Hundreds ticketed for ignoring ‘move over’ law in Ontario this year
The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) this Civic Day Long Weekend (August 4, 2017-August 7, 2017) will be conducting a Slow Down, Move Over enforcement and education campaign. With heavy traffic volumes expected throughout the province, highways and roads will see a greater presence of roadside emergency vehicles, making it a particularly important time for drivers to act in accordance with this law.
Penalties – Drivers can be charged if they don’t slow down, or move over when safe to do so, near emergency vehicles or tow trucks that are stopped with sirens or lights flashing.
First offence: $400 to $2,000, 3 demerit points, upon conviction possible suspension of driver’s licence for up to 2 years.
Subsequent offences: (within 5 years): $1,000 to $4,000, 3 demerit points, upon conviction possible jail time (up to 6 months), possible suspension of driver’s licence for up to 2 years.
The law requires motorists to slow down when approaching an emergency vehicle parked on the side of the highway when its lights are activated and to move over one lane if possible.
Failure to do so can result in fines from $400 to $2,000 and three demerit points for a first offence.
When an ambulance, police, fire emergency vehicle or tow truck is stopped on the side of the road with its emergency lights flashing, drivers in the lane next to it must slow down and, where possible and if it’s safe to do so, change lanes. This legislation currently exists in six Canadian provinces (British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Ontario, Manitoba and Quebec) and nearly every American state.
Police, Fire and Ambulance respond to emergency calls daily and driver’s need to do their part to assist in emergency vehicle with their lights flashing. If the emergency vehicle is stopped on the side of the highway and on the same side of the highway as you are going, slow down and pass with caution. If the road has two or more lanes, leave a lane between you and the emergency vehicle when it’s safe to do so. Penalties if drivers do not slow down and move over could face fines between $400-$2000 and three demerit points on conviction and a possible driver’s licence suspension for up to two years.
Sergeant Margaret Eve of the Chatham-Kent Detachment was investigating a vehicle in a suspected armed robbery near Windsor with two other officers when a tractor-trailer crashed into all three police cruisers.
Sgt. Eve was critically injured and transported to hospital where she died two days later.
She was the first female OPP officer to die in the line of duty.
The other two officers were seriously injured in the incident but survived.
“I had to do the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life. I would not wish this on anybody. I had to tell a three-year-old little girl and a six-year-old young man that mommy would not be coming home anymore,” Eve’s husband John said at a news conference.
“When you see someone pulled over with their four-ways on and they’re trying to change a flat tire, pay attention. Please safely move over,” said John.
Did you know that slowing down and moving over for emergency vehicles with flashing red or red and blue emergency lights is the law? Now, Ontario’s Slow Down, Move Over legislation has been extended to tow trucks that are stopped at the side of the road with flashing amber lights.
Failure to follow the law can result in fines from $400 to $2,000 and three demerit points for a first offence.
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