The “Move Over” law has been in place for over a decade in some Canadian provinces, yet many motorists still do not comply. Why? Is it because we are in too much of a hurry, we don’t understand the laws, or perhaps the consequences aren’t clear? People are dying. That’s clear.
Police, fire, and ambulance workers are often required to stop on the shoulder of busy highways to do their work. For safety reasons, the law requires us to slow down and proceed with caution when passing an emergency vehicle parked on the side of the highway with its lights activated. Some provinces even extend the law to protect tow trucks and amber light roadside workers. And, if the highway has more than one lane, the law also requires all drivers to move over leaving at least one lane between their vehicle and the parked emergency vehicle, providing it can be done safely.
Failure to comply can result in fines of up to $2,000 and three demerit points for a first offence. For subsequent offences, penalties can range from $1,000-$4,000, and/or imprisonment for a maximum of six months. The court that convicts a person of an offence may also suspend his or her driver’s license for up to two years. For more specific information for each province, visit http://www.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/ts-sr/emer-urg-vehics-eng.htm.
Many emergency workers have been killed doing their job on the sides of roadways and many more have been injured. These tragedies are avoidable and it’s our responsibility to drive safely by slowing down and moving over for emergency vehicles.
Let’s all do our part and move over. It’s the law!
At Canada Cartage, we take safety & compliance very seriously. We are industry leaders, and ensure the highest levels of driver and public safety are achieved through our rigorous driver training programs. For more information, visit www.canadacartage.com.