Slow Down Move Over – What is that?

West Shore, Traffic Services

2015-10-13 09:23 PDT

File # 2015

police car, ambulance, fire truck and tow truck parked side by side with lights flashing

West Shore RCMP are doing targeted enforcement during the month of October for the Slow Down Move Over law. This is a reminder to all motorists to give people on the roadside a buffer from traffic, minimizing their chance of being hit.

The legislation was amended in January of this year to include all official vehicles. If you see red, blue or yellow flashing lights, you must slow down and move over when safe. A driver must slow to 70 km/hr when travelling in a speed zone 80 km/hr or greater. If the speed limit is less than 80 km/hr, you must slow to 40 km/hr.

It is critical the driving public understands that Official vehicles are not only emergency responders; such as, police, fire and ambulance. Official vehicles also include: tow trucks, commercial vehicle safety enforcement vehicles, construction crews and highway maintenance, among others. The bottom line is, if you see red, blue or yellow flashing lights you are to slow down and move over when safe. We are trying to help drivers remember the 70/40 rule. If the speed limit is 80 km/h or more, slow to 70 km/h. If the speed limit is less than 80 km/h, slow to 40 km/h and move over. If drivers fail to follow this legislation they could face a fine of $173 and 3 penalty points - or worse, hurting themselves or someone else.

Over a ten year period, 235 roadside workers have been injured and 15 have been killed. We are reminding motorists to slow down and move over for all official vehicles. 

damaged red car which rear ended an RCMP police cruiser on the side of the road
Picture courtesy of Port Mann Traffic Services - March 2015

Stories from local first responders

As a 25 year paramedic I have responded to thousands of car crashes. Drivers are easily distracted by the events and do not look to where they are going of their speed. One day while preparing my equipment to extricate a patient a lady drove through the scene and had I looked up a second later I would have not been able to jump out of her path.

Andrew Britton – Paramedic Unit Chief – British Columbia Ambulance Service

I once parked my police vehicle with emergency lights activated in the fast lane to provide a safety pocket for myself to work at a collision scene on the Trans Canada Hwy, I heard several thumps. I looked up and realized that a passing vehicle had struck all of my traffic cones, narrowly missing my police vehicle. Luckily, I was on the edge of the grass median and not the passenger side of my police vehicle, or I would have been struck along with the traffic cones.

Cst. Krysti Seutter - Municipal Traffic Section - West Shore RCMP

Our #1 concern when attending Motor Vehicle accidents is making sure our firefighters and other emergency personnel aren’t hit, injured or killed by distracted and speeding drivers. 30 years can’t erase the image of attending to a fellow First Responder, an RCMP Officer killed in View Royal by a distracted driver while he investigated an earlier fatal accident. Seriously, slow down while driving through an accident scene and stay off your device, not paying attention injures and kills too many First Responders every year in North America. We want to get home at the end of our work day just like you.

Paul Hurst – Fire Chief – View Royal Fire Rescue

I have been in the towing industry since 1984, while growing up in the fire service. I've seen many near misses. I was involved in one accident when a driver hit the fire truck with lights on that I operating road side. I think I speak for all involved when I say " we're roadside helping your family, so please when you see an official vehicle, slow down and move over. We all want to go home to our families too.

Dave Lequesne – Owner and Operator - West Shore Towing


Released by

Cst. Alex Bérubé

Media Relations Officer
West Shore RCMP
698 Atkins Avenue, Victoria, BC V9B 3A4
Office: 250-391-3348
Fax: 250-474-8970


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