Driving You Crazy: Move Over for Emergency Vehicles

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Emergency responders say it’s important for drivers to pull over for them.

NEWS10 ABC caught many drivers ignoring the state’s move over law.

When that alarm goes off, emergency responders jump into action. Time can be lost on the road when drivers don’t move over.

“You’ll notice when they finally do see us, they’ll kind of jerk the wheel,” Verdoy Fire Department Chief Nick DiNovo said.

Chief DiNovo says many drivers don’t seem to know what to do when an ambulance or fire truck is approaching.

“They tend to panic and try and get over to the right. Because the islands in the middle make it very difficult and sometimes we have to go in to oncoming traffic.”

Moving over isn’t only the law, it also saves precious seconds in response time.

On a ride along with Colonie EMS, some cars either didn’t see us or didn’t care.

Drivers on Albany Shaker Road passed a car that had pulled over to make room for the ambulance.

We’re then cut off by an SUV at the intersection at Everett Road.

“Your best bet if you are in the middle of an intersection is to just make a complete stop,” Chris White, of Colonie EMS, said.

On another call, a truck pulls into our lane, forcing us to drive into oncoming traffic.

Fortunately, cars there did the right thing and pulled to the right.

Remember this is not the department’s emergency. They are responding to someone else who needs their help. So you, the driver, play a role in how quickly they are able to get there.

“It could be your house, you never know. The best thing you can do is move over. It only takes a couple of seconds out of your time just to pull over and let them by,” Chief DiNovo said.

This alone can be a $275 fine. Sometimes drivers ticketed for this will also be hit with other tickets like failure to yield.

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