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Many drivers not following new 'slow down and move over' laws

VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – It’s been just over a month since the expanded slow down and move over law went into effect in BC, but police say many still aren’t following the rules. As a result, enforcement may be stepped up across the region.

Just a couple of weeks ago, Delta Police issued 46 tickets in four hours on the South Fraser Perimeter Road.

“I think it just speaks to people getting a bit single-tasked when they’re driving or they forget to look around them and people just concentrate on the road that they’re travelling on and a lot of the time, we find people don’t compute when they see that emergency vehicle, to slow down and move over,” says Acting Sergeant Sarah Swallow.

“It’s not something that seems to be in the forefront of people’s consciousness at the moment, but it is something that if you ever are working on roads, particularly on highways with the higher speeds, it really is a huge safety issue,” adds Swallow.

RCMP tell us regular drivers aren’t really following the law, but truckers are. “Obviously, I travel on the roadways as a motorist and as a police officer and I’ve been impressed with a lot of the trucks in particular. I think [semi] trucks are getting the message and they’re moving over. I think because they’re a larger vehicle, they understand the greater their impact, you know, passing along in the adjacent laneway. I think they’re more apt to move over and I am seeing that,” explains Corporal Rhonda Rempel.

The updated law means you now have to move over for more than just police cars and ambulances, it’s any stopped vehicle that has flashing lights including conservation and tow trucks.

“So if the speed limit is 80 km/h or more, you’re expected to slow to 70 km/h and if it’s less than 80 km/h then you’re expected to slow to 40 km/h. So yes indeed, if you are driving in a 50 km/h area then you are expected to move over and slow to 40 km/h,” adds Rempel.

If you don’t abide by the law, it’s a $173 ticket and three points.