It has been four years since the province brought in a law intended to protect emergency workers on roads.
But a Mountie with the Interior Highway Patrol said drivers still aren’t getting it.
Starting today, RCMP will enforce the “slow down and move over law.”
The section of the Motor Vehicle Act stipulates drivers who spot an emergency vehicle with lights on must slow to 70 km/h where the speed limit is above 80 km/h. Below that speed, drivers must slow to 40 km/h.
Motorists must also move over, away from the emergency vehicle.
“A lot of people figure it’s just police, firefighters and ambulance,” said Cpl. Bernie Parent, with the Central Interior Road Safety Unit.
“It’s not just us. Those I pity the most are tow-truck drivers. We see them crawling under trucks to remove driveshafts — drivers are so close they’re almost running over their toes.”
Don’s Auto Towing driver Mike Pearen said he hasn’t seen much improvement since the law came in.
“We’ve had two drivers hit by the mirror of a truck.”
Any vehicle with its lights activated — that includes police, fire, ambulance, tow truck or highway contractor vehicle — is covered under the law.
Parent said police will be enforcing the section of the Motor Vehicle Act on roadways including Trans-Canada Highway and Coquihalla Highway.
The need for the law was made obvious last year, when a Merritt Mountie’s SUV at the side of the Coquihalla Highway, with its lights on, was sideswiped by a rented cube van.