FORT FRANCES – The Rainy River District Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) are gearing up for the Move Over Campaign slated for August 3 to 6, 2018 over the Civic Holiday Long Weekend. Every day, emergency response workers including the police, paramedics, firefighters and tow truck drivers risk their lives to respond to emergency situations on Ontario’s Highways.
The OPP would like to remind the public that under the Highway Traffic Act of Ontario, motorists have a duty to move over and allow room for stopped emergency vehicles. In 2017, the OPP laid more than 2,100 charges against drivers who were in a position to but failed to Move Over. As of mid-June, the number of charges was at 932.
There are certain steps that drivers need to take when an emergency vehicle is approaching in either direction.
- On a two-lane road, signal, and move to the right. Pull as close as possible to the right edge of the road, clear of any intersection and stop.
- In an intersection:
- traffic in all directions must yield to emergency vehicles,
- don’t block the intersection,
- If an emergency vehicle is approaching from behind you, don’t make a left turn – proceed straight through the intersection, then pull to the right and stop.
Failing to move over for parked emergency vehicles can result in drivers being charged if they don’t slow down, or move over when safe to do so, near emergency vehicles or tow trucks that are stopped with sirens or lights flashing.
Drivers can face a fine of $400 to $2000 and three demerit points upon conviction as well as a possible suspension of driver’s licence for up to two years. Subsequent offences (within 5 years), can result in a fine of $1000 to $4000, three demerit points, and the possibility of up to six months in jail.