New York State Local Technical Assistance Program

How does the new “Move Over” law apply to highway personnel?

The new “Move Over” Law is an amendment to the State Vehicle and Traffic Law that takes effect on January 1, 2012. The law requires that, when possible, motorists must change lanes when they approach an incident where there is a vehicle with flashing red or amber lights. When it is not possible to move over, or there is only one lane, drivers must slow down.

The amendment adds amber lights to the law to protect highway personnel performing highway construction and maintenance, and tow truck drivers and other authorized personnel who are involved in roadside assistance. Although this would seem to be a common sense action when approaching an incident, a recent history of accidents in these situations have led to a need to make it a law to improve the safety of those working on the roads of New York.


Section 1144-a, Operation of Vehicles when approaching a parked, stopped or standing authorized emergency or hazard vehicle. Vehicle and Traffic Law of the State of New York, 2012 Edition (Select “Laws of New York”, than VAT Vehicle & Traffic)

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