governor's office for disposition. Senate Bill 998b This proposed legislation would remove the secondary enforcement restriction for texting while driving. The penalties would include a fine of up to $150 and two points against the driver's license. Assembly Bill 4514 This seeks to prohibit using a video device that displays pre-corded programming unless the screen is located behind the driver's seat.

The legislation is primarily aimed at DVD players and does not include GPS and navigational device screens. When to Hire a Lawyer For Moving Violations While some drivers may not be aware of the new move over law, police are employing tactics to entrap motorists. They have reportedly parked police vehicles on the side of the road with lights flashing while waiting for motorists to violate the law. Drivers are only required to move over in real emergency situations. If you have been issued a move-over ticket, contact a New York attorney who specializes in defending against these violations.