Ambrose-Searles Move Over Act Takes effect January 1, 2011

Effective January 1, 2011

The New Ambrose-Searles "Move Over" traffic law (Article 26 § 1144-a ) takes effect in NY State on January 1, 2011 and it is designed to protect police officers stopped along any roadway (local and highway) while they are performing their official duties (during a car stop, assisting disabled motorist, handling an accident scene, etc.). 

Under the new traffic law :

  • Drivers must use due care when approaching an emergency vehicle that displays its emergency lighting.
    • On ALL roads and highways, drivers must reduce their vehicle speed;
    • On highways, parkways, and other multiple lane roadways, drivers must move from the lane immediately adjacent to the emergency vehicle, unless traffic or other hazards exist to prevent doing so safely, keeping one lane 'open' between the motorist and the stopped emergency vehicle
    • in other words, if you are driving in the right lane, and the emergency vehicle is on the right shoulder, you first (1) must slow down your vehicle and then (2) move to the middle or left lane, keeping the right lane "open"


  • Fine of $275, plus court fees (if any) and state surcharges
  • Mandatory two points on the driver’s license record
Possible increase in insurance premiums because of violation points added to license 8


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