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    Thumbs up The MOVE OVER Law

    What Do Red and Blue Mean to You?

    Taryn Stones, Staff Assistant, Directorate of General Safety

    Meet Joe. Joe has been driving for over 20 years and has never once received a ticket. One day, he is driving on the highway, and as he comes around a bend, his attention is grabbed by the flashes of red and blue lights on the side of the road ahead of him. He knows that there must be at least two police cruisers ahead because the lights are so bright and as he checks his speedometer, he realizes that he should slow down. Because Joe is such a good driver, he reduces his speed significantly and cautiously begins to pass the two stationary police cruisers. To his amazement, he finds himself being flagged down immediately by one of the police officers. Not knowing why he has been pulled over, Joe opens his window, and the police officer informs him that Ontario law states that when approaching a stationary emergency vehicle with its lights flashing, drivers must slow down, proceed with caution and, if it can be done safely, change lanes to put one empty lane between themselves and the stopped emergency vehicle.

    Though this amendment to Ontario's Highway Traffic Act came into effect in April 2003, many drivers, like Joe, remain unaware of its existence. Police officers face enormous risk when conducting routine traffic stops, as do other emergency workers when responding to accidents and incidents near roadways. Even when pulled safely onto the shoulder of the road, police and emergency responders are mere feet from the nearest lane, where cars can fly by at high speeds.

    According to an OPP news release, between November 2007 and late 2008, six OPP officers were involved in incidents while pulled off the road with their vehicle lights flashing. In three of the cases, motorists hit the police cruiser, and in the other three, they hit the officers themselves.

    The implementation of the legislation was originally sparked by an incident in 2000, where two OPP officers were in injured and one was killed when a tractor trailer crashed into their police cruisers, which were pulled over on the shoulder of a highway. Police officers and emergency responders risk their lives every day to help ensure the safety of the public, and this traffic law is in place to help ensure their safety.

    Province Required Actions Penalty

    Alberta: Slow down to 60 km/h or less, proceed with care Two demerit points, fines double for speeding

    Saskatchewan: Slow down to 60 km/h or less Three demerit points, fines starting at $140

    Manitoba: Slow down, proceed 0with caution, move into traffic lane furthest from emergency vehicle if it is safe to do so Two demerit points, suspended license, fine up to $2,000

    Prince Edward Island: Slow down, move into another lane if it is safe to do so Fines up to $200

    The penalty in Ontario for breaking this law for the first time is a fine of up to $2,000 and a loss of three demerit points. Subsequent offences within five years include fines of up to $4,000, imprisonment, and a suspended driver's license.

    Although not every province or territory in Canada has a specific law for approaching stationary emergency vehicles with their lights flashing, Alberta, Manitoba, Prince Edward Island, and Saskatchewan all have laws similar to that of Ontario's.

    Provinces and territories that do not have specific laws for approaching stopped emergency vehicles still have penalties for failing to yield to emergency vehicles. In British Columbia, not yielding can lead to three demerit points and a fine of $109. Similarly, drivers in Newfoundland and Labrador can also face two demerit points and fines of up to $900 when failing to yield to emergency vehicles.

    It is your responsibility as a driver to know the laws and rules of the road that apply in your province or territory. You are also responsible to know the rules wherever you travel. If you do not know the regulations for your province or territory, you can contact your local police station for more information. By following the traffic laws, you help to protect police officers, emergency responders, other motorists, and yourself.

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    In colorado the law is to move over 1 lane or slow down 10 MPH below the speed limit if you cannot move over.

    It's been in effect only a few years and I hardly see anybody follow it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Firetacoma1 View Post
    In colorado the law is to move over 1 lane or slow down 10 MPH below the speed limit if you cannot move over.

    It's been in effect only a few years and I hardly see anybody follow it.
    Same thing here. "Slow Down"? Whats THAT? "Move Over?" Why?!

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    In Wisconsin, you are supposed to move over and slow down. It is followed pretty descent by most people but sometimes it causes problems on the busy highways. There have been times there were accidents caused by people slowing down. I guess in the end it is better for emergency responders but it is causing more accidents on the highway. Not all of them are life threatening but it is a problem. It would also help if people would learn how to drive and pay attention to the road instead of their cell phones.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ShaunFremontFD View Post
    There have been times there were accidents caused by people slowing down. I guess in the end it is better for emergency responders but it is causing more accidents on the highway.
    You are dead wrong, the accidents are caused by people NOT slowing down when they should be. And yes, it is 100 times better than what it was. Regardless if there are other crashes residual from the original crash, it is still better than what it has been. In my area of the state, we have had several law enforcement officers killed because of people not moving over, I knew 3 of them personally.

    Trust me, I have almost been creamed several times and left a dent in a guys hood when I had to jump back from getting my legs cut off.

