OPP Looking for Drivers to “Move Over” this Long Weekend
As the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) gears up for a busy Civic Holiday long weekend, they are giving the public a heads-up on what dangerous driving habits they will be watching out for and what positive driving behaviours they will be expecting from motorists throughout the province.
One important law the OPP will be looking for drivers to adhere to is Ontario’s Move Over law. This law applies to all motorists who are approaching an emergency vehicle in the same direction of travel, stopped on the roadside with its lights flashing. Drivers in this situation are required to slow down and pass with caution, but if the road has multiple lanes, drivers must move over into another lane if it can be done safely.
According to Deputy Commissioner Larry Beechey, Provincial Commander, Traffic Safety and Operational Support, far too many drivers ignore this law.
“Since 1989, we have lost 5 OPP officers who were tending to their duties on the side of the road when they were killed by approaching vehicles,” Beechey said. “Many of our emergency partners have also died at the hands of careless drivers in the same situation.”
Because the Move Over law was introduced ten years ago (in 2003), OPP is reminding motorists that the grace period during which officers tend to raise awareness of a new law and let people off with a warning is no longer in effect. Violating this law comes with a $400 to $1200 fine and 3 demerit points upon conviction.
Chief Superintendent Don Bell, Commander of the OPP Highway Safety Division, also explained that officers will be on alert for people who display aggressive driving habits, those who drive while impaired or distracted and those who are not wearing seat belts.
OPP officers will also be highly visible on the water and trails, laying charges against people who show a disregard for public safety while boating or off-roading this weekend.