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New York's Expanded "Move Over" Legislation: A Crucial Step Towards Road Safety

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Peter J. Gregory
Oct 18, 2023
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In recent years, there has been a growing concern regarding the safety of emergency responders and roadside workers. In response to this issue, New York State has taken a significant step forward by expanding its "Move Over" legislation. This new legislation aims to protect those who serve and protect us by enhancing driver awareness and promoting safer practices on the roads. In this article, we will explore the key provisions of New York's newly expanded "Move Over" legislation and its impact on road safety, as well as the potential legal consequences for violators.

Background of Move Over Legislation

The original "Move Over" law was enacted to protect law enforcement officers during traffic stops. It required drivers to move over to the adjacent lane or slow down when approaching an emergency vehicle with its lights flashing. However, recognizing the need for broader protection, New York State expanded this legislation to include other emergency and hazard vehicles.

Key Provisions of the Expanded Legislation

Governor Hochul recently signed Senate Bill S5129A into law. The expanded "Move Over" legislation in New York includes the following provisions:

  1. Broader Scope: The new law encompasses a wider range of vehicles, including tow trucks, maintenance and construction vehicles, sanitation trucks, and volunteer fire and ambulance services.
  2. Increased Penalties: The penalties for violating the "Move Over" law have also been increased. Motorists who fail to move over or slow down when approaching these vehicles can face fines, license suspension, and even imprisonment, depending on the severity of the offense.
  3. Public Awareness Campaigns: The legislation emphasizes the importance of public awareness and education. Campaigns are being launched to inform drivers about the expanded law, its implications, and the potential consequences of non-compliance.

The rule revision will take effect in March of 2024.

The Impact on Road Safety

The expanded "Move Over" legislation is a significant step towards improving road safety in New York. By broadening the scope of protected vehicles, the law aims to reduce accidents, injuries, and fatalities involving emergency responders and roadside workers. When drivers fail to move over or slow down, they endanger the lives of these individuals who work tirelessly to keep us safe. By raising awareness and imposing stricter penalties, the legislation acts as a deterrent, compelling drivers to be more cautious and considerate when encountering emergency or hazard vehicles on the road. It encourages motorists to adopt responsible driving practices and gives emergency responders the space they need to carry out their duties safely.

Legal Consequences for Violators

Under the expanded "Move Over" legislation, violators can face severe legal consequences. Depending on the circumstances, penalties can range from fines of up to several hundred dollars to more serious penalties, such as license suspension or imprisonment. Additionally, the violator may also be held liable for any injuries or damages caused due to their non-compliance with the law.

In cases where an accident occurs as a result of a violation, the injured party or their family may pursue a personal injury claim against the negligent driver. A skilled personal injury attorney specializing in traffic accidents and "Move Over" violations can help victims understand their rights and pursue compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages resulting from the incident.


New York's expanded "Move Over" legislation is a crucial step forward in prioritizing the safety of emergency responders and roadside workers. By broadening the scope of protected vehicles and increasing penalties for non-compliance, the law aims to create a safer environment for everyone on the road. It is essential for all drivers to be aware of these changes and strictly adhere to the law. Remember, when you see flashing lights ahead, move over or slow down. Together, we can make New York's roads safer for everyone and help prevent unnecessary accidents and injuries.

If you or a loved one has sustained a serious injury in a car accident, an experienced personal injury attorney can help. It is important to consult with a lawyer early to investigate your options, and preserve crucial evidence.  For assistance with these matters, please contact us to learn more.

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About the author: Peter J. Gregory is a partner with MCCM Personal Injury Lawyers in Rochester, NY.  He is a trial lawyer with extensive experience resolving disputes in state and federal trial courts. As a personal injury lawyer, Gregory focuses on advising clients who have been injured or lost loved ones in accidents caused by the carelessness or recklessness of others. Please feel free to contact him directly at or (585) 512-3506.

This publication is intended as an information source for clients, prospective clients, and colleagues and constitutes attorney advertising. The content should not be considered legal advice and readers should not act upon information in this publication without individualized professional counsel.

About MCCM

McConville Considine Cooman & Morin, P.C. is a full-service law firm based in Rochester, New York, providing high-quality legal services to businesses and individuals since 1979.  With over a dozen attorneys and a full paralegal support staff, the firm is well-positioned to right-size services tailored to each client. We are large enough to provide expertise in a broad range of practice areas, yet small enough to devote prompt, personal attention to our clients.

We represent a diverse range of clients located throughout New York State and New England.  They include individuals, numerous manufacturing and service industry businesses, local governments, and health care professionals, provider groups, facilities and associations. We also serve as local counsel to out-of-state clients and their attorneys who have litigation pending in Western New York courts.  For more information, please contact us at 585.546.2500.