New York expands ‘Move Over’ requirement
By AAA of Western and Central New York
Oct. 21 is National Move Over Day, recognized on the third Saturday of October every year. This year, it comes just weeks after Gov. Kathy Hochul signed “Move Over” legislation into law that expands New York’s “Slow Down/Move Over” requirement. The expansion includes disabled vehicles that are parked on the shoulder of a controlled access highway or parkway, requiring drivers to exercise caution when approaching a disabled vehicle.
AAA is confident that the new law will protect stranded motorists. Gov. Hochul signed the legislation on Monday, Oct. 2, and it is set to go into effect 180 days later. The effort was spearheaded by State Sen. Webb and Assemblyman Zebrowski, co-sponsored by State Sen. Kennedy, and will pay dividends for years to come.
According to AAA analysis of data obtained from National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS), 1,703 people were struck while outside of a disabled vehicle in the U.S. from 2016-20. Of that number, 37 of those were fatalities that occurred right here in New York state.
AAA Western and Central New York Fleet Manager Jeremy Harrington said AAA supports the “Move Over” law to protect both roadside workers and stranded motorists: “Safety is what AAA represents, taking care of our members and people on the roadside. We represent the ‘Slow Down, Move Over’ campaign as we make sure our drivers demonstrate safe habits every time they get behind the wheel. AAA is reminding all drivers to ‘Slow Down, Move Over’ when they see a roadside incident.”
Research from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety finds that 42% of drivers who do not comply with “Move Over” laws think that their behavior is not dangerous to people on the roadside. Drivers may not realize how risky it is for workers or stranded motorists alongside moving traffic.
AAA offers the following tips when motorists spot emergency or utility vehicles on the road:
√ Always remain alert: Avoid distractions and focus on the task of driving.
√ Watch the road: Look for situations where emergency vehicles, tow trucks, utility service vehicles or disabled vehicles are stopped on the side of the road.
√ Approach with caution: When approaching an emergency vehicle with lights flashing on the side of a two-lane roadway, drivers should slow down to a speed that is safe and approach with caution unless otherwise directed by an emergency worker on the scene.
√ Move over: On multi-lane roadways, slow down when you see the flashing lights of an emergency vehicle at the roadside and, if possible, move over into an adjacent lane.
√ Go slow: If you are unable to switch lanes, slow to a speed that is safe and reasonable. Some states recommend slowing to a speed that is 10-20 mph less than the posted speed limit.
For more information, simply go to https://westerncentralny.aaa.com/community/traffic-safety/slow-down.html.
As upstate New York’s largest member services organization, AAA Western and Central New York provides more than 862,000 members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding in 1900, AAA has been a leading advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. Visit AAA at www.AAA.com.