Police to step up enforcement of move over law
© Darrell Cole – Amherst Daily News
RCMP plan to step up enforcement of the province’s move over law through the rest of May. Three years after it was enacted, emergency responders like (from left) officers Const. Yan Chamberland, Frank Deschenes, Cpl. Darren Galley and Const. Charlie Smith are still reporting near misses while responding to calls on the highway.
AMHERST – Three years since the province’s move over law came into effect, RCMP officers are still seeing too many examples of motorists who don’t move over when approaching an emergency vehicle with its lights flashing.
“We’re still seeing too much of it,” Cpl. Darren Galley of Northern Traffic Services said. “People are telling us they don’t know about the law, but that’s hard to believe because May 1 was the third anniversary of it.”
Under the legislation, a motorist must slow his or her vehicle to 60 km/h and, if it’s safe to do so, move over into a lane further away from the stopped emergency vehicle.
On a single-lane highway, vehicles must slow to 60 km/h and pass the emergency vehicle with caution.
“What we’re finding is a lot of people aren’t slowing their cars to 60 km/h and they’re not moving over,” Galley said. “We continue to have instances where officers have felt their safety was in jeopardy because a vehicle hasn’t moved over or slowed down.”
Galley said officers plan to step up enforcement of the law through the rest of the month.
“We have to send a statement that the law is there and we will be enforcing it,” Galley said. “Ignorance of the law is no excuse.”
Fines are doubled for speeding past a stopped emergency vehicle with its lights flashing. The fines for not slowing to the designated speed or not moving over range from $340 to $685 for the first offence.
The legislation was introduced in Nova Scotia in 2010 to protect police, fire and EHS personnel. The move over was brought into effect in New Brunswick in Jan. 1 and has been in place much longer on Prince Edward Island.