Durham Regional Police Service (DRPS) yesterday reported bizarre behavior by some of the drivers during it two-day roadway safety blitz in Clarington, focusing on the ‘Move Over’ law.
“One driver not only passed a stopped DRPS cruiser with its lights activated, it also passed right by an MTO cruiser 200 meters ahead. Another offender was a driving instructor with a student in the vehicle,” said a DRPS media release.
On a more serious note, DRPS found that approximately one in 20 motorists were still not following the rule.
DRPS East Division, the Traffic Services Branch and the Ministry of Transportation conducted a “Move Over” and a commercial motor vehicle enforcement initiative on Highway 35/115 on February 10 and 13.
With cruisers and an inspection vehicle parked on the shoulder of the road, motorists were given ample time to see the activity ahead. About one in 20 motorists failed to change lanes to make room for the units at the roadside when there was sufficient time to do so.
“You might be happy with a 95 per cent success rate, but as a frontline police officer or MTO Officer who pulls cars over at the side of the road, that other five per cent can be deadly,” says East Division Traffic Safety Coordinator Cst. Gabriel Gagnon, “It only takes one vehicle to get too close and endanger the life of an emergency services worker.”
54 tickets 20 cautions
A total of 39 tickets were issued to motorists for not moving over and 20 cautions were made for various infractions. Another 15 tickets were issued for other infractions, including no insurance card, unsafe loads and speeding.
Section 159(3) of the Highway Traffic Act states that: “Upon approaching an emergency vehicle with its lamp producing intermittent flashes of red light or red and blue light or a tow truck with its lamp producing intermittent flashes of amber light that is stopped on a highway with two or more lanes of traffic on the same side of the highway as the side on which the emergency vehicle or tow truck is stopped, the driver of a vehicle travelling in the same lane that the emergency vehicle or tow truck is stopped in or in a lane that is adjacent to the emergency vehicle or tow truck, in addition to slowing down and proceeding with caution as required by subsection (2), shall move into another lane if the movement can be made safely”.
Further enforcement campaigns are being planned, DRPS said.