New York’s Expanded Slow Down/Move Over Law to Include Disabled Vehicles Takes Effect Wednesday March 27

A new law expanding New York’s Slow Down/Move Over requirement will take effect on March 27, 2024. The expansion includes disabled vehicles on the roadside requiring drivers to exercise caution when approaching them in an effort to protect motorists.

New York State announced that nearly 300 drivers are struck and killed roadside every year nationally, and 37 people were struck and killed outside of a disabled vehicle in New York from 2016-2020. Governor Kathy Hochul signed the legislation on September 29, 2023. The new law included a 180-day waiting period leading up to its effective date on March 27, 2024, when it will cover all vehicles stopped on the road.

Tony Spada, President and CEO of AAA Western and Central New York, cited new research from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, which shows that 84% of roadside crashes occur in good weather without precipitation or slippery road conditions. “Many of these crashes can be avoided if drivers focus on driving and observe the law by slowing down and moving over when they see a disabled vehicle or any roadside activity for that matter,” he said. “AAA reminds drivers to give space to anyone on the roadside. It’s imperative to save innocent lives.”

New York’s Move Over Law has been in place since 2010 and was originally designed to prevent collisions with emergency vehicles. Spada noted that motorists need to follow the law for it to be effective. After the state government runs an educational campaign, AAA New York State will launch a secondary effort to raise awareness among drivers across the state this spring.

The legislation (S5129-A/A1077-A) was sponsored by State Senator Lea Webb – 52nd Senate District and Assemblyman Kenneth Zebrowski – Assembly District 96 and “requires an operator of a motor vehicle to exercise due care to avoid colliding with a vehicle which is parked, stopped, or standing on the shoulder of a parkway or controlled-access highway.”

“I am proud that we were able to work with our partners at AAA to get this legislation passed,” said Senator Lea Webb. “This bill will decrease the numbers of fatalities and serious injuries that occur due to crashes involving a stopped or disabled vehicle on our roadways.”

“Until now, the Slow Down/Move Over Law has helped keep first responders and roadside workers safe, but expanding this law to disabled vehicles will further improve safety on our roads. Requiring drivers to move over for any disabled vehicle will decrease the chances of a collision, making roads safer for everyone,” said Assemblyman Kenneth Zebrowski.

All 50 states have Move Over laws, and dozens have enacted efforts to protect stranded drivers from being struck.

“AAA has worked tirelessly to educate lawmakers and the public about the importance of protecting individuals on the roadside. With drivers increasing their speed, more distracted driving and more impaired driving occurring on our roads, this new law will help save lives,” said John Corlett, spokesperson for AAA Northeast.

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