Quebec finally getting "move-over" law
By ANDY RIGA, The Gazette, June 1, 2012
This summer, Quebec will join the vast majority of North American jurisdictions, compelling motorists to slow down and change lanes when they come upon emergency vehicles.
That includes police cars, fire trucks, ambulances and tow trucks with flashing lights, as well as Transport Quebec trucks carrying illuminated directional arrows. The penalty for violators: a fine of $200 to $300, plus four demerit points. Since 2008, four Sûrété de Québec officers have been killed by passing motorists and 214 SQ cars stopped on highways have been rammed by other vehicles, according to Quebec Transport Minister Pierre Moreau.
The change in the law, adopted by the National Assembly Thursday and expected to take effect in late July or August, was welcome news to Urgences Santé paramedic Patrick Dufresne, who has campaigned for a so-called "move-over" law here.He started researching such laws in 2005 after treating a Sûreté du Québec officer hit by a passing vehicle while standing on a highway shoulder. The officer survived. Dufresne learned most jurisdictions had or were about to introduce laws compelling drivers to change lanes when emergency vehicles or tow trucks were stopped on highways. Today, eight Canadian provinces have such laws, according to the Canadian Automobile Association. Forty-nine U.S. states also have move-over laws, says Move Over, America, a coalition promoting such laws.
When SQ officer Vincent Roy was hit and killed by a passing truck while giving a ticket to a motorist on a highway in Bromont in December, Dufresne was haunted by memories of the SQ officer he had treated years earlier. "I didn't understand why Quebec still didn't have a move-over law," Dufresne said in an interview. "I've seen it myself on highways - people have driven too close to me. They're curious and want to see what's happening and don't realize that when you're looking somewhere you can veer in that direction" inadvertently. Dufresne decided to do something about it, starting a campaign to alert the public to the dangers of driving near emergency vehicles. He also launched a petition - by this week, it had 8,700 names on it - to convince Quebec to adopt a move-over law. The new section of Quebec's Highway Safety Code explains what motorists must do when approaching emergency vehicles that are on or are by the side of the road.
A motorist must:
Slow down in a safe manner. Change lanes if one is available in the same direction to ensure a lane remains clear between his or her vehicle and the emergency vehicle, but only if the driver is able to switch lanes safely. If a lane change is not possible, a motorist must move as far as possible from emergency vehicles while in the lane.
In Ontario, penalties are stiffer for violators of that province's move-over law. For a first offence, the fine is $400 to $2,000, plus three demerit points. For a second offence, fines can reach $4,000, with the possibility of jail time of up to six months and a driver's licence suspension of up to two years. In addition to adding move-over provisions, Quebec is also changing the wording of a section of the Highway Safety Code related to emergency vehicles that are travelling with their lights or sirens in operation. The code now says motorists must "make way" for such vehicles. It will be changed to make clear that a motorist must yield to such vehicles. The penalty for those who break the rule: a fine of $200 to $300, plus four demerit points.
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this is a good thing in my book
2005 300C, custom CAI, Trinity tuned(600$), huntington bolsa stagered 20X9 & 20 X 10, Nitto 420 255/45/20, BC racing coilovers, SPC ajustable control arms and rear camber kit ............, that should take care of 2012 HOPEFULLY busted mod money budget by hmmmmmmm 2000$
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it's about time. emergency workers have enough to worry about during roadside stops. getting smoked by an inattentive driver shouldn't be one of them.
I've always done it, even if it was not required by law...
Now, the morons who are polluting the roads will have to do it too...