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Move Over Law Takes Effect January 1 | Crime

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Move Over Law Takes Effect January 1
Move Over Law Takes Effect January 1

Niagara County Sheriff Voutour alerts county drivers “move over” law takes effect January 1, 2011

Niagara County Sheriff James R. Voutour today emphasized to all operators of motor vehicles in Niagara County that a new state law designed to protect law enforcement, fire personnel and emergency workers takes effect on January 1, 2011. The law requires motorists to move over or slow down when approaching a parked authorized emergency vehicle with emergency lights flashing.

Sheriff Voutour said, “New York State Trooper Robert Ambrose was burned alive inside his vehicle. His patrol car burst into flames when it was rear-ended by a sports utility vehicle traveling over 80 miles per hour. The driver was intoxicated. Onondaga County Deputy Sheriff Glenn Searles died from injuries he suffered when assisting a stranded motorist. A second car struck Deputy Searles, pinning him against his patrol vehicle. The Ambrose-Searles „Move Over? Act becomes law in New York State on January 1, 2011.

“This legislation honors the memory of Trooper Ambrose and Deputy Searles, who lost their lives while serving the public. Thousands of law enforcement, fire personnel and emergency workers risk their lives every day to protect the citizens of New York State. Whether narrow, rural roads or multi-lane interstate highways, traffic stops are inherently dangerous. A foggy morning, a clear and sunny afternoon or a dark night with torrential rain or driving snow all offer little to protect an officer from oncoming traffic. Many drivers already make it a habit to change lanes when they see flashing lights ahead on the shoulder of the road. It has always been a prudent and courteous option. As of the first day of 2011, it is required. It is the law.

The Ambrose-Searles Move Over Act obligates drivers to move over to the lane that is farthest from where the emergency vehicle is pulled over. On single lane roads, drivers are required to slow down and take care to pass emergency vehicles at a safe distance. This applies to any emergency vehicle with its flashing lights on. The consequences of not obeying this important new law include a substantial fine and points charged against an offender’s driver’s license.

“Every driver, be it a law enforcer, emergency responder, student driver with a learner’s  permit, an adult going to and from work or traveling for other purposes, has a vested interest in cooperatively keeping the county’s roads safe. The men and women of the Niagara County Sheriff’s Office remain determined to impartially and respectfully enforce the law to protect the life and property of all county citizens.” 


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