On January 1, 2011, New York began enforcement of the Ambrose-Searles “Move Over Act,” New York Vehicle and Traffic Law Section 1144-a. The new law requires drivers approaching a stopped emergency vehicle with its lights on to slow down. In addition, if you are driving in an adjacent lane you must move over, so long as you can do so safely. The law is named after two officers who were killed while stopped on the side of the road. In an interview with WBNG-TV news, a New York State Police sergeant said they were enforcing the law “vigorously” and had issued hundreds of tickets from January to the end of March.
An Ambrose-Searles violation is a moving violation that is punishable by two points on your license and up to a $275 fine. It is often the case (but not always) that a driver that is stopped and ticketed for this violation is hit with other tickets which may include:
- Failure to yield right of way — three points
- Improper passing — three points
- Unsafe lane change — three points
- Reckless driving — five points
All of these violations also carry fines of various amounts. If you reach six points within 18 months, you must pay an additional fine called a Driver Responsibility Assessment. If you rack up 11 points within 18 months, the New York Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) will suspend your license.
An Attorney May Help You to Reduce Points and Fines
Contesting a traffic ticket in the State of New York can be difficult and very time-intensive. It can be difficult to successfully eliminate the points by taking the case to trial because in the vast majority of instances the traffic court judge will take the word of the police officer over yours.
The good news is that an experienced New York traffic attorney can negotiate with the prosecutor to reduce points and fines. A reduction in points can prevent increased auto insurance. An attorney can even help you reinstate your license if you had your license suspended.
Need help with a traffic charge? Contact a local traffic attorney immediately.