Emergency Vehicles At the Side of the Road

May 15, 2018, Kitchener, Ontario

Posted by: Robert Deutschmann, Personal Injury Lawyer

Free stock photo of light, vehicles, buildings, car The tragic injury of an OPP officer at the side of the road in Brampton a few weeks ago prompted this article on Emergency Vehicles. The officer was seriously injured after a vehicle slammed into his cruiser on the highway. The officer was conducting an investigation at the side of the road when the crash occurred. The office was trapped in the cruiser until the top of the car was cut off and he was extricated.

In Ontario drivers are required to pull off the to the side of the road, or to clear intersections when an emergency vehicle is approaching from either direction. This is to prevent accidents, and to allow the first responders quick and safer access to their destinations. Here is the excerpt from the MTO website:

Reacting to an emergency vehicle

There are certain steps you need to take when an emergency vehicle is approaching in either direction. Find out what you need to do on different kinds of roads.

On a multi-lane highway

  • slow down, signal and move to the right
  • if possible, pull as close as you can to the right side of the roadway and stop when safe to do so
  • don't move onto the shoulder

On a two-lane road

  • signal and move to the right
  • pull as close as possible to the right edge of the road, clear of any intersection, and stop

On a one-way street

  • signal and pull to the right or the left side of the street, clear of any intersection, and stop

In an intersection

  • traffic in all directions must yield to emergency vehicles
  • don't block the intersection
  • if an emergency vehicle is approaching from behind you, don't make a left turn - proceed straight through the intersection, then pull to the right and stop

The Move Over Law requires drivers to slow down and move over if there is an emergency vehicle or tow truck with its amber lights flashing. You may pass them with caution. If there are two lanes you must leave a lane of space between you and the emergency vehicle if it is safe to do so.

Approaching a stopped emergency vehicle

"Slow Down, Move Over": If you see an emergency vehicle or a tow truck with its amber lights flashing stopped facing the same direction you are going, slow down and pass with caution.

If the road has two or more lanes, you must leave a lane of space between you and the emergency vehicle, if you can do so safely.

Tips

  • stay alert
  • avoid distractions
  • keep the noise level down in your vehicle
  • use your signals to alert other drivers you intend to pull over
  • check your rear-view mirrors, and look in front and on both sides of your vehicle
  • don't drive on or block the shoulder on freeways
  • when the emergency vehicle has passed, check to make sure the way is clear and signal before merging back into traffic
  • it's illegal to follow a fire vehicle or ambulance responding to a call, within 150 metres

Penalties

Drivers can be charged if they don't slow down, or move over when safe to do so, near emergency vehicles or tow trucks that are stopped with sirens or lights flashing.

First offence:

  • $400 to $2,000
  • 3 demerit points upon conviction
  • possible suspension of driver's licence for up to 2 years

Subsequent offences (within 5 years):

  • $1,000 to $4,000
  • 3 demerit points upon conviction
  • possible jail time (up to 6 months)
  • possible suspension of driver's licence for up to 2 years
Posted under Accident Benefit News

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Deutschmann Law serves South-Western Ontario with offices in Kitchener-Waterloo, Cambridge, Woodstock, Brantford, Stratford and Ayr. The law practice of Robert Deutschmann focuses almost exclusively in personal injury and disability insurance matters. For more information, please visit www.deutschmannlaw.com or call us toll-free at 1-866-414-4878.

It is important that you review your accident benefit file with one of our experienced personal injury / car accident lawyers to ensure that you obtain access to all your benefits which include, but are limited to, things like physiotherapy, income replacement benefits, vocational retraining and home modifications.

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