Move Over, You’re Breaking The Law If You Don’t
Ontario, like other provinces and the United States, requires drivers to “move over” to allow emergency workers to do their jobs safely.
Our Highway Traffic Act states that, upon approaching an emergency vehicle or tow truck that is stopped with its emergency lights activated, a driver travelling on the same side of the highway must slow down or stop before proceeding with caution. The law also requires, if multiple lanes are available in the same direction of travel, that drivers move over to vacate the lane next to the emergency vehicle if it is safe to do so.
The penalties for failing to abide by the move over law can be severe. A driver convicted of a first offence faces a fine ranging from $400 – $2,000 plus three demerit points. A driver convicted of a subsequent offence (within 5 years of the first offence) faces a fine ranging from $1,000 – $4,000, a jail term of up to 6 months, and a possible 2-year driver’s licence suspension.
The human cost of failing to move over can be worse than the financial cost. Police report about one non-fatal collision each month that could be avoided by moving over. Police officers and tow-truck drivers alike have been killed coming to the aid of someone else in trouble on the side of a roadway.
If you or someone you know has suffered a serious injury caused by a motor vehicle accident, it is important to consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer as soon as possible.
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