Earlier in December, the provincial government approved a new amendment to B.C.’s Slow Down Move Over law that will make it safer for all roadside workers, not just emergency vehicles.
Currently, the province’s motorists are required to slow down and switch lanes when on a multi-lane road for police, fire, ambulance, park rangers, conservation officers, commercial vehicle safety enforcement vehicles, passenger transportation inspectors and towing vehicles.
However, beginning on January 1, 2015, the new amended law will be simplified by encompassing any vehicle that flashes a red, blue or yellow amber light – including road maintenance workers, land surveyors, animal control and garbage collectors.
Drivers are required to slow down to a speed of 70 km/h within a 80km/h or faster zone and 40 km/h when within a zone under 80 km/h for any of these vehicles flashing amber lights. In addition, while driving on a multi-lane road, drivers also need to switch to another lane to allow an official vehicle safe and quick passage.
Under the B.C. Motor Vehicle Act Regulations, those caught in violation could be subject to a $173 fine and three point penalty in their driving record. Criminal Code charges are also possible if the incident is serious.
Since 2001, nearly 50 emergency workers have been killed or seriously injured while on duty helping people on the province’s roads. This figure does not include the deaths and injuries of other roadside workers.
Feature Image: Police car lights via Shutterstock