Press Release - 04-17-2017

 DMV News

Friday, April 17, 2017

Joe Morrissey             [email protected]       
Rich Meddaugh          [email protected]

DMV to New Yorkers: With the Weather Changing, Watch Out for
Slow Moving Vehicles

The State Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee (GTSC) today reminded motorists that with warmer weather arriving, drivers, especially in the state’s rural areas, should keep an eye out for slow-moving vehicles (SMV) like farm equipment, road-construction trucks, or horse and buggies.  A slow-moving vehicle is described as one traveling 25 miles per hour or below, operators of which also should have a Slow Moving Vehicle Sign visibly displayed.

The slow-moving vehicle emblem consists of a fluorescent yellow-orange triangle with a dark red reflective border. It is 14 inches high and 16 inches wide. The yellow-orange fluorescent triangle is for daylight identification. The reflective border defines the shape of the fluorescent color in daylight and becomes a hollow red triangle in the path of motor vehicle headlights at night.

“It is extremely important for drivers to keep an eye out for slow-moving vehicles in all weather, but especially as the warmer weather approaches,” said GTSC Acting Chair and DMV Executive Deputy Commissioner Terri Egan.  “People just don’t realize how quickly the distance between a vehicle driving the speed limit and one going under 25 can sneak up on them.  You think you’ve still got some time and next thing you know, you are on top of them.  I encourage drivers to safely share the road and operators of slow moving vehicles to be visible day and night.”

While such vehicles can be on the road any time of year, the peak season for them is from late April through mid-October.  Drivers of slow-moving vehicles are not supposed to move out of other motorists’ way, and the same passing laws apply to slow-moving vehicles as to any other car or truck on the road.

The symbol should be placed in the middle of the rear of the vehicle, two to six feet above the road. The emblems are readily available for purchase online or in farm supply, home improvement and other stores.  It is against the law to place the triangles on stationary objects like mailboxes and driveway posts. Fines for doing so can be as high as $150 plus a surcharge. They also can be declared a “public nuisance,” and any police officer or public authority is empowered to remove them or cause them to be removed without notice.

The SMV emblem must be visible in daylight and at night from all distances between 100 and 600 feet from the rear when directly in front of upper beam headlights. The operator of a slow-moving vehicle must maintain the condition of the emblem to assure it is plainly visible.  Vehicles drawn by animals should display on the rear either a slow-moving vehicle emblem or a lighted lantern with a red lens at least four inches in diameter, with the center of the lens to be 42 inches above the ground, the lantern to be near the left edge of the vehicle, as well as at least 72 square inches of a high quality white or whitish-gray reflective tape.

The Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee and the New York State Sheriffs’ Association recently held a symposium on slow-moving vehicles in Syracuse that drew a cross section of participants including law enforcement officers, farmers, state Department of Transportation officials and antique car hobbyists. Ninety-four attendees represented 26 counties across the state.

Anthony D’Agostino of the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee, who helped organize the event, said the symposium showed that most crashes involving slow-moving vehicles occur during daylight hours, so distraction is often more of a cause than visibility.

For more information on slow-moving vehicles, go to