Too many drivers still haven’t gotten the message. If you see emergency lights at the side of the road you are required by law to move over. We’ve had another local tragedy in which a tow truck driver was struck at the side of the road while helping a stranded motorist. There is no excuse for not moving over.
The Ontario government enacted a law requiring motorists to move over for police, fire, ambulance, tow trucks. The law states that if you see an emergency vehicle or a tow truck with its lights flashing and it’s stopped on your side of the road, you must
Slow down to less than the posted speed limit
On a road with two or more lanes you must move over and provide a lane of space between you and the emergency vehicle
If there is only one lane you should slow down, pull as far away as is safe, proceed with caution
Pass with caution
The penalties are stiff with fines and demerit points.
First offence – Fines $400-$2000 and 3 demerit points
Additional offences – Fines $1000-$4000 and 3 demerit points, possible jail time, and possible license suspension
This conviction will also impact your driving record and will cause your auto insurance premiums to increase, in some cases dramatically.
You should always be paying attention to the road when driving, and you should be scanning well ahead of where you are. This allows you to anticipate the traffic patterns and react safely to what’s ahead of you.
When you encounter emergency vehicles at the side of the road you should stay alert, be cautious, give them space, use your signals to indicate your intention to change lanes to other drivers, check blind spots, and do not make sudden movements (braking, sudden lane changes etc.).