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Business Leader Summer 2018
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‘Move over’ charges up again in 2016: OPP

ORILLIA - For the second consecutive year, OPP officials say they are concerned about the number of drivers who fail to slow down and/or move over for emergency vehicles and tow trucks.

“With the ‘move over’ law now 15 years old, it has long shed its label as ‘Ontario’s little known law’, making driver ignorance a poor excuse for non-compliance,” stated OPP Deputy Commissioner Brad Blair.

“In light of all efforts on the part of the OPP, our policing partners and the media to raise awareness about this law every year, it is unacceptable to see drivers mark the last two years with some of the worst compliance on record.”

In 2016, the OPP laid 2,443 move over (and related) charges, surpassing 2015, which also saw a significant increase over previous years. 

The number of charges has steadily increased since 2011, as follows: 1,181 charges in 2011; 1,346 in 2012; 1,404 in 2013; 1,593 in 2014; 2,050 in 2015; and 2,443 in 2016.

Police are reminding drivers that the Highway Traffic Act requires drivers to:

- slow down when approaching, from the same side of the road, a stopped emergency vehicle with its lights flashing; and

- move over a lane on multi-lane highways, if it can be done safely.

 The law carries a $400 to $2,000 fine, plus three demerit points upon conviction. Subsequent offences (within five years) carry a $1,000 to $4,000 fine, possible jail time up to six months and a possible two-year driver’s licence suspension.

In 2016, there were at least eleven incidents in which an OPP vehicle was stopped/parked on the roadside and was struck from behind while its emergency lights were activated.

August 11, 2017


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