Annapolis Valley RCMP focusing on ‘move over’ law in April

Ashley Thompson athompson@hantsjournal.ca
Published on March 30, 2016

ANNAPOLIS VALLEY- It's time to start paying more attention to that lead foot.

The RCMP’s Annapolis Valley Traffic Services division will be on the lookout for motorists disobeying a provincially mandated law that is often overlooked by drivers travelling on Highway 101.

The provincial traffic theme for the month of April is the "move over" law.

The law comes into play when an emergency vehicle with flashing lights is pulled over to the side of the road like, for example, when a police officer has another vehicle stopped.

“People are blowing by us,” said Sgt. Andrew Buckle. “You are required by law to slow down to 60 km/h and pull as far left away from the vehicle as you can.”

The law was enacted to create safer conditions for pedestrians, emergency personnel and police officers alike, Buckle said.

“When we pull over a vehicle it's always considered a high risk because of other moving traffic because we're stopping a vehicle that's unknown to us.”

The law applies to all roadways. In areas where the speed limit is below 60 km/h, motorists must obey the posted traffic signs and move as far away from the emergency vehicles as safely possible.

“We're really going to be cracking down on that and doing some enforcement activities in the Valley to educate people and also lay some charges,” said Buckle.

“When we hit spring and the sun starts to shine, drivers tend to get a heavy foot.”

The fines issued to drivers caught violating the law range between $340 to $685 for the first offence.

One bad decision behind the wheel of a car can have sudden and drastic impacts on many lives, Buckle stressed.

“The higher your speed goes, the higher the chance you have of having a major crash,” he said.

Travelling at excessive speeds impedes a driver’s ability to control the vehicle and react to the surroundings.

“Speed kills,” said Buckle. “It does.”

In addition to strictly enforcing the speed limits and conducting seatbelt checks, Annapolis Valley Traffic Services will continue to combat distracted driving through its Focus and Drive campaign. Motorists can be ticketed for using cellular or handheld devices while operating a vehicle, or driving with undue care or attention.

Did you know?

The Keep Me Safe, or "move over" legislation, applies to ambulances, police vehicles, fire department vehicles, Department of Natural Resources vehicles, conservation officers’ vehicles, motor vehicle inspectors vehicles and motor carrier inspectors vehicles.