New York State Enacts Move Over Law
The State of New York joined most other states at the beginning of this year by passing the Ambrose-Searles Act, also known as the Move Over Act. As of January First, 2011, drivers are required to slow down and use due care when they see police, emergency rescue or fire vehicles parked or stopped on a public thoroughfare with their emergency lights activated. Drivers are also required to move over a lane if they are in the lane next to a lane or shoulder occupied by an emergency vehicle with lights activated on thruways, parkways, and highways with multiple lanes unless traffic conditions prevent them from doing so in a safe manner.
The governor of New York, as well as police, fire and transportation officials in that state, have uniformly praised the Move Over Act as a means of protecting police and other emergency responders from the dangers of working on Americas roads and highways. Drivers often ignore or fail to notice emergency vehicles on the side of the road. Officials hope that the new law will make drivers more aware of the dangers faced by emergency responders.
The new law was named in honor of New York State Trooper Robert Ambrose and Onandaga County Sheriff Deputy Glenn Searles. Both of these officers were killed in the line of duty while their vehicles were parked on the side of the road. The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund reports that 160 officers have been struck and killed by vehicles while on duty on the side of highways in the United States.