scary part - 6 officers hit within the last year while parked on the shoulder with lights flashing
OPP warns motorists to slow down and move over when passing emergency vehicles with lights flashing
AURORA, ON, Nov. 4 /CNW/ - The Ontario Provincial Police are adopting a
zero-tolerance policy when it comes to provincial legislation that calls for
motorists to slow down and, where possible and practical, to move over when passing an emergency vehicle parked at the side of the road with its lights flashing.
"This legislation has been in effect since 2002," Commissioner Julian
Fantino said. "There has been significant media coverage about it, the
Ministry of Transportation has included information on the law in driver's
licence renewals, and the OPP reminds motorists of the law every time we issue a media release on traffic issues.
"It's about time motorists start obeying the law," Fantino said. "I
experienced a situation first hand recently when I was almost hit after I
stopped a vehicle along Highway 401 on my way back from Tillsonburg. This is a safety issue for officers and other emergency first responders as they go about their jobs. There will be no warnings; violators will get a ticket every time."
To increase both officer and public safety, Ontario's Highway Traffic Act
requires motorists when approaching a police, fire or ambulance vehicle
stopped with its emergency lights flashing in the same direction of travel,
either in a lane or on the shoulder of a road or highway, to slow down and
pass with caution.
If the road has two or more lanes, the motorist must move over into
another lane, if it can be done safely. If a motorist can't move over, they
must slow down to a reasonable speed.
The fine for a first offence is $400 to $2,000, plus three demerit points
upon conviction and possible suspension of the driver's licence for up to two
years. Subsequent offences (within five years) bring fines of $1,000 to
$4,000, possible jail time up to six months and possible suspension of the
driver's licence for up to two years.
Since 1989, five OPP officers have been killed on provincial highways
while parked at the side of the road. Six OPP officers have been involved in incidents in the past year where they were either hit by a vehicle or their cruiser was hit while they were parked on the side of the road, with their lights activated.
"Officers put their lives on the line every time they report for duty,"
Fantino said. "However, there is no reason why they should have to worry about being seriously injured or killed while making a routine traffic stop."
Above is merely a suggestion/thought and in no way constitutes legal advice or views of my employer. www.OHTA.ca
Slowing down/moving over is just common sense when driving. It should be an automatic response by everyone on the road, and not just because the law requires it.scary part - 6 officers hit within the last year while parked on the shoulder with lights flashing
I drive the 401 regularly, including through "Bear Country." If I see a stopped vehicle at the side of the road, I move over. Things can change quickly. Someone might jump out of the vehicle, the driver might suddenly start moving and cut me off, etc. Most US states have had these laws for years, too. Even in places where it isn't required, most people slow down/move over.
The last thing I need to do is make an emergency worker's job more risky or hazardous than it already is. You never know when you're going to need their help.
I've read articles about people who don't move over or slow down. Their excuses range from "I didn't know" to, unbelievably, drivers have been stopped and said that they didn't move over for a cop because they wanted to blow the hat off his head.
Nov 22, 2008 06:34 PM
A highway crash sent two York Regional Police officers to hospital with minor injuries this afternoon.
One officer had pulled over a Honda on the eastbound side of Highway 407, just west of Yonge St. around 3:30 p.m.
The officer had stepped out of his car and approached the Honda when a second cruiser, coming to his assistance, pulled up behind. It rear-ended his cruiser, which rolled forward, hit the officer and knocked him over, said OPP Const. Dave Woodford.
The officers' injuries aren't serious, but they were taken to York Central Hospital in Richmond Hill as a precautionary measure, said York Regional Police.
The incident is still being investigated. There's no word on the cause or the reason the Honda was pulled over.
Anyone with information can contact York Regional Police at 1-866-876-5423.