New York State Police are urging drivers to move over or at least slow down if you see an emergency or hazard vehicle pulled over. With over 12,000 tickets issued just last year, our Karen Tararache learned how the Move Over Law is still not being obeyed by some on the road.
NEW YORK STATE -- "There are a lot of folks who see and respect the red lights, police and fire and ambulance. They’ll do their best to give them working room," Peter Cary said.
On New Year’s Day 2011, the Move Over Law was enacted to protect law enforcement and emergency workers pulled over to perform their duties on the side of the road.
"The reason this law was enacted in the first place is that since 1999, 160 police officers have been killed on the side of a highway," said Troop G Traffic Supervisor Sgt. Daniel Larkin.
It's an issue that has caused fatalities not just among law enforcement, but also tow truck operators across New York State.
"Working on the highway is a very dangerous business. Our workers do literally put their lives at stake when working on the side of the road," said NYSDOT Spokesman Bryan Viggiani.
"We can’t do everything from the right side of the car, some of the things we need to do we have to do from the left side exposing us to tremendous risk," Cary said.
Because of these concerns, among many others, the law was expanded to include tow truck and DOT operators.
"You have no idea how fast it feels when somebody goes behind your back within inches of a mirror and you’re doing your job," Cary added.
Starting next week, State police will bump up patrols on the road that will be paying even closer attention to whether or not you move over.
"Know that starting April 1st, we are going to be out putting extra patrols to focus, strictly on this violation," Larkin said.
So in the meantime, "Apply the brakes and just slow down. It’s safer for our workers. It’s safer for police and emergency vehicles, safer for tow truck drivers, " Viggiani said.
"We try to be prudent when we’re doing our job to pay attention to you, but we need you to pay attention to us so that we can go home safe," Cary said.