Why Slow Down and Move Over is the Law

It was around 4pm on Thursday February 21, 2019 when an officer in our Traffic Safety Unit pulled a vehicle over in the 700 block of Vernon Ave. He turned the emergency lights on for his police car and put on a high visibility vest before going to talk with the driver. After speaking with them, he returned to his car and opened the driver’s door. As he was about to climb into the car, his door was struck by a passing motorist who had failed to move over. Thankfully our officer was not hurt and the only damage was to our police car’s door and that of the passing vehicle.

In 2009, the Slow Down, Move Over law came into effect in BC, requiring drivers who are approaching a stopped vehicle with flashing lights, to slow down to either 70km/hr in an 80km/hr zone or 40km/hr in a 50km/hr zone, and on multi-laned roads, move over into another lane. The purpose of this law is to protect roadside workers, including maintenance and utility workers, emergency service personnel, tow truck drivers, surveyors, garbage collectors and everyone else whose work finds them beside the road.

Drivers failing to follow this law may find themselves with a $173 ticket and 3 points on their driver’s license. Or worse, if they hit the vehicle or worker. In this case, the driver received a ticket and clear direction on her responsibilities in this regard.

“This incident is a strong reminder of how dangerous it can be for roadside workers and why every driver has a responsibility to help ensure these worker’s safety.” Said Sgt. Julie Fast, Public Information Officer for the Saanich Police.


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