New York State Trooper Douglas Burdick is lucky to be alive as he was struck from behind while in his patrol car Saturday, February 20.

It's unknown at his time if the accident was related to road conditions or inattention and failure to move over. Trooper Burdick was hit while assisting a tow truck operator with a disabled vehicle on the westbound shoulder of I-81 in Tully, located in Onondaga County.

Trooper Burdick was struck from behind by a 2019 KIA operated by 23-year-old Tianyi Zhao from Binghamton, NY. Zhao and a 25-year-old passenger were transported to Upstate University Hospital for minor injuries.

Trooper Burdick was transported to Community Hospital, where he was treated and released.


Many drivers are still unaware of the Move Over Law in New York State:

New York's Move Over Law states as soon as you see lights, vests, or reflectors, SLOW DOWN and MOVE OVER if safe to do so.

In November 2016, New York's “Move Over Law” (VTL 1144-A (a)) went into effect, requiring all drivers to move over for emergency and hazard response vehicles on both sides of the roadway, not just the shoulder on the right. Violating the law or “failure to move over” is considered a moving infraction, landing offenders with two points on their licenses and fines of up to $150 and may include several more tickets like:

  • Speeding
  • Reckless driving
  • Improper passing and/or unsafe lane change
  • Failure to yield the right of way

This New York State Trooper was conducting a traffic stop on the Northway southbound, on July 20, 2020, just south of the Twin Bridges in Albany, when the patrol vehicle was struck from behind by a Penske truck. The troop car was pushed into the vehicle the trooper had stopped and then off the roadway. The Penske truck driver was charged with Driving While Ability Impaired by Drugs and Reckless Endangerment 2nd degree.

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