    Wisconsin's law is move over one lane AND slow down to under the speed limit, if you cannot move over, slow down to at least 10 mph under the limit. They enforce this very good in my area at least.
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    Cops in a city near me did a "sting" operation about a year after TX passed the move over/slow down law. TX law also is move to the next lane over or slow -10 from the speed limit if you can't move over. The cops set one car with lights on sitting on the side of the highway, a 1/4 mile up the highway was the cop who would pull you over for not moving over. Racked up quite a few tickets and made the front page of the paper, people claiming entrapment and all. Right or wrong thier actions got the message out.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FiremanLyman View Post
    Cops in a city near me did a "sting" operation about a year after TX passed the move over/slow down law. TX law also is move to the next lane over or slow -10 from the speed limit if you can't move over. The cops set one car with lights on sitting on the side of the highway, a 1/4 mile up the highway was the cop who would pull you over for not moving over. Racked up quite a few tickets and made the front page of the paper, people claiming entrapment and all. Right or wrong thier actions got the message out.
    Same here. Once it was passed the state did a huge education/public announcement campaign in all the media. Then they set up like this and wrote warnings for 3 months. Then another big media campaign saying no more warnings and did the set up again. People got real mad but didn't have a leg to stand on because of all the media attention.

    I did it when I was a deputy....mostly did warnings but if you were a jack***** about it you talked your way into a ticket! They still do it every so often yet.
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    Quote Originally Posted by FiremanLyman View Post
    Cops in a city near me did a "sting" operation about a year after TX passed the move over/slow down law. TX law also is move to the next lane over or slow -10 from the speed limit if you can't move over. The cops set one car with lights on sitting on the side of the highway, a 1/4 mile up the highway was the cop who would pull you over for not moving over. Racked up quite a few tickets and made the front page of the paper, people claiming entrapment and all. Right or wrong thier actions got the message out.
    Yep see it all the time on the interstate around here actually. One police car with its lights on will have an unmarked police car with lights off "pulled over". And there will be a third officer on a motorcycle sitting to the right of the pulled over car with his radar out. Gets em every time. People won't follow the law if you don't enforce it.

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    First, you shouldn't need a law telling people to slow down and move over.

    Next, we just put people on the road giving them a rudimentary written test and a simple drive around the block. They are never tested again. People as a general rule are terrible drivers. In many states (NY for sure), one is supposed to drive right except tot pass. This includes 4 lane highways and above. Yet I routinely see people getting on the Thruway and instantly getting in the center or left lane; I call them Left Lane Losers. The licensing procedure in most states is a money making joke. LMAO!!! In NY they are still using my picture form 20 years ago. Send them money they send me license.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FFbg View Post
    Yep see it all the time on the interstate around here actually. One police car with its lights on will have an unmarked police car with lights off "pulled over". And there will be a third officer on a motorcycle sitting to the right of the pulled over car with his radar out. Gets em every time. People won't follow the law if you don't enforce it.
    That is what makes the speed limits a joke as well. On the NYS Thruway you can do 80 MPH with no problem. What this does for law enforcement is essentially give them the ability to pull over anyone they want to. Just try to do 65 MPH on the Thruway.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dickey View Post
    You are dead wrong, the accidents are caused by people NOT slowing down when they should be. And yes, it is 100 times better than what it was. Regardless if there are other crashes residual from the original crash, it is still better than what it has been. In my area of the state, we have had several law enforcement officers killed because of people not moving over, I knew 3 of them personally.

    Trust me, I have almost been creamed several times and left a dent in a guys hood when I had to jump back from getting my legs cut off.

    Wisconsin's law is move over one lane AND slow down to under the speed limit, if you cannot move over, slow down to at least 10 mph under the limit. They enforce this very good in my area at least.
    I am not wrong. I said pretty much the same thing you did. I just said that this law is causing more accidents. I am not against it. I think the law is better than what we had. And people DO slow down around here. Yeah there are a few idiots but most people follow the rule.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ShaunFremontFD View Post
    I am not wrong. I said pretty much the same thing you did. I just said that this law is causing more accidents. I am not against it. I think the law is better than what we had. And people DO slow down around here. Yeah there are a few idiots but most people follow the rule.
    Well I do not Live in Wisconsin, But I am not sure how Having people slowing down for Flashing Lights could cause More accidents. So to Believe that statement I would like to see some Hard evidence. Any way I Would rather see some dumba** get Re-ended by another dipstick, than to See one of my boys or Girls get hurt. Remember that Pecking order. Our Safety, Our Crews safety, Then The public's.
    Courage, Being Scared to Death and Saddling Up anyways.

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    Nebraska just passed this law Aug. 31, 2009. I was astonished that we were 1 of 7 states that didn't have it before then. The law also includes giving space to tow trucks, highway/interstate workers, and motorist aid vehicles.

    We didn't have drivers ed. when I was in school. But my dad made it plenty clear back then to give them room and slow down.

    We've had more FF's hit on the interstate in the last 5yrs than LEO's. I for one am glad there is now a law to move over.

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    Law or not, I always thought moving over if possible was common sense, long before any laws came out.

    Way too many people are just inconsiderate, and/or lack any common sense. Sucks to say but that's the world we live in!

