With roads about to get busier during the Civic Holiday long weekend, the OPP will have its sights set on drivers who do not slow down and safely move over a lane for roadside emergency vehicles.
Ontario’s 2003 Move Over law requires drivers to slow down and proceed with caution when passing an emergency vehicle or tow truck parked on the side of the highway with its lights activated.
If the highway has more than one lane, the law requires the driver to move over and leave one lane between their vehicle and the parked emergency vehicle or tow truck if it can be done safely.
The law carries a $490 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 of up to six months and possible suspension of your driver’s licence for up to two years.
So far this year, the OPP has laid more than 400 charges against drivers who failed to move over one lane when able to help create safe space for police, other emergency personnel and tow truck drivers to conduct their work.
There were 1,708 such charges laid last year and more than 9,300 charges over the last five-year period.
The OPP will also be watching for drivers with other poor behaviours that place all road users at risk.
So far this year, the OPP has responded to 123 fatal motor vehicle collisions in which 132 people lost their lives. Among the fatalities, 29 deaths were linked to speed, 26 were seat belt-related, 22 involved alcohol/drugs and 20 were linked to an inattentive driver.
Drivers are also reminded to watch out for pedestrians and motorcyclists. To date, 22 pedestrians and 19 motorcyclists have died in OPP jurisdictions in 2020.