Memorial Day is celebrated every year as a national day of remembrance to honor our fallen American soldiers, both past and present. The holiday weekend is often used to mark the beginning of summer, a time when people come together at parades and celebrations to remember those who have given the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom.
And as we travel to family picnics and events in honor of those who have fought for our freedom, we need to acknowledge our police officers and first responders who will be working hard to keep busy roadways safe for drivers and their families.
Every day, thousands of New York States law enforcement officers and emergency workers risk their lives to serve and protect us. As citizens of this state, we have an obligation to protect them in return. And, this Memorial Day will be the first with the Ambrose-Searles Move Over law in place, which requires motorists to move over, when and where it can safely be done, and slow down when approaching an authorized vehicle with emergency lights flashing, parked on a New York interstate highway or parkway (Ch. 387 of 2010).
For many, the practice of slowing down and changing lanes for emergency vehicles are routine and common-sense procedures that have been incorporated into their regular driving habits.
Recently, many roadways across the state have been posting messages regarding the new law on highway advisory signs, and officers have begun ticketing for this offense. Each offense carries a potential of a fine and/or jail time, as well as two points on the drivers license. So please, move over and slow down its a matter of safety.
With its high speeds and sometimes inattentive drivers, highways can be among the most dangerous environments faced by law enforcement officers and first responders. They need to be able to perform their vital duties without fear of harm from other motorists. In short, this law helps keep them safe, so they can keep us safe the Memorial Day Weekend.
I join you, on this Memorial Day weekend, as we together celebrate our fallen heroes who gave the ultimate sacrifice for us. I thank them and all those who have served our country and wish you a very enjoyable, safe weekend.