Police Cracking Down on Drivers Who Don't 'Move Over'

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Drivers across Ontario aren’t slowing down or moving over when they see emergency vehicles, say provincial police.

In 2016, 2,443 Move Over (and related) charges were laid, making it the second straight year OPP are reporting a spike in numbers.

“With the Move Over law now 15 years old, it has long shed its label as ‘Ontario’s little known law’, making driver ignorance a poor excuse for non-compliance,” said Deputy Commissioner Brad Blair, the OPP’s provincial commander of traffic safety and operational support.

It’s “unacceptable to see drivers mark the last two years with some of the worst compliance on record,” Blair added.

OPP will be conducting its Move Over campaign over the Civic Day long weekend.

Drivers are being reminded that there are two equally important parts to this law under the Highway Traffic Act:

  • Section 159(2) requires drivers to slow down when approaching a stopped emergency vehicle from the same side of the road with its lights flashing.
  • On multi-lane highways, Section 159(3) requires drivers to move over a lane, if it can be done safely.

Drivers are also being reminded that the law was amended in 2015 to include tow trucks parked on the roadside with their amber lights flashing.

The number of charges laid province-wide has steadily increased since 2011 - a clear sign that many drivers still fail to consider the well-being of the roadside emergency workers the law aims to protect, say police.

“Those who disobey this law can face a possible fine of up to $490,” said Minister of Transportation Steven Del Duca.

DID YOU KNOW?

  • At least 11 incidents in 2016 involved an OPP vehicle (which was stopped/parked on the roadside) being struck from behind while its emergency lights were activated.
  • This law carries a $400 to $2,000 fine, plus three demerit points upon conviction. Subsequent offences (within five years) carry a $1,000 to $4,000 fine, possible jail time up to six months and possible suspension of your driver’s licence for up to two years.

File photo courtesy of Halton Regional Police

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