Hamilton Emergency Services Launch ‘Move Over’ Campaign
Hamilton drivers not slowing down and moving over for emergency service personnelHamilton’s emergency services and the City of Hamilton are teaming up to remind motorists to slow down and move over after a number of emergency personnel have encountered near misses while working on Hamilton roadways.
In Ontario, ‘Move Over’ legislation was drafted in 2003. The 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. Drivers can face fines from $490 to $2,000 by failing to comply.
“The Move Over law has been around since 2003 as a way to protect emergency services personnel who respond to incidents on the roadside,” says Constable Claus Wagner. “But it seems like people still aren’t getting the message.”
Last year, a tow truck operator was providing service to a disabled vehicle on Nicola Tesla Boulevard. While the operator was securing the vehicle, the vehicle was struck from behind injuring the tow truck operator and driver of the car. The car’s driver later succumbed to his injuries.
While Hamilton Police Services does not collect statistics on Move Over infractions, the Ontario Provincial Police Service has seen an increase in the number of charges. In 2016, the OPP laid 2,443 Move Over (and related) charges, surpassing 2015 which also saw a significant increase over previous years.
“The safety of our emergency responders is important. When our first responders are safe, they can respond when and where they are needed the most. So, slow down and move over when emergency vehicles are stopped on the side of the road. It’s the law,” says Wagner.