Kelowna Mounties are concerned with the apparent high volume of drivers seemingly incapable of slowing down and moving over when they see stopped vehicles with flashing lights.
A team of traffic enforcement officers with Central Okanagan Traffic Services conducted an operation along Highway 97 south of Peachland April 21 and the results were staggering.
“The operation targeted drivers who failed to obey the rules of the roadway, which require motorists to slow down and move over when passing emergency vehicles stopped roadside with their emergency lights flashing,” said Const. Jesse O’Donaghey, in a press release.
“Officers worked approximately one kilometre away from a traffic sign along the highway which reminded motorists of the traffic law. They then set up a marked police vehicle with its emergency lights on along the shoulder of the highway and observed the passing traffic, while using speed measuring devices to determine their speeds.”
Drivers could face a $173 fine under the Motor Vehicle Act Regulations for failing to slow down or move over near a stopped emergency vehicle.
“During only a two hour period, enforcement officers issued a staggering number of 60 violation tickets to drivers who failed to slow to a maximum speed of 70 kilometres per hour when passing an emergency vehicle stopped with its emergency lights activated,” said O’Donaghey.
Compliance rate with this law isn’t just for kicks.
“A law that is of course very near and dear to our hearts as emergency personnel,” said Const. Chris Neid of Central Okanagan Traffic Services. “It contributes to our safety when working roadside and ultimately keeps us going home to our families at the end of our shifts.”
RCMP would also like to remind drivers to yield to emergency vehicles being operated with their emergency lights and/or sirens activated.
“All too often the RCMP observe drivers who fail to immediately pull to the shoulder of the roadway to allow emergency vehicles to pass safely,” said O’Donaghey. “Typically the emergency vehicle is responding to an emergency situation and each second can make a difference. Drivers could face a $109 fine for fail to yield to an emergency vehicle.”