Is "Move Over" Law Working?

June 5, 2014 Updated Jun 5, 2014 at 6:13 PM EDT

By WKBW News

...
June 5, 2014 Updated Jun 5, 2014 at 6:13 PM EDT

TONAWANDA (WKBW) New York State law requires all drivers to change lanes and slow down when any police vehicle, ambulance, snow plow, tow truck, or construction vehicle is pulled over along the road with their lights on.

On Thursday, a positive progress report on the law came from State Police.

"The move over law is working. We're seeing people slowing down, we're asking people not to stop unless they're directed to do so, because that can cause other problems. But people are slowing down, they are moving over, it is working, it is helping," Trooper Victor Morales said.

And the law hits close to home for WNY. Back in March of 2011, Trooper Kevin Dobson was struck and killed along the 290 while performing a routine traffic stop. His father Richard Dobson has since become a major supporter of the law.

"I think it saves lives. If it saves only one person's life it will be worth it, but I think it'll be more beneficial than that," he said.

If you break the move over law and do not change lanes or slow down, the normal penalty is a fine as high as $275 and three points on your drivers license.

But since its passage, State Police say the number of tickets given out has decreased year by year.

"It's less common than it used to be. People are starting to comply a lot more and it is getting a little bit safer out there. But you still have the people who are not paying attention, distracted by cell phones, distracted by other things in the vehicle," Morales said.

So the message from authorities to drivers out on the roads?

"Please move over, please slow down. It's dangerous enough as it is when we don't have to worry about the traffic behind us as well," Morales added.

To submit a comment on this article, your email address is required. We respect your privacy and your email will not be visible to others nor will it be added to any email lists.