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Updates to New York Traffic Laws: Move Over and Install New Mirrors

See flashing lights up ahead on the shoulder? Don’t wait to see if it’s an emergency vehicle before you move over.

New York’s “move over” law requires vehicles traveling on highways to move away from the shoulder and into the middle lane when a police car or emergency response vehicle is on the shoulder. But changes to the law in January 2012 expanded it to also include tow trucks and maintenance vehicles, which are distinguished from the average truck or car with an amber-colored light on top.

The purpose of the law is to protect people on the side of the road who are having car trouble, responding to an emergency situation or involved in a traffic stop.

The change in the move over law is not the only recent change to New York traffic law. New York law also now requires commercial vehicles, like semi trucks and delivery vans to install new mirrors. Concerned about truck drivers not being able to see children when the vehicles are parked at the curb, the law requires that mirror be installed so that drivers can see someone that is three-feet-tall and only one foot away from the truck’s front.

But local businesses have expressed concern that the new mirror installation may not actually help prevent accidents. In fact, the majority of truck-related accidents in New York happen while the truck is in motion-making the law somewhat unhelpful and really just more expensive for businesses trying to make it in the economy.

Regardless of whether the law actually proves to be helpful, it is still a traffic law that has to be followed. But, just because someone receives a ticket does not necessarily mean they deserve it. If you are cited for a not following the new laws or any other New York State traffic violation, talk to a traffic ticket defense attorney to learn about your rights.

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