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    I think these are great laws. Wish we could get it standardized nationwide. Below are a couple of links to PSA's for the move over law here in SC. The first I like because it includes all the public safety folks as well as DOT. The second does a good job of showing an officer who was hit on a traffic stop to put a face with it along with his dash cam footage. I like that the law here includes construction crews but I wish that it gave a specific speed that must be followed if a lane change is not possible i.e. 10 under or half the posted speed. I know that I have fussed at my family before when they did not get over or slow way down. I remind them that could be myself, my sister, her husband or any of our other family in the public safety field.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uaCQIfMP9lU

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XxTf04u8Ng4

    http://www.scdps.org/oea/nr2009/061709.htm
    Last edited by LFDAO10; 04-08-2010 at 05:24 AM.

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    The Commonwealth of Virginia's law says anything that is on the shoulder, Fire Truck, Police, Ambulance, Tow Truck, Highway Vehicle, anything that has a warning light functioning, traffic must, if possible, move over to another lane when passing said vehicles or slow down if moving over cannot be accomplished.
    Stay Safe and Well Out There....

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bushwhacker View Post
    Well I do not Live in Wisconsin, But I am not sure how Having people slowing down for Flashing Lights could cause More accidents. So to Believe that statement I would like to see some Hard evidence. Any way I Would rather see some dumba** get Re-ended by another dipstick, than to See one of my boys or Girls get hurt. Remember that Pecking order. Our Safety, Our Crews safety, Then The public's.
    Anything that disrupts traffic flow has the potential to cause an accident that probably wouldn't have occured if traffic hadn't been disrupted.

    Last I knew, cops on the Capital Beltway (DC) could kill the front side of their strobe light bars. Reason was because traffic on the other side of the median divider would invariable rubberneck, causing unnecessary slowdowns on both sides of the Interstate. With the front side of the light bar dark, opposing traffic has no idea there's something going on until they're already past it. Traffic coming up behind them still gets the warning.
    Opinions my own. Standard disclaimers apply.

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    In Louisiana you are required to yield...

    125. Procedure on approach of an authorized emergency vehicle; passing a parked emergency vehicle.

    A. Upon the immediate approach of an authorized emergency vehicle making use of audible or visual signals, or of a police vehicle properly and lawfully making use of an audible signal only, the driver of every other vehicle shall yield the right-of-way and shall immediately drive to a position parallel to, and as close as possible to, the right-hand edge or curb of the highway clear of any intersection, and shall stop and remain in such position until the authorized emergency vehicle has passed, except when otherwise directed by a police officer.

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    Last I knew, cops on the Capital Beltway (DC) could kill the front side of their strobe light bars. Reason was because traffic on the other side of the median divider would invariable rubberneck, causing unnecessary slowdowns on both sides of the Interstate.
    Actually, I have noticed that in a lot of places, DC, MD, Va, Ontario and BC specifically. Its not always done, but very nearly all the time, even the MPs here on base do that most times, although this is home of the MP Academy, so sometimes they have student drivers.........
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    Quote Originally Posted by Acklan View Post
    Yes in NYS you have to move over by law, you are also supposed to drive right except to pass. Problem is drivers licenses are given out like candy at a parade, they are nothing more than money making schemes and have absolutely nothing to do with qualifying people to drive.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ScareCrow57 View Post
    Yes in NYS you have to move over by law, you are also supposed to drive right except to pass. Problem is drivers licenses are given out like candy at a parade, they are nothing more than money making schemes and have absolutely nothing to do with qualifying people to drive.
    Not that I'm doubting you, but what is the section? According to http://www.moveoveramerica.com/ NYS is one of 3 states (Hawaii and Maryland are the other 2) that do not have a "move over" law. Of course, Washington DC doesn't as well... This site appears to be pretty up to date (2009) with our neighbors in NJ, MA, CT as some of the few to enact the law in 2009.
    Last edited by medic190; 04-09-2010 at 06:43 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ScareCrow57 View Post
    Yes in NYS you have to move over by law, you are also supposed to drive right except to pass. Problem is drivers licenses are given out like candy at a parade, they are nothing more than money making schemes and have absolutely nothing to do with qualifying people to drive.
    That is another topic, but I had a Class A license with an X endorsement for years and can agree it is far too easy to obtain a driver's license.

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    We've had it as law in MS for a few years now and I'm glad to see MHP take after some idiots on the interstate on quite a few occasions. My cheif threw his flashlight and broke a guy's windshield one night as he was flying through an accident scene. The guy stopped and was quickly cuffed after he tried to start something. I got to say that was a close call for everyone that night.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Acklan
    That is another topic, but I had a Class A license with an X endorsement for years and can agree it is far too easy to obtain a driver's license.
    I'll play nice..... and let that one go.
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    Quote Originally Posted by FIREMECH1 View Post
    I'll play nice..... and let that one go.
    Thanks. It was poorly worded, but I think you know what I meant. With all the testing that goes towards a commercial license there are few real requirements for the average driver.

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