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More than 600 charges laid under Move Over law this year

Drivers urged to move over or slow down when approaching emergency vehicles on side of road
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Ahead of another busy long weekend on highways and roads, the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) is reminding drivers that paying attention to what’s happening on the roadside is just as important as keeping an eye on the road.

Despite Ontario’s Move Over law heading into its 20th year, every year, hundreds of drivers ignore this law and deny police and other emergency personnel the safe space they need to carry out their duties on the roadside.

In 2022, the OPP laid 846 charges against drivers who were in a position to, but failed to, slow down and move over a lane (where safe to do so) when approaching emergency vehicles with their emergency lights activated. The OPP has laid more than 600 such charges so far this year.

Over and above watching for drivers who fail to comply with a law designed to make roadside emergency responders’ jobs safer, the OPP will be working around the clock, ensuring motorists are driving attentively and within the posted speed limit, are not impaired by alcohol/drugs and that all vehicle occupants are buckled up. Road users are reminded that these measures can go a long way towards making it a zero-fatality/injury long weekend that has everyone getting to and from their destination safely.

So far this year, the OPP has responded to 188 fatal roadway collisions in which 205 people lost their lives (up 15 per cent over this time last year).

Since 1989, five OPP officers have been killed while on duty on the roadside after their vehicles were struck by approaching vehicles.

Ontario’s Move Over law carries a $490 to $2,000 fine, plus three demerit points, upon conviction. Subsequent offences carry a $1,000 to $4,000 fine, possible jail time of up to six months and suspension of your driver’s licence for up to two years.