Saturday is National Move Over Day, a reminder, like the public safety announcement posted on YouTube, to drivers to slow down and safely move over when approaching emergency or hazard vehicles that are stopped along the road.
The day underlines the importance of New York's Move Over Law, enacted in 2011 to protect those working along the roads, whether it for police or ambulance personnel at an accident scene or highway workers repair the road. Electronic signs along state highways will display reminders to promote Move Over Law awareness.
"Police, highway workers, tow truck drivers and emergency responders risk their lives every day so that we can drive across New York safely," Governor Andrew M. Cuomo said in a statement on Friday. "For everyone's sake, I urge motorists to heed the Move Over Law and use common sense. When you see an emergency or hazard vehicle along the highway, slow down and have the courtesy to move your vehicle over a lane to give those brave men and women room to work."
Suffolk County police said in a reminder about the Move Over Day that a highway patrol officer was in a marked police vehicle conducting a traffic stop, on the right shoulder of the eastbound Long Island Expressway in Brentwood on Oct. 17, when a vehicle struck the police unit. The officer’s vehicle then struck the car the officer pulled over. Multiple people, including the officer, were taken to the hospital with injuries. The driver, who failed to move over, was issued a summons for Failure to Move Over for Stopped Emergency Vehicles.
The Move Over Law applies to not only the shoulder of the road on the right, but anywhere on the road work is being done. Tow trucks, construction vehicles, highway maintenance vehicles, police vehicles, fire trucks, and ambulances are covered.
The law was recently expanded to include vehicles with flashing blue and green lights — like the ones used in personal vehicles belonging to our local volunteers — red, white, or amber lights, giving law enforcement more authority to penalize violators who jeopardize the safety of those working along highways, the governor's statement said.
Last year, New York State police issued 13,059 "Move Over" violations. Those in violation face two points on their driver's licenses and a minimum $150 fine for the first offense.
National Move Over Day is the third Saturday in October.